Tuesday, April 19, 2005

AP Shifts Pricing to Charge for Online Content Repurposing

As noted by AP via numerous outlets online...well, that kind of says it all right there, doesn't it? The AP's move to charge news outlets for online use of its content is a fairly neutral move from a revenue standpoint, given how they're restructuing short-term membership fees to accomodate the move, but it's a clear statement to its membership that it needs to play on a level playing ground online with member outlets and highly successful portal outlets for its content such as Yahoo! News. In broader terms its a recognition that news aggregation is taking on new forms online, with its member news organizations having to play less exclusive roles for distribution via search engines and feed aggregators and more inclusive roles for content sourcing from suppliers other than AP. AP is in a very interesting position in the rapidly evolving landscape of news generation, playing a powerful role as a value-add aggregator and distributor of news content while trying still to service news organizations that are struggling to find the most effective positioning for their content and ads online. It's far from clear that the AP will be able to manage this role indefinitely without broadening the range of sources that it manages and considering other revenue sources, but in the meantime declaring online use as a key revenue stream is an overdue recognition that AP's future lies with online distribution.
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