Drom a SeekingAlpha email internal email on big changes to Editors’ Picks, compensation and their PRO platform
Earlier, we introduced the PRO reader bonus as the first step in sharing the success of our Pro product with you. Today, we are thrilled to share news of the second half of the equation, the PRO editor bonus.
Starting tomorrow, we will be repurposing the Editors’ Pick designation and rewarding exclusive, primary-tickered articles selected by our editors as Editors’ Picks with a cash bonus. The key that the editors will be looking for is analysis that adds values for our Pro Subscribers.
Here are a few questions we anticipate about this.
Pro editor bonus - How will this work?
Each time one of our editors tags your article as an Editors’ Pick, you will receive an email with a brief message (1-2 sentences) from the editor explaining why the article was selected and inviting your feedback
If the article is both exclusive to Seeking Alpha (making it eligible for payment) and has a primary ticker, it will earn a bonus.
How much is the bonus?
We will establish a bonus pool each month. At the end of the month, we’ll take that allocation, divide it by the number of Editors’ Picks made that month, and then allocate that evenly on a per article basis.
For illustrative purposes only, if we have an allocation of $3000 and we select 200 Editors’ Picks in June, each article will earn an extra $15.
Who makes the selection and when?
Any editor on our team is eligible to make a selection. Selections can be made upon publication. Editors will also have the chance to review articles after the fact to add an Editors’ Picks bonus, of their own volition.
Why do you have two forms of Pro bonuses?
We’re using editor bonuses in combination with the reader bonuses because we think we can learn faster through a mix of editorial, reader, and contributor feedback how to incentivize and reward more outstanding ticker-specific coverage, which will make PRO better and will make SA a better place to write.
Why pay bonuses only to exclusive, primary ticker articles?
The revenue funding this is explicitly linked to our PRO product, so the compensation is tied to that. If we find a way to build a product on other types of content, we will work to make sure contributors benefit from the growth of that product. But we haven’t yet. Superb articles that are non exclusive and/or don’t have a primary ticker can still be rated as Editors’ Picks, but they won’t be paid.
Does this change the number of Editors’ Picks I’ll get?
We can’t speak to individual cases, and it could be that selections change, but our aim is to take where we are now and grow the number of Editors’ Picks as we start incentivizing better articles.
Will these articles be highlighted differently?
For now, they will be the same as Editors’ Picks under the old system. They will be labeled as Editors’ Picks on your profile, on the quote page, and in article lists on the website.
How will I know when I get a selection?
You will receive an email from us either upon publication or, if it’s selected after publication, upon selection. You can also find it on your earnings board under additional rewards - https://seekingalpha.com/account/authorboard/earnings.
Are Top Ideas eligible?
No. Top Ideas are separately compensated $1000 for the selection, and will not receive an extra Editors’ Pick tag and bonus.
What if I disagree with your decision?
Your feedback is going to be important in this process. Each time we email you, we’d love to hear back from you about the selection or what else you’re seeing. We may not be able to respond to everything, but your feedback is going to be a key piece to this puzzle.
We are setting this so we can’t remove the bonus unless the article is removed due to factual errors or a terms and conditions violation. So if we select one of your articles that you don’t think deserved it, you’re stuck with the money! But we’d be happy to hear from you on why you didn’t think this article stood out.
If you think we missed an article, please fill out this form (https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScvA0J13dGSYQcAa8d4bs4q-2pqT1-VQxipmjbbs4ez7t06FQ/viewform?usp=sf_link). We are not going to have an appeals process to change decisions - this is a new initiative and we want to allow for editors to make their own decisions in the early going.
But we will compare your suggestions with our selections and reader behavior and see how we can improve our decision making in future months.
How long is this system going to be in place?
We don’t know. Our aim is to review our tagging decisions, reader behavior, and your feedback each month, and see whether we need to refine our selection approach. We expect to start refining things over coming months, and expect to compile several months of data to see whether this is the right direction or points us to something else.
Have any other questions? Let us know below. We are excited about this because it’s 100% additive to contributor payments - i.e. this is not taking away from any other part of our contributor payment budget - and we think this could be a great path to learn how to better support both you and our readers.
George B. Moriarty
Executive Editor, VP Content