TR: How does Blinkx work with video sharing and user-generated sites like YouTube and YouAreTV?SC: Blinkx indexes all the content available on YouTube and YouAreTV and makes it fully searchable. When users click through the results, they’re taken to the appropriate site.
TR: Would P2P file distribution of video present a challenge for Blinkx search?
SC: No, it wouldn’t. Today, Blinkx has avoided heavy indexing of P2P networks because most of the content being swapped is illegal. But ultimately, it’s just another distribution mechanism, and if you still need search, you still need Blinkx.
TR: What is Blinkx’s revenue model given that all the video on the site is free? Explain, for example, Blinkx’s revenue-sharing deal with ITN.
SC: The partnerships with ITN, Lycos, Microsoft, and StudyBuddy are all licensing deals. The terms of the deals vary by partner–they’re all very different–and we’re not currently disclosing specific terms.
TR: Who funded Blinkx?
SC: Blinkx is funded by angels. We’ve raised about $12.5 million so far.
TR: Why did you prefer angel investors? What’s wrong with VCs?
SC: We didn’t have an aversion to VC funding per se. It was more that, at the time we were raising money, it was a bad time to get money for Web video, and the consumer Web was seen as unsexy back then.
TR: BlinkxTV seems extremely interesting. Does it do more than draw in content from outside the Web? How does it fit into Blinkx’s broader corporate goals?
SC: Blinkx is focused on Web video because it’s what’s cool and available. Longer term, we’re already working on IPTV and mobile video. One day, we believe that your TV remote control will be powered by Blinkx.
TR: What on earth is nowthen.com, your cell-phone-photo-sharing site, all about? How is that related to your other work?
SC: Great question! It started off as a boring productivity tool we used internally. With engineers on different continents and time zones, we found it was very helpful for collaboration and also for maintaining a sense of being connected to one another. People are just much better at understanding things visually. After a while, it became this incredibly addictive tool for staying in touch with friends and family across the world, and we realized that other people might want to use it. So it started off as a work thing, and we realized we might be on to something when my mum started watching it.