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AP Launches Video Hub for News Sites

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It's taken the Associated Press a little time, but it's finally learned that video isn't just for broadcasters, anymore. Prior to today, it only offered its video news clips by satellite, perfect for television news programs but not ideal for websites. With video exploding on the web, newspapers and bloggers wanted easier access to AP clips. That's why AP has just launched the AP Video Hub, a simple self-service site for accessing AP's world-spanning content.

Launching in beta, the Video Hub offers news, entertainment, and sports raw high-definition video. The hub was in development for 18 months, and comes out of AP's London office, AP's video home for the past 15 years.

Responding to customer requests, the Video Hub emphasizes three features, says Sue Brooks, AP's director of video transformation: speed of delivery, ease of use, and breadth of content. News sites want fast access, as they're competing with television broadcasters. Unlike those broadcasters, however, video isn't their core competency, so ease of use is crucial. Finally, since news sites often don't have content management systems to archive video, they need AP to offer breadth in its footage so they can assemble a comprehensive report.

Customers who sign up for the Video Hub can even get help tracking a story. AP will send them alerts via email or Twitter about topics they're following so that they'll know when there are new video assets.

Video resources on the hub are organized by story topic, so that it's easy to see all of the content for a story. Clips can be downloaded with one click. AP adds about 10 hours of video footage each day, says Brooks, delivered as 60 to 80 clips. The hub will store breaking news for 48 hours and featured news for longer.

Access to the Video Hub is available by subscription. Pricing is determined by several factors, including who and where the news outlet is, and how they'll use the video.

"I generally think it's moving the goal posts for the consumption of video online and making it easier for these new video customers to access and use our video than it ever has been. It's giving them the ability to add depth and content to their reporting by accessing archived and breaking news on the same platform at the same time," says Brooks, calling this an industry first.

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