AP Launches MSN Ad-Supported Video Network

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The Associated Press, with the help of MSN Video, has launched an online video network. The streaming videos are supported by pre-stream advertisements, and appear in an MSN branded video player. Ads are handled by MSN. As a result, the videos are available to AP members and customers at no additional charge.

The video service went live just after midnight this morning and debuted with New Orleans and post-Katrina Marti Gras coverage. The AP plans to turn out about 40 video clips per day, covering the full range of news: national, international, tech, business and entertainment, and plans to cover the Academy Awards this week.

“Together [with Microsoft] we think that we can provide a service that gives websites, particularly radio and television websites, the ability to have a robust video report and give their readers and viewers and listeners a strong good visual experience, without the websites having to make a substantial up-front investment,” says Brad Kalbfeld, deputy director and managing editor of the AP’s broadcast division. He cites increasing demand for online video by people looking for news. Kalbfeld also says that publishers using the AP Online Video Network participate in revenue sharing.

The AP, which is one of the world’s largest newswire services with a network of 4,000 member websites, brought their initial video network offerings with an audience of more than 45 million website visitors. MSN Video expects the deal with the AP to expand the reach of their video ad network, with the hopes of eventually incorporating localized advertising. This is the first time MSN video has been syndicated on non-MSN sites.

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