Where’s Our TV Guide for the Web?

There’s a lot of free video on the Internet these days, and you don’t need to go spelunking on BitTorrent to find it. But it’s not always obvious where to get high-quality versions of TV shows and movies. Between Hulu, Amazon, Netflix and many, many more sites, it would be nice if someone would come along and lay out our options in clear fashion.
This week, I talked to a couple newly launched and relaunched video discovery sites, so today, on the sad occasion of John Hughes’ death, I put a few of these sites to work to find where I could watch his generation-defining films online.
locatetvFirst up, a fellow from PayTV software provider NDS came by our office to show off a new web project. LocateTV, which just relaunched a couple weeks ago, is a free online interface that analyzes TV listings, online DVD stores and legal web stream databases so that users can track when their favorite shows, movies, actors and the like will be appearing in a format accessible to them.
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Business Model for Video Search: No Results

Video search company Blinkx announced tonight a “red-label” search product — which basically sounds like it’s making a self-service version of its white-label deals. The company will give free access to its search engine for sites with fewer than 10,000 searches per day, and ask partners with more searches to split ad revenue. It’s one in a long line of businesses for Blinkx.

Competitor Truveo, meanwhile, sent us an email about a month ago to tell us that it was “starting to monetize” for the first time by running ads. We were a bit taken aback — what had the company been doing to earn its keep for the last three years? It seems after it was bought by AOL it had become of a tech platform for its sugar daddy acquirer, helping power the portal’s video functions.

At one point some search licensing business deals were struck, but then about two years ago Truveo opened its API as a free resource. Since a recent relaunch as a destination video search site, traffic has grown nicely (especially internationally), so the company has just begun putting up advertising, according to Truveo president Pete Kocks. And silly me — I’d been following Truveo for all that time, but I guess I never noticed I hadn’t encountered a single ad.

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