Associated Press Digitizing Its Video Archives
Hoping to attract more customers for news footage stored in its vaults, the Associated Press said that it has begun transferring to digital media some 70,000 hours of 16mm film and videotape. The film archives comprise 3,000 hours of news clips shot between 1963 and 1980. Because of its relatively high cost -- both raw stock and processing -- film was used sparingly during that period, partially explaining why it represents just 4.3 percent of the total news footage. AP said that it was incurring the costs of digitizing the footage because its customers were unwilling to do so. AP Video Archive director Alwyn Lindsey told Daily Variety, "News companies have tended to prioritize their tape-based video rather than film-based video for digitization, as it's cheaper and less complex." Still, the archived material is not going to come cheap. Lindsey suggested that customers will have to pay $40 per second to obtain it -- that's nearly $5,000 for a two-minute clip, not an amount that an average local station could afford.