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blinkx Launches Advert Revenue Sharing Tool

LONDON -(Dow Jones)- Video search engine company Blinkx PLC (BLNX.LN) Wednesday launched a new technology aimed at paying customers for embedding video clips into their websites and blogs.

Blinkx, which spun off from Autonomy Corp (AU.LN) in May, says it will give 50% of the revenue it generates from context-relevant advertising to customers that embed clips from sites such as YouTube and Google Video.

The joint San Francisco and Cambridge, U.K.-headquartered firm is looking to profit from video advertising spending, which research firm eMarketer estimates will top $3.1 billion in the U.S. alone by 2010.

People wanting to sign up to the scheme will have to register on Blinkx AdHoc, an advertising platform which it believes will become as important as Google Inc.‘s (GOOG) AdSense technology that is used for text-based search.

Blinkx, which listed on London’s Alternative Investment Market in May, has indexed more than 14 million hours of news, music and TV content from the internet, having struck deals with more than 200 media partners.

“Many of the viewings of video content are happening on secondary sites, such as blogs and personal websites. But today these people that are responsible for a lot of the distribution are not getting rewarded at all,” said Blinkx Chief Executive Suranga Chandratillake, in an interview with Dow Jones Newswires.

Chandratillake added that the new scheme was a way of extending its advertising reach beyond large media agencies, to bloggers and website owners.

“If it does well and a lot of people adopt it then we get a massive network of players to advertise against,” he said.

Since its May IPO, Blinkx has inked a number of deals to provide video search technology for RealNetworks Inc’s (RNWK) RealPlayer, as well as internet search engine companies including (IACI), Microsoft Corp.‘s (MSFT) MSN and Time Warner’s (TWX) AOL.

When questioned as to whether Blinkx was a potential takeover target for a company like Microsoft or Google wanting to enhance their own video-search presence, Chandratillake said that the company has talked to a number of “large players” who have expressed an interest. He declined to say whether the discussions had taken place pre- or post-floatation.

“There’s definitely been a lot of interest,” said Chandratillake.

However, he added that Blinkx could profit more by remaining independent and selling its technology to multiple outlets, in the same way Google has with text-based search.

“Video search is an area that has some way to go. Unlike video hosting, if you look at search it’s not in a consolidation stage at all,” he said.

“We see a lot of value remaining independent during that period, but we’re a public company now so we do what’s in the interest of our shareholders,” he said.

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