AP Launches MSN-Powered IE-Only Video Network

    March 6, 2006

Gary Price reports that the Associated Press has launched a video network, the shockingly named “AP Online Video Network”.

The video network is powered by MSN Video, and thus relies on ActiveX controls, and thus (too many thus?) will only work in Internet Explorer in Windows.

From the AP’s explanation page:

In order to access the OVN, users should have Internet Explorer 6.0 or higher. Although some users prefer Firefox or another non-IE browser, the latest research indicates that 85 percent of US-based Internet users access the web through IE.

If a user attempts to access the OVN while using Mozilla’s Firefox (8 percent share), Apple’s Safari (2 percent), AOL’s Netscape (2 percent), or Opera (<1 percent) they will likely be unable to launch and/or properly view the video player. The primary reason for this incompatibility is that the Microsoft's video player (on which the OVN is built) requires the use of ActiveX controls - a technology that these browsers don't support.

I find browser compatibility thing to be just an annoyance, especially since I have all the major browsers installed, but even I can see how stupid it would be for the AP, one of the major news wire services, to be using anything but the most compatible solutions. Especially since, even they admit that the usage of incompatible systems, like Macs, is higher in media organizations.

Their reasoning:

With an existing technology infrastructure and proven online video ad sales force, Microsoft is enabling AP to launch the OVN faster than other options. With more than 100 advertising sales executives and a proven video ad sales strategy, MSN brings premium ad rates (CPMs) from national brand advertisers. This means more revenue for members in the Network.

It’s always about the money.

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Nathan Weinberg writes the popular InsideGoogle blog, offering the latest news and insights about Google and search engines.

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