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Exclusive Interview: AC’s Founder Luke Beatty Talks About the Yahoo! Partnership

In AC News on May 21, 2010 at 10:00 am

Associated Content and Yahoo! announced their partnership this past Tuesday, and the AC Community has been left with dozens of questions. What will happen to the Forums? Will we still be able to earn residuals on our published content? Why is the AC home page now purple??

In the midst of the recent buzz, I caught up with AC’s Founder and President Luke Beatty to answer these, and other pressing questions about the status of Contributors and AC content during the oncoming transition.

Put your minds at ease, folks — good things are on the horizon 🙂

Here’s what’s in store for AC Contributors and Yahoo!’s content expansion plan:

SK: What were the top three reasons to close the deal with Yahoo! What were your primary goals for creating this partnership?

LB: This acquisition didn’t come out of nowhere — it’s something we’ve been driving toward since day one. It’s always been about expanding our network and allowing more and more individuals to take part in the emerging content economy. The growth we’ve achieved on our own has been astounding, but this partnership means that we’ll soon be operating on a much higher level.

The top three reasons for the partnership were:

#1: Consistent vision. The most important thing was the Yahoo! team’s solid grasp of AC’s mission, and firm commitment to carrying that torch. They didn’t buy us simply for our technology, our library or our community – they understand that it’s the relationship between those things that matters.
#2: New opportunities & scale. We already had a content partnership with Yahoo! on a few of their new initiatives. Needless to say, our Contributors nailed it. Now we have the opportunity to blow this out on a much larger scale, helping to power the web’s largest media company. To say this is like a dream come true is a huge understatement.
#3: An awesome team. Yahoo! management is the best in the industry, and I couldn’t be happier about having the entire AC staff be a part of this team.

SK: You mentioned an increased distribution of our content with the Yahoo! partnership. Does this mean more page view earnings, or just more exposure for Contributors?

LB: Both. 100%.  As the relationship grows, Contributors will have the opportunity to produce content for lots of different Yahoo! channels, like Yahoo! Autos, Yahoo! Finance, OMG, Shine, etc.  Your presence will be felt throughout the Yahoo! network.

SK: Will Yahoo/AC introduce new quality standards for content? If so, what will Contributors need to do in order to meet those standards?

LB: I hope so.  We always want better quality content.  I know that Yahoo wants it too.  And, frankly, neighboring contributors don’t want their quality content associated with poor quality content.  Our quality expectations have been evolving gradually (we’ve been at it for 5 years), and that’s going to continue. Yahoo! or not, our content ought to be of a higher quality today than it was yesterday.

SK: Will Contributors still be able to earn Performance Payments through the same or similar PV bonus program, or will the opportunity to earn residual income with AC cease to exist? Does Yahoo!  have plans to introduce other bonus/residual programs?

LB: We have no intention of pulling back any payment programs that are currently in place. Bottom line: there will be far more earning opportunities, not fewer.

SK: What will make publishing with Yahoo!/AC different than publishing elsewhere? (e.g., Demand Studios, BrightHub)

LB: We’re already distinguished by the sheer size of our community and by the fact that we allow Contributors to claim exclusive assignments and publish on any topic they choose. Moving forward, the biggest differentiator may well be the venues: through our platform, you’ll soon be able to contribute to some of the best content destinations on the web.

SK: Is the Associated Content site really going to be shut down by the end of the third quarter? If not, what can we expect the site look like in a few months? Read the rest of this entry »