Reuters announced the pilot test of its video affiliate network program today. The service is expected to officially launch early next year.
The program leverages demand for video content while creating inventory and online branding opportunities for advertisers.
Video content is implemented via a turnkey solution. Reuters plans to assemble what it calls an affiliate network consisting of newspapers, magazines and financial Web sites, as well as blog and smaller news sites.
Reuters’ VP of Media, Stephen Smyth, sees the affiliate program as similar to Amazon.com’s merchant program. “We have content and we’ve worked out capabilities,” he said. “Smaller Web sites don’t have the capability to cover [the content] but have audiences.”
The video player and content are free during the pilot program and may have ads attached to some of the news segments while the program is tested. Affiliates hosting the player will gain access to 20 breaking stories at a time, and content that continues to update throughout the day.
Reuters will determine the revenue model based on feedback from the test period. “The pilot period is to listen to the market and determine what affiliates want,” said Smyth. “When we go commercial in the first part of 2006 you’ll begin to see the results of our pilot testing.”
The Windows and Macintosh-compatible player sits on the host’s Web site. It will not require visitors to install software. Information for the program is located on Reuters Lab site launched in September.
Brightcove provides the technology to run the affiliates program. Reuters said it may add additional distribution partners in time for the commercial launch.
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