AOL / Truveo

America Online Inc. has acquired the video search company Truveo Inc. as it seeks to make online video offerings easier to find.

The acquisition announced Tuesday underscores the importance of video in drawing visitors to AOL's ad-supported sites, an important component in AOL's year-old strategy of emphasizing free content over its declining access subscription business.

Terms were not disclosed.

Online video is highly competitive, with Google Inc. just last week announcing plans to let content owners including CBS Corp. and the National Basketball Association sell clips through the search engine leader.

AOL and Google announced a partnership last month in which Google would, among other things, better integrate AOL's offerings in Google's fledging video service. That deal also involved Google buying a 5 percent stake in AOL.

AOL already has multimedia search technology from Singingfish Inc., a Seattle company the Time Warner Inc. unit acquired in 2003.

(c) AP