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Search Roundup: Google As Entertainment Portal, and Alexa Web Services

A few sites are picking up the buzz that Google can now break out information in the music and movies space in their search results pages. You can search for "David Byrne", for instance, and above the web site listings will be broken out some additional information. Drill down, and see an album listing, with links to several online retailers including iTunes Music Store!  Very cool... hey, what if I drill down even further?  Wait a minute- links to lyrics sites? In light of Google's conflict with the publishing industry, this might not go over too well with music publishers, who are constantly trying to get lyrics web sites removed from the Internet.

Search for a movie, like Syriana, and you will be presented with local movie theatres and show times.

With Google being the search giant that it is, trying to become more like Yahoo! indicates that they are falling into the "me too" pattern. Can their huge valuation continue like it has?

Perhaps Niche players can take another shot here as well. Alexa, owned by Amazon, is opening up their entire search database via Amazon web services! Widely hailed as a game-changing move, I see this headed in one of two directions. One, that it might continue down the road of the other search API's- more and more useless after an initial period of cool applications being launched.

The more likely direction is that innovation will sprouting up and, due to the pricing model, Alexa continues to offer the services. Even computing time is being sold! The Alexa database could be mined in ways only limited by the imagination of whomever can pay to use it, and the rates seem reasonable enough that someone with a bit of capital could set up something very interesting. Since the Amazon Web Services platform has quite a bit of open code floating out there as examples of how to use it, I expect to see some very slick apps being developed on this platform. Social apps far beyond what I've suggested previously could emerge.

Posted on December 15, 2005 | Permalink | Tag this post with del.icio.us | This Post Now Lives Here


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