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AP Launches Online Video Network

The Associated Press on Wednesday launched its online video network, which delivers news clips to AP clients via a custom-branded video player from Microsoft Corp.'s MSN portal.

The ad-supported service, announced with MSN in November 2005, went live with stories on New Orleans's cleanup after its post-Katrina Mardi Gras, and a special section on the six-month anniversary of Katrina and its continuing impact on the Gulf Coast region.

Tailored for the Internet, the service is meant to bring Web site readers "to the scene of the story," Brad Kalbfeld, deputy director and managing editor of AP's broadcast division, said.

"When people read a story on the Web, they want to know what things looked like, what it felt like to be there," Kalbfeld said in a statement.

More than 450 Web sites have signed up for the service, which has an initial audience of 45 million unique visitors, the AP said. Advertisers include more than 50 of the top TV spending brands in the United States.

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