Associated Press once was the RSS Feed of news distribution. Newspapers, already affected by plunging profits and now retrenching for recession, have been canceling their AP service contracts in droves due to AP’s high pricing structure:
October 16: Tribune Companies
October 17: Columbus Dispatch
September 26: Minneapolis St Paul Star Tribune
September 2: Spokane Spokesman Review
AP has a relic business model – news syndication – that relies on paid content sources written by AP staff writers, now commodity journalism. Twitter reports breaking news hours faster than AP. Social media distributes content just as well free or at a fractional cost. Newspaper don’t need AP, they should devote their efforts in finding and promoting these content sources, like bloggers and independent news services, who would appreciate and value mainstream media reference. They can then extend their brand name creating new aggregated news services like Politico or Huffington Post.
Read Write Web describes AP’s new feedreader-like product called AP Member Marketplace that begins to automate news syndication for web editors.
The problem is the marketplace is limited to AP news stories, ignoring the vast resources of the web for news content. This is a business that is painstakingly attempting to remain relevant, and relying on its customer base to believe in the old power and brand of AP.