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Analysis for 'Associated Press'

  • Associated Press Migrates APTN Live Video News to Online Delivery

    The Associated Press and Streamworks are collaborating to migrate APTN Direct (Associated Press Live Television), a live video news service to online delivery. Until now APTN Direct has only been available via satellite, limiting subscribers to large broadcasters with satellite infrastructure. With the move, APTN Direct is poised to deliver live video news to any online/mobile publisher or platform looking to enhance their service offering with a live video news feed. Events range from breaking such as the Amanda Knox courtroom appeal or scheduled such as this past summer's British royal wedding.

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  • Associated Press Ratchets Up Syndication Efforts with thePlatform

    Another day, and another milestone reached in the market's ongoing embrace of video syndication.

    Yesterday's significant news was that the Associated Press, which has built arguably the largest private broadband syndication network, including over 2,000 affiliates which receive thousands of video clips each month, has signed up thePlatform to power its Online Video Network. The deal effectively replaces Microsoft, which has been AP's partner for OVN for the past several years. AP uses OVN primarily to feed daily video clips to its newspaper and broadcast partner web sites which it monetizes through ads. Yesterday I caught up with Ian Blaine, thePlatform's CEO to learn more about the deal.

    Ian explained that while the scale of AP's video syndication model is far more extensive than anything his company has supported in the past, thePlatform's ability to handle similar kinds of issues that AP faces was crucial in winning the deal. First and foremost is providing a workflow model that allows video assets to be ingested, encoded, tagged and distributed to the whole OVN in under 15 minutes. In the news business, obviously every second counts.

    Beyond workflow efficiency, Ian explained that AP has a dizzying set of business rules that apply to its syndicated video, depending upon the particular outlet. So AP producers also have to be able to expeditiously apply policies and track each video accordingly. AP is also enabling its affiliates to upload their own videos, which are melded with AP video in the affiliate's player. So that required some of thePlatform's tools to be extended to affiliates, along with some basic video player customization.

    The obvious question here is whether and when AP will extend OVN to the thousands of sites beyond its 2,000 current affiliates. Like Google Content Network which has virtually infinite end points, or even Anystream-Voxant which has 30,000+ publishing partners, why should AP restrict itself, particularly when news video is one of the hottest categories around? While hesitating to speak for AP's roadmap, Ian's sense was that AP first wants to master syndication to its own affiliates before considering opening up a full-blown video marketplace.

    As I've written previously, my enthusiasm for the Syndicated Video Economy is tempered by the reality that significant operational, financial and strategic friction still impedes the model. Coincidentally, late yesterday someone asked me:"How will this syndication friction be resolved and how long will it take?" My response: "I can't say how long it will take, but the more experience the broadband ecosystem gets with real-world syndication, the faster the model will mature." In this respect, partnerships between big content providers like AP and capable technology partners like thePlatform will help move the model forward for everyone.

    What do you think? Click here to post a comment.

     
  • Just Back From Digital Hollywood: Broadband Video’s White Hot

    Just back in from 2 days at Digital Hollywood. First, kudos to Victor Harwood for successfully expanding the conference to 2 adjacent hotels this time around. As always, it was a major schmooze-fest. Some quick observations: tons of energy, lots of networking and meetings, and many people trying to figure out how to turn ideas/technologies into real businesses.
     
    I moderated a session that should win an award for Clunkiest Title (see more about session here), but we had an standing room-only audience and all our panelists were fully engaged in a spirited discussion. (I certainly learned a lesson - don't bring up the whole "how's-broadband-going-to-connect-to-the-TV" discussion with only 10 minutes to go! Everyone has an opinion on that one.)
     
    Executives from 3 content providers (Showtime, IMG and Associated Press), plus 3 technology companies (thePlatform, Digital Fountain and Entriq) thoroughly hashed out everything from how distributors will distinguish themselves in the broadband era (answers included optimizing advertising, best user experience, most traffic, not possible) to how broadband-only content providers generate a following (viral distribution, building a brand, doing distribution deals) to what business model has the most potential (some agreement that ad-supported and paid will eventually both work, but that ad-supported is where much of the action will be for a while).
     
    It's just so fascinating to me how quickly we've moved from the "here's what I think's going to work" stage to "here's what is actually working" stage. While I'm fond of saying that the broadband video industry is still in the 1st inning of its ultimate evolution, there are already a lot of very solid lessons learned.
     
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