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AP’s Stream Dream

Later this year, the Associated Press will offer a video-streaming service for its TV, radio and newspaper members. The goal is to give members a simple way to offer video streaming on their Web sites. AP Broadcast VP Jim Williams discussed the service with B&C’s Ken Kerschbaumer.

What will this service mean to your members?

Broadband penetration right now is at a tipping point. Our strategy is to provide a complete turnkey solution that includes all of the technology a member would need to roll out a Web-based video service.

The player will be branded in their name, and we’ll pay for the hosting and streaming of the content, plus provide the national and international content. If the member wants to upload local content or advertising, that’s their choice.

With streaming products from CNN, CBS, ABC and others, there is plenty of news content out there. Why is this important now?

Those three organizations are actually very important members to us, and they rely on our text and our video. But there are a lot of media companies that have not offered video on their Web sites yet, and now they’ll be able to.

Why haven’t they yet?

A lot of them haven’t been able to get into video streaming because of copyright issues. But because we own all the copyrights, they won’t have those problems. Our customers will be able to migrate into the multimedia business more easily.

AP is known for its international video coverage. Will you expand your presence in the U.S.?

We have video crews in five cities, but we have 144 bureaus in the U.S. So we’ll leverage and invest in that infrastructure, and we’ll have more breaking news and live reports from journalists in our bureaus. We’ll also use the relationships we have with 900 local TV newsrooms.