Wednesday, January 18, 2006
Interview with Luke Beatty, Founder and CEO of Associated Content
Luke Beatty is the founder and CEO of Associated Content, a Denver-based firm that just raised a round of venture funding from Softbank. We spoke to Luke this morning about his firm to get a better idea of what the company is all about.
Techrockies: Tell me a little bit about Associated Content and what it does?
Beatty: Associated Content (www.associatedcontent.com) is a new media company. We're an online content provider and online content publisher at www.associatedcontent.com, and we also provide content feeds and assets to other properties webwide. We specialize in user level content, providing sites and properties with content that is revenue rich and viral, and which engages the users.
Techrockies: It looks like your content is published by users?
Beatty: Yes, the general public publishes content for us every day. They use our tools and publish whatever they want—voice, images, or text, which goes into our system and is published at Associated Content or through our network of publishers.
Techrockies: How is from this different from blogging?
Beatty: The biggest differentiator is that we support different formats of content, not just the diary format of blogs. Blogs are inherently non-commercial and internally focused, either on a theme, a group, or a company. Our information is produced by people in multiple formats by people, and designed to be pushed out externally. Our content is all about revenue.
Techrockies: Do you pay the people the people who contribute to your site?
Beatty: Some are paid, some aren't. Some don't care – they are interested in getting published more, and are not looking for payment. Some of the content producers that produce the top top pieces for us deserve monetary consideration, and that top quality stuff we pay for. Our buyers are taking content all day and make buying decisions. Some people submit material to be paid, however most find the value of us hosting and publishing and providing exposure is what they want. Our best content producers are lawyers, and researchers who are not necessarily freelance, and are publishing because they want to broadcast their material.
Techrockies: Who invested in the company?
Beatty: Softbank led the round, and they were the majority of the round.
Techrockies: What's your own background?
Beatty: My last gig was a product called Wand, a product search and taxonomy online directory located here in Downtown Denver. I used to be the director of business development. I have a background in keyword search, advertising, and search advertising.
Techrockies: How did you come up with the idea for the company?
Beatty: My whole experience at Wand was buried in the idea and search/search advertising. However I think it's now all about content, and that the focus will be on content, and in particular having content that end users and advertisers need at the same time. We are basically providing content on the web that is user level content. There is lots of media and e-commerce content, but people are also looking for people and information that connect at a user or citizen level. When people are searching for consumer or B2B info they have traditional media info, but we are also providing them with user level information so that they can connect with like minded and experience.