Experimenting with live video output to meet customer demand

By Laura Imregi

“Unquestionably, our customers are wanting and expecting us to produce more live video,” says our head of international video news. “But this isn’t just about volume, they’ve also told us they want greater choice of live in terms of the type of stories we offer them.”

Editor’s note: Following a series of significant changes to our live video operations in 2015, the coming year will see a continued focus on increased output and wider content choice. Derl McCrudden spoke to journalism.co.uk to explain in more detail:

We were the first news agency to launch a live news service for broadcasters, in 2003, covering the invasion of Iraq. In 2012, we went on to launch live video news available to digital publishers on our AP Video Hub platform. Since then, the demand for live video content has continued to grow, leading us to launch multiple live streams and an extended content choice for digital publishers last February. In September, we announced those developments were also being opened out to broadcasters.

Derl McCrudden. Courtesy of Tony Hicks.

At the time, McCrudden said: “The needs of broadcasters continue to change along with the audiences they serve. Not only do they now have more television channels to fill, but many of them also have a digital offering – reaching consumers across several platforms. Live video is clearly playing a significant role in broadcasters’ strategies and the latest changes help strengthen their ability to retain and attract audiences across all their platforms.”

In Q4 2015, we offered broadcast and digital publisher customers 2,073 live stories and events, compared with 1,605 in Q4 2014. The increase has been made possible by the technical changes made across 2015 and reflects the changing demands from customers.

journalism.co.uk reported:

“The rise came as the company started making significant changes to its live video operations in 2015, to increase the volume and variety of content it offered to digital publishers and broadcasters. A new service called Live Choice was introduced, consisting of three additional live streams that covered a range of stories, including breaking news events, throughout their duration.

“For example, some publishers in Europe expressed a desire for live video of ‘slow news,’ or events that develop slowly over a period of time. AP has been experimenting with different types of coverage, such as footage of smog and pollution in Beijing, taken during the climate change talks held in Paris at the end of 2015. However, the main focus has still been around breaking news events, like the terror attacks in Paris and the crash of a Russian airplane over the Sinai Peninsula.”

In order to provide the increased volume in live video output, we have invested in additional live newsgathering capacity as well as looked at new ways of doing things. One of those ways has been to start the rollout of an app called Iris Reporter, which has been developed by Bambuser, allowing any reporter to stream live from their smartphone into Live Choice or AP Direct.

The article reports: “So far, the company has tested the app with a group of 30 employees worldwide across multiple departments, including editorial and photography as well as video, and is hoping to make it available to its entire staff over the next six to eight weeks.”

You can read the full article here.

Laura Imregi

Laura was the international communications manager for The Associated Press, focusing on generating compelling content and messaging for a variety of platforms to support AP’s strategic objectives.

insights, video