Posted in: Media Industry

AP tries to put itself between newspaper content swap deals

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The Associated Press (AP) has announced AP Marketplace, a new platform that offers AP content and more to AP members.

Marshall Kirkpatrick at ReadWriteWeb covers the content management aspects of the offering, describing it as an RSS reader type service for newsrooms, and PaidContent claims it’s in response to new competitors such as Politico. Both suggestions may hold some level of truth, but both miss the key line and what this is really in response to:

the Marketplace is built into AP’s innovative AP Exchange browser. It allows editors to search for AP stories, syndicated content and, now, content contributed by members.

and more (emphasis is mine)

Sharing regionally relevant and topical news is an area of great interest for many newspapers in many states, and the AP Member Marketplace is the fastest and most efficient way to make it possible.

and more

AP Member Marketplace provides the means for expansive cooperation among newsrooms. Newspapers in Florida have been using it to exchange stories of local and regional interest, for example.

and

AP Member Marketplace within AP Exchange takes the concept of the news cooperative in a new direction and gives members a competitive advantage on news of local or regional relevance.

Now lets flash back to The Inquisitr, September 10

the New Jersey’s Star-Ledger has published a full edition without using anything from AP, instead running lots of local stories and content from the Washington Post, LA Times, McClatchy, the Glouceseter County Times and Sportsticker.

and

What we are seeing is newspapers willing to work with one and other collectively to reduce costs by cutting out the middleman. A small start perhaps, but if it’s embraced, and newspapers realize that other papers aren’t their main threat, declining readership and subsequently revenues are, it’s the start of something bigger, and AP and Reuters are about to take a serious hit.

AP wants to put itself between newspapers that story share at a time newspapers are looking to cut costs by cutting AP and Reuters. In effect, AP becomes the ultimate middleman offering the best range of local content previously wasn’t available through AP, but would have been available through direct content swapping deals. By both offering the content, and tying up newspapers from doing direct deals themselves, AP’s overall product becomesmore appealing when newspapers consider dropping AP. Smart move from a company I noted in the earlier article isn’t completely stupid and who would fight hard to maintain its business. The CMS is the simply the window dressing, and Politico a bit player in what AP is thinking.

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