From the Associated Press itself:
The Associated Press and Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday launched a new service which allows the news cooperative’s member Web sites to offer free video news clips and share in advertising revenue generated from the service.
The AP Online Video Network, which is powered by Microsoft’s MSN Video, went live after midnight and featured video news stories of New Orleans cleaning up after Mardi Gras and a special section about the six-month anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the storm’s legacy in the Gulf Coast region.
About 40 video clips a day produced by the AP will be included in the service, which will cover national and international news as well as business, technology and entertainment stories.
AP is offering the videos free to its members and other customers, with revenue coming from advertisements placed before the news clips
I guess I had thought that the AP was already offering video, but I really haven’t been paying attention since watching a 30 second commercial to see a one minute newsclip seems like a poor value proposition. They’ve been able to sell the ads though, so there must be an audience somewhere.
Update: Here’s a “pure” AP site with the MSN credit prominently displayed. The commercials there seem to be 15 seconds long and play in front of every other clip. It’s still a pretty heavy commercial ratio.