Search upstart Blinkx has introduced a new service designed to allow Internet users to receive personalized audio and video content via Real Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds.
SmartFeed draws from news and entertainment sources to offer automatic rich media updates. Blinkx founder Suranga Chandratillake said the company’s automatic transcription technology and SmartFeed service help users navigate the increasing and diverse range of rich media that’s available online.
“The Internet has evolved into a vast media network, with more and more multimedia content becoming available every day,” said Chandratillake. “Much of the most current and compelling content on the Internet is in multimedia format — take breaking news, for example.”
Internet users can visit www.blinkx.tv, enter a customized search, specify from which of over 30 channels they wish to receive content and click the “Create SmartFeed” button to have relevant rich multimedia results delivered to their desktops. The audio and video segments are aggregated from theselected sources, and delivered to their RSS readers as links.
Blinkx uses voice recognition software to transcribe the content of audio and video segments, whether it is commercial broadcast material, from outlets such as CNN or Fox News, or user-generated material, such as podcasts and videoblogs.
Blinkx TV combines advanced speech recognition and transcription techniques with intelligent Context Clustering Technology and a patented context prediction and synchronization technology to analyze and understand the actual content (spoken words) of an audio/video file.
Greg Sterling, senior analyst with the Kelsey Group, told TechNewsWorld that Blinkx has an opportunity to innovate its way into a leadership position in the multimedia search space where AOL, Google and Yahoo are building out services — or perhaps get acquired by one of the larger online or offline media players.
“The danger for Blinkx’s competitors is that if it does establish something really unique and draws a lot of users, it could take a leadership position in this multi-media search space,” Sterling said. “In the same way that you have multiple TV networks, there’s room for several competitors in this space. It’s not like it’s a winner-take-all phenomenon.”
With the number of consumers boasting broadband Internet connections still on the rise, rich media is finding its place as a welcome part of the Internet experience, according to analysts. Five million people tuned in to view AOL’s Live 8 broadcast on July 16, for example.
Early to Market
AOL demonstrated that rich media is a potentially lucrative marketplace and some would argue that it established itself as the leader, but analysts said the market is still not mature.
What is clear is that brand marketers are beginning to seek out online users more aggressively. Video search and rich media online represent advertising and marketing opportunities that are often more targeted than traditional broadcast networks can offer.
“If Blinkx continues innovating and manages to get a lot of usage, it could capture some significant advertising revenue over time,” Sterling said. “The old days of having millions of viewers exposed to the same ad at the same time on a broadcast network are over. What’s left is a complicated situation with many more targeted opportunities.”