Last night I had dinner with a few folks in San Francisco, including Steven Kydd, EVP of Demand Studios, the content crowd-sourcing arm of Demand Media.
Demand Studios, which launched 9 months ago inside Demand, is a network of freelancers - from videographers to writers - that work a few hours a day to produce content. It's essentially the engine that drives all the content that’s distributed across Demand Media's properties, such as eHow, ExpertVillage and LiveStrong, the new healthcare site in partnership with Lance Armstrong. Demand Media launched over two years ago and is a 470-person new social media company that raised $355 million in funding, and was founded by Richard Rosenblatt, former chairman of MySpace.
Now that Demand Studios has mastered the art of churning out content, the team plans on increasingly leveraging its YouTube channel.
Steven said that already Demand is the largest supplier of videos, with some 130,000 videos uploaded to-date and as much as 20,000 videos uploaded monthly. Today, Demand’s videos are viewed 1.5 million times daily, up from 1 million just recently. According to Jordan Hoffner, YouTube director of content partnerships, Demand is like an auto factory, pumping out content in the most efficient manner.
Indeed, this well-oiled machine can generate a significant amount of content, with very little in cost. In preparation for LiveStrong, Demand Studios created 15,000 pieces of content – 5,000 pieces of video and 10,000 text articles. They did this in 90 days. As Steven said: “We don’t even own a camera.”
Steven said that Demand pays $15 per story or $20 per video. "A lot of people don't do this for the money," said Steven. "A lot of people want to raise their profile." The way freelancers can be a Demand Studio freelancer is to apply on Demand Media. Steven's team also reaches out directly to people they feel are worthy contributors. Contributors are then directed to create a certain piece of content within Demand's specifications. And they get paid each Friday, said Steven.
Demand Studios started this crowd-sourcing content engine to create content for eHow, the instructional site.They then moved to ExpertVillage and LiveStrong. Now, Demand Studios is going to promote to heavily promote its YouTube partnership to its experts.
While Steven wouldn't go into how much money Demand Studios was making off its YouTube relationship, he does talk about growth and the difference in viewing between YouTube and Demand Media's own sites.
If you want to learn more about Demand Studios, visit Demand Media's Vator profile.