Yahoo Expands Video Search

The company launches a broader beta from its home page and prepares to add closed-captioned content from three broadcasters.

Yahoo Inc. is opening its video search service to a wider audience and expanding its sources of multimedia content.

Late on Monday, Yahoo will make the video search engine that it began testing last month available from its home page and from the main Yahoo Search site, a Yahoo spokesman said. Video will join other search options such as local or image search as a tab above the search query box.

"At this point, it will remain a beta but with a more prominent position and with use on a wider scale," spokesman Aaron Ferstman said.

The company also is announcing that its video search will be able to search across closed-captioned content from Bloomberg L.P., the BBC (British Broadcasting Corp.) and British Sky Broadcasting Group, Ferstman said.

Yahoo has formed a relationship with TVEyes Inc. to access the feed. The capability is not yet live but should be within the next few weeks, Ferstman said.

TVEyes, based in Fairfield, Conn., provides services for capturing and indexing content from television and radio broadcasts.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Yahoo first launched its video search through its Yahoo Next site, where it offers prototypes of new projects.

Yahoo is analyzing the text around video links on the Web and the metadata included in video to index the content, company executives have said.

To let video publishers submit their content to its engine, Yahoo also has developed an extension to RSS 2.0 called Media RSS. The extension provides a way for publishers to enclose links to their multimedia content into an RSS feed when they submit their content.

Multimedia search has begun to gain wider attention among Web search engines. America Online Inc. entered the space in late 2003 when it bought Singingfish Inc., one of the earliest startups focused on the segment. Blinkx Inc., another startup, introduced a service in December that can transcribe video to make its contents searchable.

Yahoo itself gained multimedia search capabilities from its 2003 acquisition of Overture Services. Overture brought with it the AltaVista search engine, one of the first to incorporate video and audio search.


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