Yahoo Opens Door to Legions of Content Creators

Yahoo today joined the likes of Huffington Post and Salon.com with the launch of the Yahoo Contributor Network, a platform that lets anybody publish original content on many of Yahoo’s sites.

The platform is an extension of Associated Content, the mass-publishing factory that Yahoo acquired for a reported $100 million in May.

By allowing all users to publish on its sites, Yahoo could gain traction with those looking for a brand-name platform on which to share their creative content. The strategy has paid dividends for sites like Huffington Post and Salon, which have long allowed everyday people to publish blogs on their sites. The user gets a place to publish his or her work, and the site gets free content and page views.

Yahoo will “aggressively” sell ad space against the user-submitted content, said Luke Beatty, VP and GM at Yahoo.

“One of the reasons Yahoo acquired Associated Content in the first place is that agencies and brands have had a pretty signicifant demand for more authentic voices for their buys,” he said. “Obviously Yahoo does very well in display with curated and professional content, but it was missing that element for those advertisers who were also interested in engaged, socially connected and authentic voices that provide a real first-hand perspective.”

Yahoo News, Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Shine, Yahoo Sports and the Yahoo homepage are among the sites participating in the network.

Yahoo users who choose to publish on the network could earn money based on the performance of their content. The network provides users with a dashboard so they can track views and reactions to their work. Yahoo also says there is the potential for its editors to assign work to contributors.

Story updated with direct comments from Yahoo.

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