AOL Adds Truveo for Video Search

America Online beefed up its video search capabilities with the acquisition of search technology startup Truveo, based in Burlingame, CA.

The two-year-old, 12-person company, which just launched its service in September, was picked up by AOL in December. Financial terms of the deal, which was announced this week, were not disclosed.

Truveo’s technology will be integrated with AOL’s existing search and video products in the coming months. It joins Seattle-based Singingfish, which AOL acquired in November 2003 and relaunched a year later, and AOL Video Search, which launched in June 2005 with the AOL.com rollout.

Truveo’s video search technology, visual crawling, automatically discovers video files and related information on a Web page and indexes any available transcript of a video or metadata. Truveo’s technology can also glean additional data by visually examining the surrounding content. Truveo continuously crawls video content sites that include breaking news, sports, and entertainment video.

AOL has been busy building up its video search strategy through partnerships as well. In November, AOL launched the In2TV broadband TV network with Time Warner sibling Warner Bros. and later invested $16 million and signed a distribution deal with Internet TV startup Brightcove. In December, AOL inked a content deal with Viacom, including its MTV, Comedy Central, and Nickelodeon networks.

The move seems to run counter to the spirit of a December deal with Google, which had the search giant invest $1 billion for a 5 percent stake in AOL. As part of that agreement, Google agreed to highlight AOL content on its Google Video site, allowing the Time Warner property to promote its 18,000 licensed and original video clips.

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