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Teletrax Keeps Global Eye on AP

Content tracking and monitoring firm Teletrax, a division of Medialink Worldwide, has won a multi-year deal from the Associated Press (AP) to track worldwide usage of the newsgathering organization’s video content.

Teletrax, which is 24% owned by Royal Philips Electronics, combines Philips’ digital watermarking technology with monitoring systems installed in local markets worldwide to track how video is used. The company already counts major U.S. broadcast networks ABC, NBC, Fox and CBS as customers, along with Reuters Television, the BBC and several large syndicators and direct-response advertising firms.

Teletrax’s technology embeds an imperceptible and indelible digital watermark into video whenever it is edited, transmitted, broadcast or duplicated. A global network of detectors then captures all occurrences of the embedded video being transmitted and generates tracking reports, which are delivered online in near real-time to each client’s custom-designed portal or in data file transfers.  Each client’s broadcast activity is updated dynamically, 24 hours a day.

AP, which distributes broadcast content via satellite through its video arm, AP Television News (APTN), has been using Teletrax’s monitoring service on a month-to-month basis for the past couple years, says Teletrax president Andy Nobbs, and is now making a long-term commitment. Terms of the multi-year deal were not disclosed, though Nobbs says Teletrax will be monitoring AP’s content in as many as 50 countries.

APTN has 83 full-time video bureaus in 67 countries, and delivers 16 digital feeds a day, including more than 400 minutes of self-shot material. Srinandan Kasi, vice president and general counsel for AP, says the Teletrax technology allows AP to monitor unlicensed use of its content as well as analyze what stories proved most popular with its customers.

“It gives us a measurement and an understanding from a licensing standpoint, of how our content is being utilized,” says Kasi, who adds that AP is also independently working to track usage of video it distributes online.

“We’re trying to implement automated tools to track usage across content types and across formats,” says Kasi.

Teletrax, which to date has focused on the usage of broadcast video, is also exploring how its technology might transfer to online video, says Nobbs.

“It is exercising a fair bit of brain power at the moment,” he says.