blinkx launches web TV links site
30 Jul 2008
By Jemima Kiss
Video search specialists blinkx will roll out a web search tool today that aggregates all the British TV shows legally available free online.
blinkx Remote indexes all the current shows from the broadband catch-up services including the BBC iPlayer, Channel 4's 4OD, ITV.com and Demand Five, allowing users to sort by genre and title or through a search field.
Suranga Chandratillake, the blinkx chief executive, said the service was plugging a gap between universal search and the rapid growth of web TV services.
"We constantly monitor video on the web to see what content people are finding and indexing, and what content people are looking for on a daily basis," Chandratillake said.
"One trend we spotted in both the UK and US is the growth of free online, full-length TV shows - in the UK that is driven by the iPlayer and in the US by Hulu.
"With normal search the results would be mixed up with clips, or videos people had made about shows and put on YouTube," he added.
Chandratillake said that blinkx wanted to keep its Remote search tool as simple as possible to use and so it will only index streamed content rather than downloads or subscription services with complex sign-up procedures.
blinkx does not have partnerships deals with broadcasters to operate the service, but uses publicly available programme data in the same way Google News indexes information from news sites.
The service indexes around 1,000 UK shows and between 300 and 400 from the US, although some US broadcasters, including CBS, allow their programmes to be viewed online in the UK.
"There is only going to be more and more TV on the web, but people don't often know what it out there," Chandratillake said.
He added that he would not rule out introducing a second tier of paid-for services at a later stage, adding that blinkx wanted to introduce a widget version of Remote so that users can customise listings around their favourite programmes and embed listings on their own site or social network profile.