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The Beet on AP’s Video Dreams

Did anyone notice the video post on Beet.TV yesterday? If you didn’t, take a look. My buddy Andy Plesser, whose Walter Mittyesque existence waivers between PR man and vlogging crusader, caught up with The AP’s head of global broadcast strategy Jim Kathman.

Kathman (exclusively) outlined the partnership between the world’s largest news organization and Microsoft in the development and current beta testing of an online video platform that enables thousands of U.S. newspapers, television and radio stations to upload, publish and monetize locally-created video. Some excerpts:

“The new system is in beta tests with some 30 newspaper publishers and broadcasters including The Miami Herald, the Houston Chronicle and the Rocky Mountain News. The program will go live in about 30 days.”

“The program currently…involves a much bigger pie: it’s the 7,000 newspapers, television and radio stations that are affiliated with the Associated Press and who will create their own content, locally. The clips will be staff and user-generated video.”

“Beet.TV has learned that the AP will stream about 7.5 million clips this month. CPM (cost per thousand views) is above $20. MSN has sold pre-roll ad inventory on the network to national brand advertisers including GMC, GE, Proctor & Gamble and Netflix.”

Wow! 7.5 million clips?

“The AP projects that as many as 50 percent of affiliates, or some 3,500 local news organizations, will eventually participate in the new video program.”

Talk about taking APTN to the next level! Gee, I remember being surprised by the news of The AP’s acquisition of Worldwide Television News (WTN) to form APTN. In so doing, AP declared that it was taking video news production and distribution (via satellite) seriously. (No significant broadband penetration back in 1998.)

So what does this mean for us lowly PR types? All I can say is that if digital video is destined to dominate, The AP’s ubiquitous network of subscribers makes the once staid wire service a force to be reckoned with.

(Also, it’s nice to know that much of the video content appearing in our local news outlets will have the journalistic imprimatur of The Associated Press, albeit, as some gripe, with IE Explorer required.