AP, MSN Fire Up Windows-Only Video Service

Microsoft and the Associated Press have officially launched their AP Online Video Network, an advertiser-supported Internet video news service built on Microsoft’s MSN Video.

Announced back in November 2005, the AP Online Video Network aims to provide video summaries of breaking news stories for Internet Web sites. The service will carry about 40 clips produced by the Associated Press every day, covering national and international news, technology, business, technology, and entertainment. According to the AP, the AP Online Video Network will reach a global audience of about 45 million users, and the clips will be available for free to AP members and other customers, with revenue generated by advertisements placed before and adjacent to the news clips in branded player windows. (Unlike many news organizations, the AP is a cooperative owned by U.S. news organizations rather than a news division of a larger corporate entity. It’s one of the world’s oldest and largest news organizations.)

MSN Video is supplying the networking back-end for the service, and the video will be delivered by Windows-only technologies built into Windows Media: users without Windows, IE6, Microsoft Media Player 10, and Flash 7 aren’t able to view materials from the AP Online Video Network.

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