[Image and video search]

Pixsy was a multimedia search engine for image and video search. The Seatle and San Francisco based search engine worked from 2005 to 2008. Pixsy was developed by Chase Norlin and Rich Lerz. In addition to its own site, Pixsy provides image and video search for many other search engines such as video search for Mamma and video and/or image search for Veoh, Lycos, PureVideo and National Lampoon.

Language English

Launched 2005
Closed 2008

Developer Norlin, Chase and Rich Lerz

Country of Origin US America

2005 - 2008 Pixsy Inc

Topic Multimedia Search

Region No Limitation

Technical functionalities
RSS-based Search

Used SeEn Pixsy

Older Version Internet Archive / WebCite

Richmond, Will (May 29, 2008): »Pixsy has three key differentiators: First, it's purely focused on the B2B white-label opportunity, eschewing the destination site route. Pixsy only wants to power other sites' search capabilities as a white-label provider. Second, in addition to video search, Pixsy also does image search, which Chase believes is actually the fastest growing part of the search market. Being able to offer image search broadens Pixsy's value proposition to partners, driving enhanced monetization opportunities. Third, Pixsy doesn't seek to have the broadest index, rather it seeks to balance the breadth of its index with having the most current results. It uses RSS feeds, not web crawlers, to build its index and focuses mainly on current events categories like news, sports and entertainment. Clearly having the most up-to-date results in these kinds of categories is a real plus. Pixsy's approach seems to be paying off, as it is now powering video and/or image search at sites including Veoh, Lycos, PureVideo, National Lampoon and others. This morning it's also announcing a deal with, the web's largest massive multiplayer online role playing site. Pixsy works with a number of business models. Sites generating anything under 10K search queries per month can freely use Pixsy's API. Above that volume, Pixsy licenses its index with about a third of partners selling their own ads, and the other two-thirds relying on Pixsy to sell the ads alongside the search results. As Google and others have shown, search results are extremely monetizable. Based in Seattle and San Francisco, much of Pixsy's team comes from Microsoft and ValueClick. Considering it has been around for about 2 years, has only 15 employees and has raised just an angel round, Pixsy seems to show that the barriers to entry for savvy video search startups can be relatively low. With so many other video search players, I anticipate the category is going to remain fragmented and chaotic for some time to come.« Source

Stern, Allen (October 2nd, 2006): »How did you come up with the idea for Pixsy? PixsyChase: We really anticipated that the web would become a visual medium. A year or two ago we had insight that there would be a ton of video and audio content especially in the user-generated area. The business goal we set out was to build the largest photo and video thumbnail index on the web. Very much like a Google except that we are all about photo and video content and we call that visual search or media search. We think that is very powerful because it is an area that has not received a lot of innovation from the big search engines. And image search is the fastest growing search vertical on the web. If you check any search engine, it is always the 2nd tab. It is because it is incredibly powerful and one of the favorite consumer activities. We took a different approach than most others in this space. We are in turn focused on distribution. We are about powering as many photo and video search engines online and could be as big as ESPN down to an individual MySpace user. The content can be completely customized to any site. So it is very powerful for a publisher or partner because they basically get it at no cost and it is generating a ton of new search activity and advertising revenue for that partner.« Source


Critical points

Features & Functionality

Pixsy (2007): »Pixsy is a media search platform that powers private label photo and video search engines for websites. Photo and video content across the web is aggregated in the form of thumbnail images and is organized within the Pixsy index using proprietary technology. The content is then distributed via media search. Content providers benefit from the syndication of their thumbnail images as a tool to acquire free traffic. Website publishers benefit from new search activity on their site, unique photo and video content, and new targeted ad inventory. The Pixsy index is populated with the latest photos and videos from RSS feeds, enabling us to deliver the freshest content available on the web, as well as media material crawled from the web. Traditional image search engines take a mathematical approach to search, with the focus entirely on relevance. Pixsy has a flexible search capability, allowing for search of photos and videos by relevance, category, provider, media type, and freshness. Pixsy has offices in San Francisco, CA and Seattle, WA and was founded by a team of engineers and business leaders hailing from Microsoft and ValueClick.« Source


References & further Publications

Wikipedia (EN): n.a.
Wikipedia (Others): n.a.

Other Sources

Stern, Allen (2006): Interview with Chase Norlin, CEO, Pixsy. Online available at Center Networks. URL:
Davids, Irene (2007): – Search Millions of Photos and Videos. Online available at KillerStartups. URL:
CrunchBase: Pixsy Image Search URL:
Stern, Allen (2009): Anyone Know Where Pixsy Has Gone? URL:
Pixsy in the News (2008) URL:
Pixsy in the News (2005-2007) URL:
Pixsy Awards URL:
Irene Davids (Jul 22, 2007): – Search Millions of Photos and Videos URL:
Richmond, Will (May 29, 2008): Pixsy Zeroes in on White-Label Video and Image Search URL:

Created: 2013-02-18