US internet giant America Online has joined the scramble to offer video downloads with the purchase of a startup video search firm.

Californian Silicon Valley-headquartered Truveo, founded just two years ago, has developed a 'crawling' technology that allows it to find web video content which is invisible to conventional web spiders. Financial details of the agreement have not been divulged.

The number one US internet portal, which recently inked a controversial $1 billion (€844m; £569.99m) deal that transfers five percent of itself to online search behemoth Google [WAMN: 21-Dec-05], says the acquisition of Truveo will enhance its AOL Video Search launched last June.

AOL is following an increasingly well-trod path as consumer interest in video search grows. Google has launched a pay-TV Video Store service [WAMN: 10-Jan-06] and Apple has announced it is expanding its video offerings through its iTunes service.

Data sourced from Financial Times online; additional content by WARC staff