Nexidia Bags MSNBC in Video Search Deal

Yesterday, Nexidia announced that MSNBC.com will be using its technology to render video content searchable.

So far, the deployment is limited, but is expected to expand. The first test comes with a series of presidential videos. Capitalizing on the interest generated around Barack Obama’s own inauguration today, the news conglomerate has digitized and made searchable a number of inaugural speeches since Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first in 1933, and enabled several sharing functions around them.

Nexidia has been targeting three key markets with its products: content creators and aggregators, tools vendors, and enterprise customers. It seems to be hitting its mark hard, too. Only last week, as Speech Technology reported, it announced that it would be enabling video search for Microsoft’s internal review system, Microsoft Speaks.

As Nexidia has looked to gain increasingly significant footholds in each of its target markets, it has been meeting with various representative firms, MSNBC among them. In discussions that have spanned the last year, Nexidia was able to convince MSNBC, with several proofs of concept, that it could provide the news media company with valuable services.

All of the video content created by and aggregated by MSNBC, NBC, CNBC, and NBC Sports will eventually be made searchable by Nexidia software—both at an editorial level and a consumer level—including Meet the Press, The Today Show, and a number of other popular news vehicles. The software will be responsible for automating video tagging. The tags, in turn, will be jump-to enabled. If the content is long form, for instance, a user will be able to see a timeline and jump to the point of interest relevant to her search. Users will also be able to generate playlists, hyperlink to video from text-based services, and generally disseminate content.

Nexidia sees the latter, especially, as a way for MSNBC to extend its already wide grip even further around the Web. As with this first batch of inaugural speeches, users will be able to define their own “clips” and then embed those “clips” in any Web site of their choosing.

“That really broadly syndicates the MSNBC content,” says Drew Lanham, Nexidia's vice president and general manager of media. “By making it that accessible and usable to the end user, I think they’ll broadly find it proliferates across the Web.”

That would certainly be welcome news for MSNBC as it looks to an increasingly competitive and stormy market for journalism. It’s also tremendous news for Nexidia.

“We have the number one content aggregator in terms of online news, MSNBC; we have the largest body of licensed media, which is Thought Equity; we have the number one software company in the world, which is Microsoft, using our technology; and we have the number one video editing company in the world, which is Avid, [also] using our technology,” Lanham says.

“When I look at the space of the people who work on video search, I think this is one of the largest announcements made to date,” he adds.

Perhaps that’s the case. Lanham reports that Nexidia is already seeing an uptick in interest around its products since the announcement—and even in other key markets apart from aggregated content.

“I’ve always thought it was time to go beyond metadata search,” Lanham says. “What’s the next step? I think this is the first next step.”

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