REDMOND/NEW YORK — Bing, the new search engine released this week from Microsoft, has an agreement with Hulu to surface and play videos on its site.
The site was launched on Monday.
Late yesterday we interviewed Stefan Weitz, Director of Bing in Redmond via video Skype. He spoke about Bing's integration with Hulu and plans to integrate it with other premium content producers and aggregates.
Stefan also addressed the issue of the the "moving thumbnails" and the question of fair use. Earlier this week, I reported that these thumbnails played full length and might be considered a violation of fair use. This is not correct, Microsoft has a technology which somehow samples segments from a clip and presents a short excerpt. I have amended my original post.
Not shown is the video is this important topic: I asked Stefan about how video producers can make sure to get their clips surfaced on Bing. He said that there is not a site map available but producers should contact Microsoft directly to get their content up and running.
Update: Hulu continues to grow quickly, according to comScore numbers released today.
Andy Plesser, Executive Producer
What follows is an automated transcript of the interview which has been edited for this page:
One of the cool things that I love personally with Bing is the smart motion preview. Which in the video search, when you the results back
you have the big grid on the screen of your results. If you simply mouse over, one of
those results will actually kick off a short preview of that result. So we
actually go to the video. And through some research that we've done in MS research, attempt to extract out the relevant parts of that video. So we try
not to just get the titles, for example, at the beginning because that's not very helpful. We try to
get in to see some action in the video. We take that, process it,
and then get ready so when the consumer mouses over, that video will actually launch a short preview, both of video and audio, of the video. So the
consumer can decide whether or not they want to make the click into the video site. It really is designed because you know so many of the clicks that consumers make on search engines today result in hitting the back button.
Well luckily I not
a lawyer but as far as fair use is concerned obviously Microsoft,
a big IP company, ourselves are very concerned with the rights of copyright holders. We…our legal folks have gone through this and looked at this and said that it's a small amount of the
overall video, and we believe we're respecting copyright owners' intellectual
property while giving consumers what they ask for and what they want, which is a better
way to search for preview videos so they don't make those back clicks.
As far as
advertisements on the content on our sites. A great example is again to go watch a Hulu clip,
example. You know, we play through the entire Google experience including the sponsership message at the beginning, etc. In some cases, content publishers
actually don't allow us to play the video in the in the Bing experience, and that's fine. We'll actually just tell the consumer to click here and they'll be taken off to
the appropriate player for that particular publisher. But I know, we obviously, we understand the need for copyright owners to get their information out there and so we're gonna let the ads play as they need to in order to
make sure those folks are obviously duly compensated for their work. The benefit
to Bing is that you can start right there on the Bing home page and you can type
something in like, "30 Rock"–one of my favorite shows that I use as my example
a lot because I love the show. So you can just type on the home page at Bing "30 Rock" and what you get back is, you know, the best match which tells you we think this is
the right site. On the left hand side you see all the scopes. You click on the videos and we actually
bring you that rich video experience. And what's really great with Bing is
that right from there you can filter down to just a Hulu publisher, and you
can filter down just to the long clips. And within a couple clicks after your
initial search, just your general search on the web for "30 Rock," within a couple of
clicks, you're able to watch the entire show right from the Bing experience.
Now of course that
required us to work with Hulu and make sure it was all fine with them as well, but that really enables the consumer to have a really easy, trustworthy experience
to get the content they want. And of course for all publishers that we work with, you know, to get their videos into Bing, you know, just the ability
to expose that content more broadly to consumers, to not require the consumers to
have to know different engines necessarily, but to be able to go to the place they are going already to do searches. And to be able to get access to that rich video content from across the web, you know, clearly has, I hope, positive implications
for publishers of content and great usability implications for consumers of the content.