AP Board Approves Independent Agency to License Digital News

The Associated Press Board of Directors has approved the establishment of an independent news licensing agency that will allow broader and better access to original news content while providing publishers with support for innovative new business models. When launched this summer, the enterprise will include news content from AP and more than a thousand publications.
AP will spin off its News Registry into the newly created entity, called the News Licensing Group, and expects to raise funding from the news industry. The News Licensing Group will be owned by news publishers, and fulfil a need for an efficient means to protect and license digital news content from thousands of news organisations to the wide and growing range of digital communications products and services.
“This will be a game changer for news providers worldwide,” says Tom Curley, president and CEO of The Associated Press. “It’s pro-competitive and it’s pro-consumer, and will be a leader in the digital information business. We’ll be looking at development opportunities and seeking content commitments from publishers. We will move beyond text to photos and video and expand internationally later this year.”
Today’s announcement follows the board’s decision in October to direct AP to create a digital rights clearinghouse to help provide news content to emerging digital platforms while also enabling news publishers to use data analytics to improve customer engagement across platforms.
The News Licensing Group builds on AP’s News Registry, which will be transferred into the new company. Launched last summer, the News Registry, which tags, tracks and measures use of content online, will provide the foundation for the enterprise, enabling efficient content and data licensing, along with effective enforcement support. Nearly 1000 publications are now participating in the registry, which has collected more than 5 billion content impressions around the Web.
The News Licensing Group will extend the News Registry to licence, market, and distribute news content in a way that respects intellectual property rights and enables news organisations to make continued investments in their news operations, Curley said.