Exec: AOL looking for content creators

Members of the Digital Power 50 at THR's second Digital Power event held Monday at the Waldorf-Astoria

David Eun says company is 'open to business' at THR event

THR's Digital Power 50 list

NEW YORK -- AOL is looking to bring the worlds of professionally produced and commissioned content together and deliver more Web video, David Eun, president of AOL Media & Studios, said Monday night.

AOL has doubled down on partnerships and is ready for more, he said.

David Eun
"We're open to business there," he said, pointing out that 80% of content across AOL is now produced in-house.

Content is "crucial to the turnaround" at the company, he said. Eun added that AOL is aggressively seeking to partner with various companies, including content producers -- from newspapers to video providers.

Eun made the comments during a Q&A session with Andrew Wallenstein, editor, digital media at The Hollywood Reporter. It was part of THR's second Digital Power event at the Waldorf-Astoria that honored Eun with the "Power Player" award.

Asked about the debate about traditional media and professionally produced content versus content farms made up of contributors assigned Web content projects to produce cheaply, Eun said this is the part of his job that most excites him.

"There isn't quite yet a company that combines these two parts," he said.

AOL has more than 40,000 content contributors.

Video, in particular, is a key focus for AOL, Eun told the crowd at the Waldorf. "There could certainly be more."

How does he feel about the many Web sites AOL operates?

"The number of sites you have is not as important as the quality and impact," Eun said, emphasizing he wants the company to act like "a multimillion-dollar start-up."

The names of some sites may get tied to AOL more directly, he signaled. "The brand has very strong attributions," Eun said. "There will still be independent brands, but we will think about how we connect the AOL brand to everything."

Asked about Yahoo's acquisition of Associated Content, a company with cross-pollinating goals similar to his own, Eun said the industry is big enough for several companies to try the same approach. "Good luck to Jimmy (Pitaro, a vp at Yahoo who oversees media) and his team over there," he said in the direction of Yahoo.

Eun, though, said he thinks it's unlikely his former employer Google would follow a similar approach. "Google and YouTube have a pretty good business model, and it's a (neutral) platform," he said.