AP to expand its online video platform

Developed by MSN, new tools allow wire service affiliates to upload, tag, syndicate and sell local ads on their own videos.
Written by Candace Lombardi, Contributor
The Associated Press is rolling out a new version of its online video platform that will allow affiliates to upload, tag, syndicate and sell local ads on their own clips.

The new platform, developed by Microsoft's MSN, is currently in beta and will be released in about 30 days, both companies have confirmed.

The AP's current online video platform was customized by MSN from an existing one used at MSNBC. The new platform, however, uses technology developed specifically for the news wire service, according to Jim Kathman, AP's director of product management for global broadcast.

"In general what this really is, is a value proposition for the 1,500 media companies who have signed up to be network affiliates," Kathman said.

"Network affiliates will be able to upload their own local content. They may want to compliment a local news story, perhaps, like local high school sports. They will also have the option of selling local ads against it," he said.

Those affiliates will have the option of creating customized tabbed categories to fit their unique needs, in addition to the usual "World," "U.S." and "Science and Tech" categories for videos. Kathman said the feature will assist newspaper affiliates that feel they have a particular niche or specialty that doesn't necessarily get much coverage by other news outlets.

The new system will also take the Mozilla and Mac compatibility--added to the existing platform in September--one step further. Affiliates are currently required to upload two versions of the same video, one Windows Media file and one Flash file, so that it can be viewed by the different applications. An auto-encoding feature planned for release about 60 days after the initial rollout will make that unnecessary.

About two months after the new platform is released, local affiliates will also be given tools to sell ads against their video content, Kathman said.

MSN is developing a tool that will enable AP network affiliates to syndicate their videos, should they choose to do so, Kathman said.

News of the expansion was originally reported by Beet TV.

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