Fox Interactive: We're Making Our Own Video Search Tool

News Corp.’s (NWS) Web group is building out its own video search tool, an exec told the McGraw-Hill Media Summit today.

Ron Berryman, who runs the Fox Stations Group at Fox Interactive Media, says FIM is building new search capabilities to supplement its current tools, which can only find video that has been labelled with metadata tags. Since there are only a handful of tags for each video, searchers often can’t find what they need.

It’s a common complaint among video execs: Yesterday a Google official said his company was trying to move beyond tag-based search for YouTube.

Berryman also said that while FIM is committed to streaming TV shows on the Web, right now it’s a money-losing proposition for the company: Streaming costs are too high, and there isn’t enough ad inventory to cover them, he said.

“Today you have just the pre-roll, mid-roll and post-roll,” he said. “If you stay in that mode it won’t work.”

“You can have 700,000 viewers, but if you’re only putting in five spots, the revenue, the CPMs, aren’t going to be there,” he said. “We are not making money on it today.” He added, partly in jest: “Rupert has given us 48 hours” to work it out.

Berryman predicted that streaming would remain unprofitable until the cost of distribution comes down to the 4 cent to 5 cent per stream range. He said currently FIM is paying 9 cents to stream a show, but didn’t specify what length he was talking about.

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