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AOL buys video-search firm

Truveo joins the big boys

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AOL is buying in talent to strengthen its video-search function as more and more big players get interested in the technology.

The Time Warner subsidiary has paid an undisclosed amount for Truveo, a two-year-old, privately owned start-up. This is not its first move into video search - in 2003 it bought Singingfish, which provides the technology behind its current video search.

AOL confirmed it was the largest deal the company had completed since paying $435m for Advertising.com in 2004. An executive close to the deal told the New York Times that AOL had paid about $50m for the firm.

The deal was signed and closed 21 December 2005.

Truveo claims to do a better job of searching through video content because it uses a form of "web-crawler", which does a better job of recognising and indexing video content. It claims this means its search engine "finds" substantially more video content than others. Some other search engines rely on text descriptions or subtitles to make sense of clips but Truveo has some visual understanding of the video it finds.

The company offers the service for browsers on its website, supported by Google ads. It also offers the service to other companies to include on their own sites.

Apple, Google and Yahoo have all made recent deals to increase or improve video searching. Google is trying to get its slice of revenues by offering to collect payments for videos viewed through its site.®

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