Penny Crossland Yahoo moves from search to original content
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By Penny Crossland

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Throughout this year, Yahoo has gradually been moving away from its original remit as a search engine, then a news provider, towards establishing itself as a content provider. In May, Yahoo acquired Associated Content, a popular user-generated news site which pays fees for stories written by its 380,000 contributors (see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10125711 for more on the acquisition). Following the purchase of the self-styled ‘people’s media company’, Yahoo launched ‘The Upshot’ news blog ( http://news.yahoo.com/upshot ), a site with content guided by popular search queries, as reported by Nancy Davis Kho (see http://www.vivavip.com/go/e29824). Following on the from ‘The Upshot’, Yahoo recently announced its new platform, Contributor Network, an open publishing platform for ‘a community of content creators’ including ‘writers, photographers and videographers’ (http://digbig.com/5bcxmq ). All content will be published on the Associated Content site and will be exclusive to Yahoo, since the company declined to renew its distribution deals with other news organisations like Reuters and Fox News. According to the Information Policy blog (http://digbig.com/5bcxmp), which reported on the launch this week, Yahoo is used by 28% of the US public that goes to search engines for its news, and is thereby ahead of CNN and Google – a statistic Yahoo is determined to maintain and improve on. It is offering its 400,000 freelancers a choice of upfront fees or payment based on the number of readers accessing their work, but is also hoping for a large proportion of contributors to 'forego payment to share views or interests with a large audience'. Apparently, Yahoo is expecting a minimum of 2,000 articles per day. Freelancers are being offered $1.50 for every 1,000 page views and since content will be published on the Associated Content site as well as on the major Yahoo sites such as News, Local, Sports, Finance, TV and Movies, this may prove to be an interesting revenue stream for out-of-work journalists. As the site will be sponsored by advertisers, this original content will be free to users. Will Yahoo News be giving the paywall advocates a run for their money?

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