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AP is open for ad business

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As content gets cheaper and newspapers face hardships, the Associated Press, is looking for new ways to monetize its content through digital channels.

To get the word out that they are open for business,  this afternoon the AP hosted an event at their offices in New York for the media and ad agencies to pitch their new digital advertising offerings. After a compelling newsroom tour and amidst amusing stories from star reporters, the business development team highlighted the array of media buys available across the AP network, from branded sponsorships around The Olympics and The Oscars, to banner ads on the newly upgraded iPhone App.

And it is time for the AP to start this renegotiation of ad options. While historically the non-profit news association has depended on licensing fees to finance its content, the Web has changed the playing field and the value of news stories across the Web. And in April, the AP said it was going to lower its licensing fees by $35 million in 2010. So where are they going to make up the cost? Well hopefully in these new applications and through new advertising models.

What the AP really has to offer is the value of their brand. One of the largest news agencies in the world, with thousands  of professional journalists and more than 1,700 newspaper partners, the AP is poised nicely to position its inventory as prime real estate. Their content really is ubiquitous and trusted across the Web. Read NBC, CBS, The LA Times or the Chicago Tribune and you’ll see content from the AP.

Basing the opportunity for advertisers on their strong brand recognition and the quality of their news reporting, the AP is hoping to convince advertisers that they have premium ad opportunities. And they are actually building out ad networking and targeting capabilities to support this. So like AOL, Google andYahoo are getting into the news business with things that offerings such as the Yahoo Consortium, the Yahoo alliance that was created to boost ad revenue for small newspapers across the country,  the AP is getting into the ad business.

As we hear all the time these days, the media is disrupting and the lines between new media and old media are converging.
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