AOL Bolsters Video Offerings With New RSS Feeds

Still trying to fashion itself as a broadband video destination, AOL on Wednesday said it added several new RSS feeds to its video search engine including Forbes.com, PC World, and music video aggregator Blastro.com, among others. The new video RSS feeds will be accessible to users through AOL's video search engine, AOL Search, as well as through its Singingfish search property.

Other new RSS feeds will come from entertainment video site EVTV1.com, gaming video site GameTrailers.com, and three Time4 Media properties including Transworld Skateboarding, Transworld Snowboarding, and Transworld Surf.

AOL sees the broad array of video content partners, including those owned by parent company Time Warner, as critical to its efforts to compete against Yahoo! and Google for dominance in online video search distribution.

"Having good content partnerships, which is basically in our DNA, is crucial to success," Fred McIntyre, vice president of video operations at AOL, told OnlineMediaDaily upon the recent announcement of new AOL Video content partners including HBO and New York Times digital.

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AOL Video, the company's video-on-demand service, which was launched over the summer, allows subscribers as well as non-subscribers to search and play back over 15,000 licensed and originally produced videos from Time Warner, including TV programs and music videos, Warner Bros. movie trailers, and news clips from CNN and MSNBC, among other sources.

AOL plays back the content in a proprietary video player, but visitors don't have to download an application.

AOL's existing audio/video search engine Singingfish accompanies the service by directing users to content from across the broader Internet. Singingfish, which AOL acquired two years back, was never meant to be AOL's video offering for the mass market, said McIntyre.

Since making its content generally available on the Web last month, AOL has begun an aggressive bid for the broadest market possible in order to maximize ad revenue.

The technology for AOL Video includes speech-to-text processing that enables not only searches by title, description, and artist, but also searches for keywords within the body of video. The technology combines internal software developed by AOL and Singingfish, which specializes in scouring the Web for video and audio content and then pointing visitors to sites where they can play back the media.

Other AOL Video partners include MSNBC, NPR, Reuters, AtomFilms, CBSNews.com, and CNN, among others.

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