Singingfish will reach out to consumers for the first time this week when it launches a revamped multimedia search engine on its Web site.
Singingfish, which until now has remained backstage and focused on licensing its technology to other companies, will move toward the spotlight to position itself as a player in the multimedia search space. The company intends to promote the search engine aggressively.
"We're introducing Singingfish as a destination site for the first time," says Karen Howe, Singingfish's vice president and general manager.
Singingfish wants to attract feedback from users and learn from usage patterns in order to take that insight and base multimedia search innovations on it, she says. "We want to push the envelope over what you can do with audio and video search," she says.
Singingfish has had a simple and unadorned search engine on its Web site for about four years, mostly for the benefit of potential clients interested in licensing the search technology, Howe says. Until now, the search engine wasn't designed to appeal to and attract consumers, although they could use it, she says.
In fact, the decision to give Singingfish an attractive and user-friendly interface and heavily promote it as a stand-alone multimedia search engine was made after seeing a significant spike in queries at the Singingfish.com Web site over the past year, Howe says. For example, a year ago, the Web site generated several thousand queries per day, but today it generates about 700,000 queries per day, she says. "The growth has been tremendous over the past year," she says.
This figure doesn't take into account the queries Singingfish technology handles for clients such as Microsoft and RealNetworks, which if counted would increase the volume to about 7 million queries per day.
Corporate clients include Singingfish's parent company America Online, Microsoft, and RealNetworks, each of which has implemented and customized Singingfish's multimedia search technology for its own purpose. AOL uses Singingfish technology to power the audio/video section of AOL Search, while Microsoft and RealNetworks use Singingfish technology to power audio and video searches in their respective media players and accompanying Web sites.
The search engine Singingfish will unveil Wednesday on its Web site will feature the ability to save searches and share them with others; a filter to exclude inappropriate content for children; and a variety of options for narrowing searches, such as limiting results to certain media formats or to certain categories, including music, movies, news, and radio.
"We changed the user interface pretty dramatically and added a lot more controls to the search experience," Howe says.
Singingfish has an index of more than 14 million audio and video files.