December 20, 2005 9:26 AM PST

Reuters video to get mass distribution

A correction was made to this story. Read below for details.

update International news agency Reuters is launching a pilot program on Tuesday that will allow blogs, news organizations and other online publishers to show Reuters news video on their Web sites.

The video affiliate network program will enable Web site operators to place a video player on their Web site and show up to 20 of Reuters' breaking news stories from around the world that will be updated throughout each day, said Stephen Smyth, vice president of the media division at Reuters.

Stephen Smyth
Stephen Smyth
Vice President, Media

The London-based company historically fed news only to newspapers and broadcast stations that paid for the service, but has been expanding its reach over the past few years and is offering more content on its Web site.

The video affiliate program furthers that effort to broaden Reuters' audience, boost its brand and take advantage of the growing online advertising market, Smyth said.

"Video is a key part of our strategy," he said in an interview with CNET News.com. "What we want to do is offer another approach (to content distribution) and following the trends, we want to take advantage of the growing use of online video."

Reuters began showing video online in 2003 and added ads and banners to the content last year, Smyth said.

The video player, compatible with Windows and Macintosh-based systems, will be embedded in an affiliate's Web page and will not require a viewer to install software.

During the pilot period the video player will be offered free of charge to any participating Web site, but it may contain ads, Smyth said. Once the service is launched commercially, sometime in the first part of 2006, affiliate sites may have the option of showing ads or paying a license fee, he said.

Videos on Reuters' main Web site contain 15-second ads that precede the video.

Reuters is working with Brightcove, an on-demand Internet TV distribution service, on the video distribution and eventual monetization of the service, said Jeremy Allaire, chief executive of Brightcove.

Brightcove handles video distribution for the Oxygen broadcast network, A&E Networks and others and has a broad distribution and syndication agreement with Time Warner's America Online Internet unit, Allaire said.

Last month Reuters rivals Associated Press and CBS separately said they signed deals to distribute video clips online. CBS news video will appear on AOL, and AP is working with Microsoft's MSN on an ad-based online video network for Web sites that subscribe to the wire service.

 

Correction: Due to incorrect information supplied to CNET News.com, this story incorrectly stated that the number of broadband subscribers worldwide is 1 billion. That is the number of Internet users, according to the Computer Industry Almanac.

 

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