AP announced the formation of a new branded content department on Wednesday. Named AP Content Services, the multimedia department will use video, photo and other storytelling techniques for creating packages for brands. The department exists independent of the newsroom and does not involve any editorial staff.
According to Paul Caluori, Global Director of AP Digital Services, Content Services builds on AP’s assignments team, a wing that has churned out campaigns for brands including the NFL and Xerox in the past. While AP assignments was focused on photo and video, the Content Services brand plans on exploring other forms as well. It is a team of 15 people from different departments, including sales, digital operations and services, mobile and commercial content development. They also plan on leveraging a large freelance network across the U.S.
According to AP Content Services, the department will manage all logistics that go into forming a branded campaign. This includes the logistics in the execution and dissemination of the campaign through the news organization’s social media channels and online spaces such as the website and mobile applications.
“Placements will be planned on a project-by-project basis. In some cases, a customer may choose to use the custom content only on its owned media. In other cases, content may be placed as paid advertising on AP’s mobile app or other websites,” said Caluori.
As business models evolve for the online space, several news organizations have ventured into the branded content studio domain. Earlier this year, CNN and HLN made their announcement. The New York Times announced the expansion of their T Brand Studio to London around the same time.
Update: This story was updated to include a response from the Associated Press.