With video content becoming more prevalent and searched for, particularly with the continued penetration of broadband Internet access, search engines are in the process of trying to best facilitate video searching.
Yahoo has been a primary video search site, along with AltaVista and others. However, Google has been making major in-roads in providing video search services. Now, Lycos is trying to play catchup, utilizing Blinkx technology in the video search capabilities of the site.
According to the company's official announcement, they will be sharing all profit the video search generates with Blinkx as well. With the continued growth in importance of YouTube and other video sharing sites, the importance of providing compelling and easy search results rests increasingly on access to video content as well.
Again, it's important to realize how quickly technology is changing the way people use the Internet. When you had dial-up (and remember there are still plenty of people who can't have easy access to anything else), video downloads were really not a viable option, unless it was something you really want to see.
Now people are watching and sharing video clips, purchasing whole television shows and films online for download, and getting video hits galore (almost surely driven by the innovation and massive abundance of pornography video clips available online). But, even if porn is the innovator, it has led to the prevalence of video podcasts and even Web-only television shows and user-generated content at a continually increasing rate.
The drive to video is redefining what people want to see online, and everyone--from search engines to service providers--are trying to figure out what to do to accomodate it/profit from it. And, as broadband becomes even more prevalent over the next decade, these shifts are going to become even more pronounced.
The announcement by Lycos and Blinkx may be only a small symptom of this great change, but it's indicative of the changes that are empowering multi-platform distribution and a drive for the current convegence culture we are entering into.