Yahoo has launched a movie search service in order to capitalize on the growing popularity of A/V content. Available at video.yahoo.com as of last night, the video search features a clean interface vaguely reminiscent of the updated Yahoo frontpage. You can discern the Yahoo-ness of the new service right away.
Google Video just dumps some videos in your lap and expects you to know what to do with them. Yahoo is driven by its users, and it shows in the organization of the new service. On the initial page, handpicked “featured” videos are the first thing you see, with “popular” content prominently placed as well. YouTube seems to prefer letting you build out a library of your own favorites, while Yahoo wants to show you what other users think you should see. Like I said, it’s the Yahoo way.
Okay, how about the search feature? Google Video only lets you search its own video library, so a search for “forsberg” brings in just four results. YouTube does better, bringing in 13 videos of sublime hockey dominance, again entirely from its internal collection. Yahoo pulls its content from other sites, and presented a much deeper pool of goodness, with 71 results. Some clips came from Swedish television stations, others from the Philadelphia Flyers site or various Forsberg fan sites, and the results were even topped off with links to Forsberg stats from Yahoo Sports and some memorabilia shopping from Yahoo Shopping. It’s all very slick, and smartly managed.
The videos are of varying quality, which makes sense since they’re created and hosted by various sources. It’s easy to e-mail or IM your buddies directly from the page if you find a video you think your friends should watch. You can save them off into your Favorites collection as wellâ€”and that list can be made public. All in all, it’s nothing groundbreaking, and features like YouTube’s tags are missing, but it’s very simple to use and the professional polish is impressive. YouTube has a good head start, but perhaps Yahoo Video can appeal to a middle-aged mass audience that YouTube can’t touch, and more competition is always welcome here at the Orbiting HQ.
News source: ARS TECHNICA