Associated Press Launches Video Delivery Service

a222p.jpgChristmas has come early this year for subscribers of The Associated Press, which just launched its new video delivery service. Now broadcast clients can have AP receive videos directly to their email through a Media Port file-based service.

No word yet on what sort of video service these files will be playable on, but our guess is that they will be non-embeddable, considering the AP’s recent reluctance to have its copyrighted material used by other blogs or news sources. (We put in a query to the AP.) In fact, that may be the underlying purpose of the AP Media Port delivery service: to keep the Associated Press video content kept between the AP and its subscribers, without the hassle of it being uploaded and stolen by a third-party news distributor.

Full press release after the jump.


AP Press Release

The Associated Press launches file-based video news delivery

The Associated Press (AP) has announced the launch of a file-based video news delivery service, providing broadcast customers with a modern delivery platform that better integrates with their digital newsroom production systems.

AP Media Port will allow customers to receive video news stories as separate digital files, which will be dispatched to the client as soon as each story is ready. This means clients will no longer need to record stories from AP’s Global Video Wire feed based on a 24-hour bulletin schedule.

“By introducing AP Media Port delivery, our clients will find it even easier to integrate AP content into their digital workflows,” said Nigel Baker, vice president of business operations for the AP. “They’ll also be able to identify the footage they need much faster,” he added.

The service has already been installed at 40 customer locations and will eventually roll out to 800 sites. Until then, AP will continue to operate both delivery systems, allowing clients who have not yet switched over to the Media Port to use the traditional method of recording content from the Global Video Wire.

The project was piloted in 2008, with customer feedback shaping the direction of the service. It involved building a head-end production system in London, which transmits high-resolution video files over the AP’s satellite network. A receiving device called AP Media Port server also was developed.

The Media Port server is a customized high-end server installed in customer data centers. It captures and forwards the video files to the customer’s production system. Video editors at the customer location can access AP content on the Media Port server through an intuitive Web browser interface that was designed by AP’s editorial, business and software development teams. It includes many features that were influenced by feedback from customers who participated in a one-year pilot version of the service.

The server has a unique “backhaul” function that automatically resends videos that were missed by the customer (often before a customer knows a file is missing). This feature all but eliminates the need for time-consuming file retransmission requests which have historically been managed over the phone or via e-mail. The servers are accessible remotely by the AP, allowing it to monitor their health and install software updates as needed.