According to comScore the average watcher of online video in the US took in 385 minutes-worth in April. And according to Nielsen, in May, “year-over-year, unique viewers, total streams, streams per viewer and time per viewer were up, led by a 49 percent growth in time per viewer.” The leading video site is Google/YouTube by a large margin with almost double the unique users of Fox Interactive Media, the next ranking US online video provider. After that it becomes much more competitive.
Against that backdrop of intense competition and increasing consumer demand for online video, AOL’s video search engine Truveo has relaunched on a global basis (17 countries).
Truveo began as a video search technology platform and was acquired by AOL in January, 2006. In August of 2007 it became a consumer destination site. The previous version of the site had a number of virtues (depth, global scope, organization) but also serious problems with usability. I wrote at the time:
The single biggest drawback to the site (esp. vs. YouTube) is the fact that many (though not all) of Truveo’s content partners contractually require that videos be served on their sites rather than on Truveo. Consequently a pop-up appears and you watch the desired video (and pre-rolls ads) on the partner sites (about 50% of the time in my quick testing). That creates a variable experience, which YouTube avoids by having everything play in a single, uniform player on its site.
Those problems have largely remedied with the new user experience though there’s still some unevenness. Yet one can watch many more videos on the Truveo site itself today; and where the engine is compelled to link to third party sites (i.e., no video embed code) Truveo frames the experience. Here are two viewing modes:
Among the improvements, there are also new user controls and filters to search or browse video by source or sort by popularity, ranking and recency:
There are also myriad full-length shows on the site. Overall this is a dramatically improved user experience and Truveo should see its traffic increase accordingly.
Truveo itself says that its global reach and the comprehensiveness of its video index — all the video is being crawled, there are no feeds or deals here — are what differentiate the site from competitors. AOL video remains a separate site with a different look and feel, though they share technology.
As part of the announcement this morning Truveo announced a deal to power video search on Univision Interactive Media’s online portal.