Delve Networks Un-Pluggd; Startup Relaunched as Video Search Provider, To Compete With Cambridge Companies

6/12/08Follow @wroush

Seattle-based audio and video search company Pluggd rebranded itself yesterday as Delve Networks and launched a video hosting and search technology that seems designed to compete directly with services from Cambridge, MA-based EveryZing. The development’s bicoastal impact was particularly interesting to us, given Xconomy’s impending expansion to Seattle (for more on that, watch this space over the weekend).

According to the Delve website, which went live Tuesday, the company will provide all of the software and hosting services that owners of video content need to set up their own Internet video channels, including a video library manager, a consumer video player based on Adobe’s Flex technology, and a tool for tracking viewership. That combination spurred TechCrunch writer Mark Hendrickson to describe Delve as a “full-blown Brightcove competitor,” referring to the Cambridge, MA-based video hosting company.

But video hosting, by itself, is a dime-a-dozen technology these days—the Boston area alone is home to several companies offering such platforms, including Brightcove, Maven, and Extend Media. What’s distinctive about Delve’s system is its so-called “Semantic Video Web” technology, which creates text transcripts from a digital video’s audio track. By running a search against this transcript, Delve’s software can find the moments in a video when the user’s search term is mentioned. It then directs the user to these locations in a video by transforming the time bar under the video into a “heat map” identifying the segments most relevant to the search term.

Delve’s video playerThe company also describes this technology as “Search Inside”—an echo of Amazon’s “Search Inside the Book” feature, which may not be accidental, given that CEO Alex Castro and several other Pluggd/Delve execs worked together in Amazon’s Web Services division. And helping Internet users search inside audio and video is a problem that lots of engineers have spent lots of time thinking about. (Indeed, Pluggd got its start in 2006 as a podcast search engine, and until last summer focused on audio files.) The theory is that if people have better insight into what online videos are about, they’ll watch more of them, and/or spend more time with each one—and both behaviors drive up page views and ad revenues.

All of which indicates that Delve should be viewed as a competitor for EveryZing rather than Brightcove or Maven. EveryZing’s entire business is built around using … Next Page »

Wade Roush is a contributing editor at Xconomy. Follow @wroush

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  • http://www.delvenetworks.com Alex

    Wade,

    Thanks for taking the time to look into what we are doing here at Delve. I’d be happy to talk to you about what we are doing in more detail.

    I’d have to disagree with Tom’s perspective on larger media companies needing a complete video platform. In fact, I’d argue that providing a more intelligent solution that incorporates the ability to look within video is a significant advantage over legacy solutions like EveryZing and Brightcove which offer customers silos of functionality.

    Alex Castro
    CEO and President
    Delve Networks