Video search engine Blinkx is launching its own Internet TV service called BBTV. It features an impressive set of functions including the ability to surf the web within full-screen video, as well as jump around using keyword search for specific dialog. Unfortunately, this service seems at least as dead-in-the-water as Joost, because it requires a software download, and starts out with a limited catalogue of TV and indie film. Another strike: no Mac version.
The service, which like Joost runs on a peer-to-peer network, will have a smattering of niche content at launch, including indie films from Dogwoof Pictures, Gateway Films and Playboy Networks. Blinkx of course says there many, many content deals to come.
Setting aside the appeal of BBTV to consumers, which seems limited at least at launch, Blinkx has some pretty extraordinary speech-to-text technology that creates a searchable transcript of video in real time. This allows advertisements to be targeted to certain keywords in BBTV, a feature Blinkx has already achieved with its video ad network AdHoc, which targets text ad overlays within video.
But advanced advertising won’t matter much unless people are watching BBTV. And there’s not much to see there. If you want to want TV shows on the Web, head to Hulu.
As long as it’s around, that is. It’s still unclear how Hulu, and all the other video aggregators laboring under huge bandwidth costs and little revenue will survive. Blinkx doesn’t appear to have an answer to any of this, either. But plenty of big video players that already have lots of users would love to have Blinkx’s search and ad-targeting capabilities.
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