AP Rolls Out New Pricing Plans This Week

By: E&P Staff

The Associated Press will begin rolling out details of its new pricing to members this week, a plan it says that will return up to $21 million to its U.S. member newspapers.

Some editors at daily papers have raised issues about AP priciing recently.

The AP’s press release today follows.

The reductions are part of the most important overhaul in pricing and structure of AP content in the history of the cooperative, and will greatly expand the content that newspapers receive, as well as simplify the process by which they are assessed. This historic shift changes the traditional arrangement, from AP providing pre-defined ?wires? to customers, to allowing them open access to AP content and the ability to create highly customized slices of news coverage.

Starting later this year, all member newspapers will gain access to a real-time database of all the English-language breaking news content that AP produces worldwide. They also will gain new tools that allow them to search for locally relevant stories, photos, graphics and other content from within the database. The changes significantly increase the amount of content newspapers can draw from for local, national and niche or targeted publications. Under the plan, called Member Choice, AP will also broaden newspapers? licenses for the first time to allow use of AP content within the full range of a member?s local publications.

Under Member Choice, newspaper members can receive an estimated $13.6 million in assessment reductions in 2009. In addition, they will be eligible for an additional $7.5 million in rate reductions through AP?s Content Enrichment program.

Members will receive their provisional pricing details for Member Choice over the next month. The rate changes will be subject to final approval by the AP Board of Directors in July, said Tom Brettingen, AP senior vice president and chief revenue officer. AP rates traditionally have been set and distributed each October.

?We are working to get this information out as quickly as possible to papers for their budgets,? Brettingen said.

Newspaper members are eligible for the $7.5 million in rate reductions, beginning in 2009, by joining AP?s Content Enrichment and Newsmap program, which tags their content with descriptive information that makes it easier for online consumers to search and find content. The Content Enrichment program will eventually provide a nationwide ?map? to breaking news.

AP initially planned on rate reductions totaling $12.6 million through Member Choice and AP Content Enrichment. The potential reduction total was increased in April to $21 million. At the same time, more access to content was added to the Member Choice program. The pricing was then redrafted to address those changes. The board will vote on final approval of the new rates at its meeting in New York, July 23-24.

AP also has streamlined the content options for newspapers within Member Choice into two levels of services to make it easier for them to decide what content they need: AP Breaking News and AP Complete. The core service, AP Breaking News, provides comprehensive breaking news coverage and represents about 90 percent of all AP content. AP Complete offers more analysis and enterprise options. Members also will gain access at no additional cost to much of AP?s Money & Markets financial package as part of core text services, and all members who subscribe to AP PhotoStream will gain full access at no charge to AP?s photo archives as part of that service.

On the Net: www.ap.org

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