RealTime IT News

Reuters To Stream War Video

Financial data and news provider Reuters is offering a free streaming video product featuring front-line footage of the looming war in Iraq.

The service is called Reuters Raw Video: Conflict in Iraq, and is available via the Reuters Web site http://www.reuters.com. The news and financial data provider said the service includes natural-sound war-related footage ranging from battlefield images to news conferences available around the clock.

The offering comes just hours before a war is expected to break out in Iraq and as Reuters moves to expand beyond its bread-and-butter revenues of supplying market data and news to the struggling financial services industry.

The video is free during the initial trial, but Reuters said it intends to start charging for the product. Clients that have a Reuters data terminal will also be provided a link to the site, which will include a scrolling update of the main stories, market reaction and news analysis from Reuters correspondents, the company said.

The development follows a recent offering that ABCNews.com unveiled last week called ABC News Live that will feature war footage and live news events. Although news coverage is not the only focus of the ABC product, a spokesperson said the timing of the launch is related to the looming war in Iraq.

Unlike the Reuters Raw Video product, however, the ABC News Live product is paid. The live footage is offered as part of the news organization's "ABC News On Demand Service," which costs $4.95 for a variety of clips and recorded programming.

But both organizations are targeting the same demographic: the daytime, at-work audience with access to broadband connections.

Reuters recently unveiled a revamped Web site geared to appeal to individual users and investors, with portfolio-watchlists, e-mail alerts and customized news feeds through its site.

The news organization said it has a team of 150 text, photography and television journalists on the ground in Iraq and the surrounding countries covering events as they happen.