AP Takes the Lead in Monetising Mobile Media

The Associated Press is to oversee the creation of an organisation to help newspapers and broadcasters generate funds as more and more people get their news from mobile phones and other wireless devices.

The project was announced by AP CEO, Tom Curley, at a newspaper convention in the States, and indicates that AP, which is the world’s oldest and largest news cooperative, intends to play a leading role in tackling the problems experienced by long-established media organisations that have been unable to capitalise on the growth of the internet.

The project will see the creation of a digital rights clearinghouse which will help the news media protect their content and generate more revenue as fast-developing technology hatches new channels for distributing the news they produce. 
At the same time, for its member news organisations, AP is also expanding development of apps and content modules for the growing array of handheld devices, from mobile phones to tablets such as the the iPad, helping newspapers and broadcasters tap into the digital explosion.

“Weve stood by while others invent creative, new uses for our news and reap most of the benefit,” Curley told the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association in Austin, Texas. “The digital marketplace is on the cusp of an even bigger phase of growth on new platforms and devices… We have arrived at a moment of significant opportunity.” 

Under the rights clearinghouse plan, AP, together with other news organisations, would establish an independent entity which would provide rights clearance and privacy tools; a variety of ways to license content from publishers; and media intelligence services that would give insights to businesses about the consumption of news content.

The clearinghouse will use AP News Registry – a tagging system developed by AP which allows participants to tag, track and measure use of their content online. As well as detecting unauthorised use of content, the registrys tagging system can provide useful information about who is viewing specific content, or the frequency with which specific information is mentioned. AP says the clearinghouse could be in operation by the end of the year. As yet, no chief executive has been appointed.

More than 70 AP member newspapers and broadcasters have already gone live with smartphone apps developed by AP, in conjunction with Verve Wireless. AP also is working on iPad apps. Both leverage AP’s own award-winning AP Mobile platform, which provides a complete content publishing and advertising system with no upfront development expense. AP notes that it is the only news organisation providing white-label apps that leverage a common content management system for all brands of devices.