USA TODAY launches public APIs

Here’s some news I’ve been itching to share for a few months: the launch of USA TODAY’s first public data APIs.

Announced today, the first two out of the gate offer access to our Best-Selling Books list and our archive of pro sports player salaries. Both data sets represent many years of effort by the database team at USA TODAY. To build these APIs, we were fortunate to team up with some great folks in our IT group. It’s been a great learning experience. We’re proud of the data and excited about opening it to the public.

Our new developer site has the details. You can register for API keys, read the documentation and post questions in forums. We want your feedback — it will help us make the APIs better and steer us as we make more of data available in the months ahead. Also be sure to read the terms of use.

About our first two APIs:

The Best-Selling Books API contains the weekly top 150 books from our list, including metadata about each title.

The Sports Salaries API contains annual salary information for players in Major League Baseball, the National Football League, National Basketball Association, and National Hockey League.

For more information, check out our official press release. There’s also a page up at

6 responses to “USA TODAY launches public APIs”

  1. Derek Willis says:

    Really glad to see these out the door – a great step for you guys. A couple of questions:

    1. 1,000 calls per day as a limit seems kinda low. At the NYT we set ours at 5,000, although we very rarely have people hit their limits. What’s the rationale for the 1,000 limit?

    2. Looking at the sports salaries API, the docs say that the unique key is a player’s name, which is sometimes augmented with other info (middle initial, college, etc.) to differentiate them. Was there consideration of creating keys that would be absolutely unique and somehow discoverable?

    Congrats on the launch!


  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Derek Willis, Al Shaw, USAT Interactive, USAT Interactive, Jeremy Felt and others. Jeremy Felt said: RT @anthonydb: .@usatoday launches its first public APIs! Site: Post: PR: […]

  3. Anthony says:

    Hey, Derek,

    Thanks for the encouragement! What you, Aron and others have done at the NYT certainly has inspired us.

    I’ll preface my answer by saying that it’s still very early days for us in this area, and we’re going to listen carefully to everyone’s feedback.

    On the rate limit, we decided to set it at 1,000 for the intended use — free, noncommercial — and have anyone interested in hitting the APIs more frequently contact us. There are some other limits set on the scope of the data we’re providing for free. For example, the Book List API provides the list on a one-week delay. We’re thinking there are potential commercial uses for this data, so we’re starting there. We’ll pay close attention to actual usage and adjust if it makes sense.

    On the unique key for the player name, that was definitely part of the discussion. I’ll circle back with our devs. There was an issue we had during development because we were combining our existing salaries database with data we receive from a vendor, and the name-as-key was created to work through one of the limitations.

    Thanks again and please send more feedback if you see things that could be improved.

  4. Jay Swartzendruber says:

    Hey man.

    Just read your story on Bush’s bestselling book. (I’m actually working at BGEA now as a copywriter and we had him here yesterday.) Anyway, just wanted to say it’s really cool seeing your sphere of influence grow in recent years.

    Rock on,

  5. […] open API is limited and data is provided on a one-week delay. On his blog, DeBarros mentioned “potential commercial uses” of the data as one reason access is currently […]

  6. […] on a one-week delay. On his blog, DeBarros mentioned “potential commercial uses” of the data as one reason access is currently […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.