Reuters Inks AOL Video Search Pact

NEW YORK Reuters said it struck a distribution deal with AOL to make its news video clips available through AOL’s multimedia search engine.

Reuters’ business, fashion and sports news videos will be added to AOL-owned Singingfish, where users can search millions of audio and video clips, and AOL Search. Searchers see a screen shot and description of the Reuters videos, which direct them to Reuters.com.

Reuters’ videos are also available through Yahoo Video Search and fledgling search engine Blinkx.

With broadband now in half of U.S. households, news providers like The New York Times, CNN and Forbes are increasing the amount of ad-supported videos on their sites.

The audience for online video is still small, constrained in part by users having difficulty finding Internet video content, according to research. In a poll of Internet users, the Online Publishers Association found that 53 percent of respondents would watch more Internet video if they could locate it easily.

Yahoo, Google and AOL are building video search engines to distribute Web videos. Last week, Yahoo officially released its video search engine with new content from television channels and film companies.

“The challenge for news programmers is to make it easy for people to get straight to the video they want to see,” said Azhar Rafee, executive vice president of consumer service at Reuters, in a statement. “Search has a key role to play here as it has become one of the most common ways that people access online content.”

Last September, Reuters moved to increase its online ad revenues by ceasing to license full business and financial news articles to Web sites, a move designed to direct more traffic to Reuters.com.