Demand Media: We’re ‘Agnostic To’ Where Consumers Find Our Content

Amid investor concerns that it is too dependent on low-grade freelance content and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) referrals, Demand Media (NYSE: DMD) execs at today’s UBS conference said the company is focusing on “data-driven content, created by professionals” and spreading it across platforms like YouTube and Facebook.

“We do not just create content for search engines,” said Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt. For instance, he said, Demand Media is creating “the same kind of content you see on cable” for YouTube. Demand recently partnered with home and garden expert and TV show host P. Allen Smith to create the “eHow Home Channel” on YouTube.

“Every single leading company is waiting for user-generated content or is licensing content” in order to reach advertisers, Rosenblatt said. “YouTube was tired of waiting. They told us that they needed a home and garden channel, a pets channel and a health/Livestrong channel. They are paying us up front, plus a rev share. This is the beginning of them funding professional content creators.”

“Domains are looking for content and looking to grow their audience,” he added. “Take Engadget. They may not have enough tech content. We could give them the content.”

It is more profitable for Demand to run content off-network than to host it on its own site, said CFO Charles Hilliard, because the company avoids some overhead and personnel costs. Partly for that reason, Rosenblatt said, Demand is “relatively agnostic” as to where consumers find its content. “We think about the web in this open, federated way,” he said. “If you know the consumer demand and create the content, consumers will find it, or it will find them.”