The Associated Press (AP) has announced that its 24/7 live video news service has launched on AP Video Hub, its video news platform for digital publishers.

The AP launched AP Video Hub in beta back in April, offering global news, entertainment, SNTV (sports) and lifestyle video, with curators selecting and promoting breaking news content alongside key footage from AP’s archives. And now it also includes its live news service, the agency is looking to tempt more media companies on board.

The AP Video Hub is designed specifically with digital publishers in mind. Indeed, one of its first customers is the UK’s Daily Telegraph, which will tap the round-the-clock live news stream for breaking news events.

Telegraph Media Group (TMG) announced its “substantial new investment” in live video-streaming earlier today, which enables the publisher to broadcast live video to its slew of digital products, including mobile apps and Web.

TMG’s existing three-camera studio will now be able to stream directly to the Web as a story breaks. Used in conjunction with a series of new content deals, this will give the Telegraph’s digital subscribers access to key live events as they unfold.

Part of TMG’s new ‘investment’ includes a permanent circuit from BT Tower, with feeds direct from the AP. Moreover, a backpack device allowing high-quality live video to be sent over 3G networks will allow the Telegraph’s journalists to follow a story on the ground. This could be the US Presidential race, or breaking UK news.

“Digital consumers expect a first class video service, and The Telegraph is leading the field,” says James Weeks, Head of Video, TMG. “We’ve been quick to recognise the opportunities that new technology presents. Now, we can follow developing stories like never before.  The changes we have made to our studio will enable us to augment live video with expert analysis and informed opinion from the finest team of journalists and commentators in the business.”

VH Live Stream 520x355 The Telegraph signs up to the APs online video hub, now with 24/7 live news coverage

The evolution of AP

The Associated Press was founded in 1846, and today it’s one of the largest news agencies in the world. The agency claims that its news reaches more than half of the world’s population.

AP was among the first news agencies to launch a live news service, way back in 2003, covering the invasion of Iraq, as it happened. Today, around 200 broadcasters use it as a live video source, tapping AP’s coverage to bring news and analysis to their own viewers. Recent events available live have included the London Olympics, the Syrian civil war and the Norway trial of Anders Breivik.

Last October, AP announced that APTN Direct, its breaking news video service, was to be extended beyond the confines of Satellite broadcasting and onto the Web, in cahoots with global streaming company Streamworks. But with the AP Video Hub, the agency is going all-in to cater for the growing number of publishers turning to video as part of their online offering.

Indeed, TMG’s latest move is in line with the general trend elsewhere. For example, The Wall Street Journal is placing a bigger focus on the moving image – back in May it saw 19.7m video streams, a three-fold increase since the start of the year.

This can, in part, be accounted for by the expansion of its WSJ Live service to cover more platforms, including the iPad, Apple TV, Roku and Samsung Smart TV, though new programming and a growing focus on producing live shows from London and Hong Kong also helped explain this increase. It later rolled out a brand new WSJ portal too, as it gears up to position itself as a broader media content provider, beyond print.

Furthermore, last week the The New York Times relaunched a larger online video player, featuring a new design and better navigation.

“AP Video Hub is already proving itself as an indispensable tool for online news providers,” says Sue Brooks, AP director of video transformation. “The addition of live content will enable our customers to create even richer storytelling experiences for their customers.”

VH Welcome Page 520x367 The Telegraph signs up to the APs online video hub, now with 24/7 live news coverage

AP Video Hub includes a ‘follow’ stories feature that alerts users via Twitter, as new content on a followed story arrives. Additional features include curated topic pages, quick video previews, one-click download direct to desktop and real-time search content filters.

The site is now in full production, with live news available to customers from today. Further functionality will be added over the coming months.