Yahoo and AP Make a New Licensing Deal

AP-buildingThe Associated Press has signed a licensing deal with Yahoo Inc. that gives the news cooperative a steady stream of revenue at a time less money is flowing in from newspapers and broadcasters. The announcement by both companies Monday didn’t disclose the financial terms of the agreement, which allows Yahoo to continue posting AP content on its site. The AP says it is still negotiating to renew its online licensing agreements with two other companies with far deeper pockets, Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. Google stopped posting fresh AP content on its Web site in late December.

Stung by the AP’s first downturn in revenue in years, AP’s management has said the cooperative needs to make more money from the online rights to its stories, photographs and video as more people flock to the Web for information and entertainment. It’s unclear whether the AP achieved its financial objectives in the Yahoo deal.

Yahoo, based in Sunnyvale, Calif., described the AP as an important part of its efforts to keep its nearly 600 million worldwide users informed. “We look forward to continuing our long-standing partnership with AP for many years to come,” the company said in a statement.

The duration of the new contract wasn’t disclosed. Yahoo has been posting AP content on its site since 1998. Its Web site also relies on other services, including AP rival Reuters, as well as reporters that it employs. The formula has worked well for Yahoo, even as it has struggled in other key areas, such as Internet search and social networking. Yahoo pulls in the biggest U.S. Internet audiences in news, sports and finance, according to the research firm comScore Inc.

The not-for-profit AP finds itself at a critical juncture in its 164-year history because the Internet’s popularity is draining advertising revenue from U.S. print publication and broadcasters, which have been the AP’s traditional funding sources and still account for about 40 percent of the cooperative’s revenue combined.

The ad slump’s ripple effects have prompted the AP to reduce its fees from those outlets and cut its payroll costs by about 10 percent. The concessions to newspapers and broadcasters cost the AP $30 million in revenue last year and a projected $45 million this year. The AP’s 2009 financial statement, which hasn’t been released yet, is expected to show a revenue decline of about 6 percent to roughly $700 million.

Besides pumping Internet companies for more money, the AP also wants more cooperation in its effort to ensure its material isn’t appearing on unauthorized sites. As part of its crackdown, the AP is testing a system that tracks where its stories are being read. Yahoo pledged to enforce “the strictest standards” to protect the AP’s content. Leading up to Yahoo agreement, AP CEO Tom Curley said the cooperative was considering whether to separate its online content into different tiers so exclusive stories might cost more than breaking news reports widely available elsewhere on the Web.

The Yahoo deal doesn’t include such a tiering provision, according to a person familiar with the agreement, speaking on condition of anonymity because of a nondisclosure clause in the new contract. In a statement, New York-based AP said Yahoo “has always recognized the value and importance of original, authoritative news. We are pleased Yahoo and AP will continue that valued relationship.”

Yahoo also has formed a business bond with the U.S. newspapers that own the AP.  More than 800 U.S. newspapers have joined forces with Yahoo to sell more advertising on their Web sites.

By contrast, many publishers believe Google has profited unfairly from their newspapers by drawing upon snippets of their stories to attract more traffic to its dominant search engine so it can sell more of the ads that generate most of its income. And the AP bickered with the Google over how its stories were summarized for several years before finally striking a licensing agreement in 2006.

Google says it helps drive more traffic to newspaper sites and honors any request from a publisher that doesn’t want to be included in its search engine. The company, based in Mountain View, Calif., has said it believes U.S. law allowed it to excerpt AP stories even before it obtained licensing rights.

Smart Home

Google Assistant adds smart home bells and whistles in time for the holidays

Just in time for the holidays, Google Assistant is introducing a bunch of new smart home features, including the ability to reply to broadcast messages, create and use cookbooks, and access enhanced storybook content for kids.
Mobile

The 100 best Android apps turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

Choosing which apps to download is tricky, especially given how enormous and cluttered the Google Play Store has become. We rounded up 100 of the best Android apps and divided them neatly, with each suited for a different occasion.
News

Zoom in on famous works through the Art Institute of Chicago’s new website

Art lovers, listen up. The Art Institute of Chicago has given its website a serious makeover with new features that let you get up close and personal with more than 50,000 artworks by famous (and not so famous) artists.
Mobile

Keep on clicking with the 10 best browsers for Android

Browsing the web on an Android device should not be a pain. Check out our picks for the best browsers for Android, so you can surf the web with greater ease and access a trove of unique features.
Computing

Four Andromeda-related Microsoft patents hint at new ways to use the device

Andromeda might be getting even more real as four Microsoft patents have surfaced recently, all of which hint at possible new use cases and other new configurations for the device. 
Computing

Here's why 64-bit (not 32-bit) dominates modern computing

Today's computing world isn't the same as it once was. With 64-bit processors and operating systems replacing the older 32-bit designs, we look at what 32-bit vs. 64-bit really means for you.
Computing

A Google patent shows a way to make VR even more immersive

Virtual reality can be a really immersive experience, but it does sometimes it does have boundaries. Google has addressed this problem by patenting shoes with a flexible region on the bottom.
Computing

Converting files from MKV to MP4 is quick and easy. Just follow these steps

MKV files have their place, but if you would rather convert your videos from MKV to MP4, there are two methods we consider the best and most efficient for getting it done. In this guide, we'll walk you through them step by step.
Computing

Heal your wrist aches and pains with one of these top ergonomic mice

If you have a growing ache in your wrist, it might be worth considering changing up your mouse for something ergonomic. But which is the best ergonomic mouse for you? One of these could be the ticket to the right purchase for you.
Computing

Our 10 favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.
Deals

All the Best Target Black Friday deals for 2018

The mega-retailer opens its doors to the most competitive shoppers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, November 22, and signs indicate that the retailer means business this year. We've sifted through all of the deals, from consumer electronics to small…
Computing

Windows 10 notifications driving you crazy? Here's how to get them under control

Are the notifications on Windows 10 annoying you? Here's our guide on how to turn off notifications in Windows, and how to manage alerts so that the important stuff still gets through.
Computing

Razer’s BlackWidow Lite is a mechanical keyboard designed for work and play

Razer's latest keyboard comes with a minimalist design that will appeal to professionals. But don't let the all-black aesthetics fool you, as the BlackWidow Lite comes with mechanical keys that makes it a great gaming companion.
Computing

Microsoft’s Always-Connected PCs gets more powerful with 64-bit app support

Microsoft announced that developers can start creating 64-bit apps for Always-Connected PCs powered by Snapdragon processors. The Windows Store will also begin to accept 64-bit app submissions for Microsoft's Windows on ARM.