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mochilalogo.bmpStart-up Mochila has emerged with an intriguing idea: a marketplace for individual newspaper, magazine and other articles.

If VentureBeat wants to run AP stories, for example, we can go to Mochila and pick out individual Associated Press stories, run them on VentureBeat for free — and share any resulting revenue with Mochila and AP. It is a 40-30-30 percent revenue split, with AP getting the 40 percent. AP is a customer of Mochila’s, as are a number of other big publishers, including Hachette Filipacchi Media US, which owns Car and Driver and many others.

AP gets to dictate various terms, such as embargos, or geographies where the story may or may not run. If it doesn’t want to offer its content for free, then it can choose to sell it for a price to buyers.

This a la carte publishing model is new; we haven’t heard of anything like it. Until now, VentureBeat would have to wade through lots of paperwork to acquire rights to AP content, and typically buy for monthly periods or longer.

Mochila has raised $8 million in a second round of funding. Charles River Ventures, led the round, while Mochila’s previous investors, Mission Ventures, The Greenspun Corporation, and Jerry Colonna, also participated.

The only catch is that we’d have to run the advertising in a set, central spot within the AP story — a format dictated by Mochila’s platform (see screenshot below for example). Mochila chief executive, Keith McAllister, says the company will soon provide other advertising possibilities. It opens its free platform Thursday to the public for the first time. Mochila’s marketplace includes print, audio, video, and photo content.

Mochila did not provide VentureBeat with a full list of publications offering their content for free (via advertising). However, it claims it has more than 100 big publishing companies — operating more than 1,500 newspapers, magazines, wire services and websites — participating through either the paid or free model.

Ads are provided from Mochila’s ad network partners: 24/7, Quigo and Tacoda.

Mochila restarted last year after its previous incarnation failed to bear fruit. It was founded in 2001 in San Mateo, Calif., under the name Snapbridge, a publishing automation company. It has kept a team of 15 in San Mateo, but has moved HQ to New York, because that’s the center of the media world, says McAllister.

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