The Associated Press is planning a number of new initiatives in 2015 to help media organisations continue to focus on video as a primary storytelling tool. AP launched live video content on its AP Video Hub platform in 2012, which delivered 39 live events fourth quarter of 2013, growing to 125 live events in the fourth quarter of 2014, due to increasing demand.
To meet this, AP has added the ability for customers to simultaneously stream more than one event at a time, with a significantly wider content choice. The expanded streaming choice will cover more regional interest stories, from Papal visits to US politics and EU Summits; more technology events, including all the key annual shows; as well as more entertainment, culture and lifestyle content, AP promises.
“Live is starting to play a larger role within our customer’s editorial strategy and they want to include more of it in their site’s content – not just as a stand-alone concept but also to allow richer storytelling in other areas,” said Sue Brooks, director of international products and platforms for AP. “Not only does live content drive more traffic to a site but it also increases the time that the audience spends there, which is significantly longer than with static content.”
AP was the first news agency to launch a live news service, in 2003, covering the invasion of Iraq. AP’s live video service uses incoming material from AP’s fixed and mobile links around the world and delivers unedited breaking news video to broadcast customers via satellite and now streams to online customers via AP Video Hub.
“Live really came into its own in 2013 ahead of the birth of Prince George, when we streamed a shot of the hospital’s front door to many of the UK’s online newspaper sites who saw terrific traffic and engagement,” Brooks said. “Digital customers enjoy watching stories develop in real time – even if that takes days and sometimes weeks – and, since then, other extremely successful events have included the Oscar Pistorius trial, Hong Kong protests and Kobane coverage.”
Live content continues to be a key focus for AP investment and more developments will be announced in the coming months.