The Associated Press (AP) is to launch a news and picture service for mobiles, as part of plans to help struggling newspapers.
The Mobile News Network, which is expected to start in the summer, will carry local news stories and images from participating newspapers and national news supplied by the AP.
Local advertising on the service will be sold by the newspapers in addition to national advertising from networks with an equal revenue share between news providers and ad sellers, a release from the AP said.
It is currently being tested by several newspaper companies including Hearst Corp. and McLatchy Co. and a similar product for video content is also being developed.
The agency also announced a reduction in fees in 2009, as part of widespread changes within the organisation’s price structure.
The AP had previously announced expected savings of £7 million if members implemented a digital tagging programme for news stories for search purposes.
The effect of a new pricing mechanism – in which breaking news content becomes the core product with extras added at a premium rate – is also likely to have an effect next year, with potential savings of $14 million for AP newspaper members.
In addition to the advertising revenue share plan on its mobile service, AP said it will also end fees for its graphics-based news service Money & Markets and provide unlimited access to archives for photo subscribers next year.