EveryZing Is Turning Up Searches for NBC

Today, EveryZing signed an agreement with NBC Universal’s Peacock Equity Fund worth $3 million that will see the universal search firm powering the search behind the broadcaster’s video content.

NBC’s contribution is part of an $8.25 million investment in EveryZing with BBN Technologies, Fairhaven Capital, Accel and General Catalyst. Today’s agreement is seen as a way of better leveraging and making NBC content more discoverable in search engines and within the domain.

The pay-offs are obvious if NBC manages to pull in a sizable piece of the online ad market. Though recently showing some weakness, online ad revenues were worth $23 billion in the fourth quarter of 2008, according to the Interactive Advertising Bureau.

“The big challenge that professional broadcasters have specifically is that they have lots of premium content, but they’ve had a difficult time getting it consumed where it should,” says EveryZing CEO Tom Wilde. “That’s where the interest is coming from. Speech-to-text is one approach to doing that.”

As part of the agreement, EveryZing will integrate its full solution suite—MediaCloud, ezSEO, ezSEARCH and MetaPlayer—into NBC’s Media Works platform. EveryZing’s solutions will then take NBC’s online audio, video, and text from television networks that include CNBC, Bravo, Sci-Fi, and Telemundo, owned/operated stations, and digital media properties like iVillage and NBC.com, and render it searchable. According to Wilde, EveryZing’s partnership with NBC is not focused particularly on any of its verticals and applies to all content.

So far, the roll out has been confined to a few lifestyle channels that cater to pet and health interests, but a deployment with CNBC is expected in a few weeks.

The announcement of the partnership today represents a year’s worth of negotiations and arrangements. According to Wilde, one of the biggest challenges facing EveryZing was getting a “reasonable sized education across NBC, getting them to buy in and understand it.” When it came to the deployment itself, he found no hitches to speak of.

EveryZing’s NBC Universal partnership follows a similar deal between Nexidia and MSNBC made public in January. Drew Lanham, Nexidia’s vice president and general manager of media, then said that Nexidia would be responsible for making all of MSNBC’s content searchable, as well as that of NBC proper, NBC Sports, and even CNBC.

Lanham writes in an email today that “MSNBC is still an active Nexidia customer and [the EveryZing deal] in no way impacts their business with Nexidia.”

Given that NBC seems to be contracting two firms to do the same, if not very similar, work, it might be possible that the broadcaster does not want to rely on a single vendor, particularly given that the technology is new and untested at this scale and in this space. Moreover, even the $3 million invested in EveryZing is still only a fraction of what NBC is thought to have already invested in its partial stake of Hulu, a company valued at $1 billion in October of 2007.

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