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Yahoo, Google slug it out over video search

Yahoo and Google’s ongoing rivalry has turned to video search, with each company touting more searchable content and marquee partnerships, CNET News reported.

Yahoo has released a finalized version of its video search engine, after five months of “beta” testing. It also announced alliances with CBS News, MTV, Reuters and others to include their video clips within its searchable database.

Google announced a string of new liaisons with TV programmers, including the Discovery Channel and CNN, so that people can find still images and text of their shows in its index. The company, however, is continuing public tests of Google Video, which launched in January.

Also, Yahoo said that it will allow video creators to send links of their content via Really Simple Syndication (RSS) for inclusion in its database. In recent weeks, Google introduced a program in which independent and professional video producers can upload their shows into Google Video. But those shows have yet to become searchable.

Broadband adoption in U.S. households is driving consumers’ appetite for watching video online. And search technology is quintessential to sifting through what is a mounting array of video available over the Internet and Internet Protocol (IP) networks, which connect to television, handheld devices, PCs and other consumer electronics.

Yahoo, Google, Blinkx, ShadowTV and others are jockeying to bring consumers the most useful service to locate and watch video online. But many of them are also aiming to bridge the Web with TV so that consumers will eventually be able to search for and watch digital video via TV set-top boxes, PC or a mobile device.

Well on the way toward achieving that goal, search technologists like Yahoo and Google must work through many business issues before making money from the projects. Securing licensing rights to broadcast full video on their Web sites is one major hurdle. Google and Yahoo have yet to offer video playback on their own sites. Yahoo points visitors to third-party sites for viewing video, and Google shows only still images.

More importantly, they must develop a business model that makes sense for broadcasters, advertisers and their operations. Jeff Karnes, director of media search at Yahoo, told CNET the company is still exploring options, but those could include Yahoo’s existing revenue streams from advertising sales and subscription fees. For now, the company is focused on making the product complete for consumer benefit, he said.

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