Yahoo Beefs Up Video Search

NEW YORK Yahoo has introduced its video search engine with new content from television channels and film companies.

Yahoo Video Search, which was released in beta in December, now includes video clips from CBS News, Discovery Communications, MTV, Reuters and Buena Vista Entertainment. Yahoo is also accepting video feeds on its site for publishers to submit video for indexing. The index also includes Yahoo’s cache of video content, such as trailers from Yahoo Movies, music videos from Yahoo Music and content from partners like Mark Burnett’s production company.

Yahoo, Google and startups like Blinkx are racing to build video search engines that allow users to easily find Web videos. Yahoo and MSN have built up their online video offerings, and several online publishers, including ESPN.com, iVillage and Scripps Network, are rushing to put videos online now that 70 million homes have broadband, according to Yahoo’s estimate. Brand advertisers like Honda, Sony and Pepsi have been running online video ads.

The online video market is still in its infancy. In a poll of Internet users, the Online Publishers Association found that 53 percent of respondents would watch more Internet video if they could easily find it.

For now, Yahoo Video Search does not include advertising, returning only screenshots of the videos that link to the publishing site. By allowing direct access to videos, Yahoo is a step ahead of Google, which is indexing information on video content but does not allow users to play videos. It recently expanded the program by accepting video submissions that it will index.

Neither Yahoo nor Google disclose how many videos their search engines have compiled.