The Associated Press is planning to introduce sponsored articles into the stream of news stories on its mobile apps and hosted websites. The rollout is expected in early 2014, with potential sponsorship deals centered around major events the AP is planning to cover, such as the Super Bowl, the Winter Olympics and the Academy Awards.
Several potential advertisers have been in talks with the AP, according to Jim Kennedy, senior VP-digital strategy and products at the AP, who declined to identify them.
The move to sponsored content is part of a broader effort to open a new line of revenue at the AP, where just 2% of total revenue comes from advertising, including mobile banner ads and units across a handful of websites populated with AP content. Another 13% of comes from services the AP offers media outlets. And 85% comes from licensing content to subscribers such as TV stations, newspapers and websites, where the AP is not hopeful about expanding income.