RealTime IT News

What's AP Got to Say?

Critical Mention helps companies find out what the broadcast buzz is about their brands and products. Thanks to a content licensing agreement with the Associated Press, corporate clients will be able to keep an eye on the wire service's video as well.

Critical Mention is a Web-based television news search and monitoring service. About 150 corporate subscribers pay to be alerted whenever a media clip that mentions their names, products or services -- or their competitors' -- goes over the air.

The B2B services are used by communications and public relations professionals, as well as by news-monitoring services. It include real-time monitoring of newscasts and e-mail alerts. Its CriticalTV software lets clients access a video clip online immediately after it is broadcast, share the clip within a workgroup via secure video-email or a private video gallery, and order a professional transcript or hard copy online.

The company's latest content deal is a video-licensing agreement with AP Digital, a division of The Associated Press that provides news and information to interactive services. Critical Mention will pay AP Digital a fee each time an AP news video clip is viewed on its platform.

"Real-time broadcast news is the core of what a business user needs," said Sean Morgan, CEO of Critical Mention. "AP is rounding out our offering. Our users know this AP content can be viewed by millions of users across AOL, Yahoo and MSN. Now they don't have to leave our network to watch these AP clips."

Morgan sells content providers on the bonus of creating a new revenue stream for their content. "These guys are used to, when the 5 p.m. broadcast is over, adding up their ad sales. And many are tied tightly to distributor contracts," he said. "For the first time, they can create incremental revenue streams through a B2B platform."

The past few months have seen the online video search sector heat up, with AOL, Google , Blinkx and Yahoo offering free search of video and broadcast content.

But Morgan wasn't worried about competition from the free search engines.

"B2B users demand comprehensiveness and real-time workflow tools. They will not take an advertising model," he said.