The Associated Press to digitize vast video archive with CLEART from Prime Focus Technologi​es

The Associated Press to digitize vast video archive with CLEART from Prime Focus Technologi​es

The Associated Press is working with Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) to digitize its unique video archive, making it available to a whole new audience across digital platforms. AP’s film and tape archive contains around 70,000 hours’ worth of footage, including more than 1.3 million global news and entertainment stories, in 16mm film and videotape, dating back to the beginning of the 20th Century.


The project is part of AP’s multimillion-dollar upgrade to its video business which will see AP switch its entire newsgathering, production and distribution systems to HD to continue to meet the technical, editorial and business needs of its customers in the digital age.


AP Director of International Archives Alwyn Lindsey said: “A legacy of being on the frontline of breaking news for more than 160 years is a fantastic archive. Ours is one of the finest visual documents of the events and people that have shaped the modern era. Today’s market is driven by giving customers breadth of content, ease of access, and value for money. While we have already digitized around 10% of our archive, it has been a top priority to get all of our most saleable archive footage online and make it available to our customers, wherever in the world they may be. To make this happen, we needed a partner who could handle our global business needs and a project of this scale, and for that reason, we chose Prime Focus Technologies”.


PFT will use the unique skillsets of its global organization to digitize AP’s film and tape archives, then catalogue, manage transcode and deliver AP’s content to a multi-media audience.  PFT has decades of experience in digitizing archive content, partnering with organizations such as the British Movietone Library, British Film Institute, Imperial War Museum, IMG, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and Eros International.


The project will be driven by CLEAR™, PFT’s award-winning content operations platform and supporting services. PFT has a large team of developers writing bespoke scripts to support the innovative workflows required by this project, and utilizes its own cloud technology for supporting services.


PFT is delivering this project in an unprecedented timescale, creating nearly 4 million new assets in just 18 months, including:

3,000 hours of film with an average of 60 news stories per hour – creating a total of 900,000 files

29,000 hours of video with an average of 20 news stories per hour – creating a total of 2,900,000 files


Newly digitized content will appear every day on AP Archive’s website, thanks to dedicated connectivity between PFT and AP.

Vice President and Head of PFT UK Aine Healy said: “PFT is delighted to be working closely with AP to make its valuable archive of footage available to the world, and to preserve it for generations to come.”



About The AP

The Associated Press is the essential global news network, delivering fast, unbiased news from every corner of the world to all media platforms and formats. Founded in 1846, AP today is the largest and most trusted source of independent news and information. On any given day, more than half the world’s population sees news from AP. On the net:


About Prime Focus Technologies

Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) provides unified multi-platform content operations solutions to organizations that deal with content and are keen to exploit it across platforms. CLEAR™, its award-winning combination of a hybrid-cloud technology platform and managed services increases agility within a business, driving creative enablement, cutting operating costs and is available in a pay as you grow model. Backed by a global network of studios, CLEAR™ offers a secure solution for concurrent file-based new-media, channel, distribution & delivery and library operations.


PFT works with major content owners across the broadcast, film, sport, and advertising and brand sectors. Its clients include Star TV, Associated Press, Eros International, Sony Music, Viacom 18, Sony MSM, BCCI, Indian Premiere League, Hindustan Unilever Limited, A & E TV Network, Vijay TV, Netflix, Schawk! and WPP. PFT is part of Prime Focus, a global visual entertainment services company.