Extending Search to TV programs…
Google and Yahoo are introducing services that will let users search through television programs based on words spoken on the air. The services will look for keywords in the closed captioning information that is encoded in many programs, mainly as an aid to deaf viewers.
Google’s service, scheduled to be introduced today, does not actually permit people to watch the video on their computers. Instead, it presents them with short excerpts of program transcripts with text matching their search queries and a single image from the program. Google records TV programs for use in the service. Google’s vice president for product management, Jonathan Rosenberg, said offering still images was somewhat limited but was a first step toward a broader service. “The long-term business model is complicated and will evolve over time,” Mr. Rosenberg said. Eventually, Google may offer video programming on its site or direct people to video on other Web sites. But for now, the issues relating to the rights and business interests of program owners are very complex, he said.
A Google spokesman, Nate Tyler, said the service would include “most of the major networks,” including ABC, PBS, Fox News and C-Span. Mr.Rosenberg said Google did not think it needed the permission of network and program owners to include them in the index but would remove any program or network if the owner requests it. He declined to discuss any business arrangements between the program owners and Google.
Brian Lamb, the chief executive of C-Span, said he met with representatives of Google and approved of their service but no money changed hands between the two organizations. Yahoo introduced a test version of a different sort of video search last year, available from a section of its site, that lets users comb through video clips from various Web sites.
Today, Yahoo will move the video search to its home page. In the next few weeks, it will introduce the ability to search the closed-captioning text for programs from some networks, including Bloomberg and the BBC. Unlike the Google service, Yahoo’s offering will let users watch 60-second video clips. David Ives, the chief executive of TV Eyes, which is providing that part of Yahoo’s service, said some broadcasters were paying to have their programs included in the search. In other cases, he said, the broadcaster and TV Eyes will split revenue from advertisements placed next to the video clips.
…Fascinating stuff. Maybe here’s the simple answer to the question “where will broadband content come from?” Search for Tulsi spouting some moral lesson and watch endless reruns of Kyunki Saas bhi…What an idea. 🙂 Of course, closed captioning does not exist in India.