Friday, February 6, 2009

Blinkx Goes Beyond Search, Redesigns Site to Unleash "Inner Couch Potato" With New Tools for Speech, Facial and Concept Recognition

Online video continues to experience tremendous growth and the quality and diversity of content has evolved significantly. Faster, more accessible broadband access is changing the way that people consume video online: watching video on the Web is no longer purely a “lean forward” experience driven by search; it has become closer to the TV experience, with users increasingly interested in casually surfing for video, or simply sitting back and watching.

In response to the shift in consumer behavior, Blinkx, the world’s largest video search engine, unveiled new functionality yesterday that puts all of its powerful technologies at the fingertips of users, unlocking new ways for users to search, explore and discover video on the Internet. The new Blinkx site features Inform me” for a roundup of the top news stories, “Entertain Me” for the most popular viral video, or “Give Me” to create a personalized channel. From the latest headline news stories about David Beckham’s wish to remain in Milan to funny skateboarding dog videos, Blinkx allows you to discover content and sit back, relax and enjoy.

“Every day, millions of people come to with a specific search in mind – looking for a particular program or video clip,” said Suranga Chandratillake, founder and CEO, Blinkx. “But increasingly, we’re seeing our audience use our site more like a TV: people want to sit back and be entertained, or use the information Blinkx can generate about a video to guide their browsing experience. With our new homepage, we’re offering a more enriched viewing experience for the Web’s vast array of video content.”

Leveraging patented concept clustering technology, Blinkx identifies the most popular entertainment clips and the most important news stories from across the Web to automatically create playlists for the respective buttons, so users can sit back and enjoy the video, delivered as a channel directly to their computers. Alternatively, by clicking on “More Information” at the bottom right-hand corner of the player, users can choose to explore the videos more actively, leveraging Blinkx’s patented speech, image, facial and concept recognition technology to guide their browsing.

Selecting “More Information” reveals the following unique functionalities:

- Speech tags: leveraging patented speech and concept recognition software, Blinkx technology listens to the speech track of a given video, identifying and extracting speech tags that represent key words and phrases spoken within the video. These tags complement text metadata tags, improving the description of the video and lighting up as the corresponding words are spoken in the video. The speech tags can be used to navigate – both within the video, allowing users to jump directly to the point in a video that a word is spoken, and also from the video, as a starting point to find other relevant videos. For example, a video about President Barack Obama’s inauguration might include speech tags such as “Barack Obama,” “oath” and “Lincoln Bible”. If a user were interested in learning more about the history of the Lincoln Bible, he could click on the speech tag to retrieve and explore more videos about the subject.

- Facial recognition: using its unique visual analysis capabilities, Blinkx automatically identifies and catalogs recognizable faces within a video. In the example of a clip of the inauguration of President Barack Obama, users would be presented with thumbnails of the different faces that appear in the video, including the President, the former President and the Chief Justice of the United States. If interested in a particular person in the video, users can simply click on the relevant face to jump directly to the scene that features that individual.

- Scene change analysis: by watching each video frame-by-frame, Blinkx can detect scene changes and match videos that share similar visual components. For example, news videos on the presidential inauguration might come from different television networks, but if they share similar scenes from the event, then Blinkx presents the videos as a set of related results. In addition, the scenes of each video are shown as a storyboard, allowing a user to track, visually, where they are within a video – these scenes can also be used as chapter anchor points, by clicking on one, the user is taken directly to that scene.

With the addition of these new browsing options, Blinkx now offers users the most effective, interesting way to search, discover and explore online video – from news to entertainment to their favorite TV shows – all through a single destination. Visit to start watching now.

According to Ryan Lawler at Contentinople, "With the launch of the new site, Blinkx is suspending advertising on the site -- in particular the "Inform Me" and "Entertain Me" streams -- until it has gotten some real-world usage and the company is able to make a round or two of technical adjustments. Once that is done, however, the new channels should give blinkx some valuable new ways to target its users with advertising."

About Blinkx

Blinkx plc (LSE AIM: BLNX) is the world's largest and most advanced video search engine. Today, Blinkx has indexed more than 32 million hours of audio, video, viral and TV content, and made it fully searchable and available on demand. Blinkx's founders set out to solve a significant challenge – as TV and user-generated content on the Web explode, keyword-based search technologies only scratch the surface. Blinkx's patented search technologies listen to – and even see – the Web, helping users enjoy a breadth and accuracy of search results not available elsewhere. In addition, Blinkx powers the video search for many of the world's most frequented sites. Blinkx is based in San Francisco and London. More information is available at

The most recent reported figures that Blinkx announced at the end of September were the following:

  • Unique visitors up 106% year on year to 64 million and page views up 267% year on year to 668 million in September 2008 (source: comScore)
  • Daily Video Search run rate of over 7,000,000 per day in September 2008
  • Content hours increased 78% year on year, from 18.5 million to 32 million
As for monetization strategies, Blinkx monetizes through advertising and licensing their technology.