Demand Media invests in CoveritLive

Matt Bowman · August 20, 2009 · Short URL:

The partnership could add a real-time dimension to discovery widgets.

 Demand Media announced a strategic partnership with, and investment in, live blogging platform CoveritLive, which will be integrated into Demand’s social media tools suite, Pluck.

Pluck’s founder and EVP at Demand Media, Dave Panos, said this afternoon in an interview (see embedded video below) that the company is focused on integrating CoveritLive with Demand’s social media tool kit for publishers, but that integration into its syndication network could be coming soon. Demand Media’s content syndication widgets are used on its vast network of sites—from automated urls to partners including Reuters and USA Today--to offer readers contextually relevant content. I’m guessing within a year we’ll be seeing “Live Now” entries in those widgets… something along the lines of this:

Panos said the platform has seen tremendous growth recently. It attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers to sites the live-blogged Sony’s recent PlayStation 2 announcement yesterday and gets similar numbers for Apple’s Macworld.

I also asked Panos about the curious metric Demand uses to measure its reach. The site says it powers “more than 3 billion monthly interactions.” That’s a lot of… something. It turns out an “interaction” is a view of any unit of content, from a comment to a video. As a company that has embraced the fragmentation and syndication of content, Demand Media may be onto something. When a comment can be viewed via an embedded widget on someone’s site, and some pages contain a huge amount of comments that may or may not be viewed, the Pageview doesn’t quite cut it as a measurement. It’ll be interesting to see “interaction” catches on as a metric.

CoveritLive is backed by Flagstone Capital and Paul Kedrosky and, according to the release, is used by ESPN, Fox, Hearst, Sky News, TMZ, Washington Post, and Yahoo.

Panos said that Demand Media is gunning for an IPO when the time is right. The company has raised $355 million in venture capital, and, according to Demand’s CEO Richard Rosenblatt (of MySpace fame), the company is profitable. With backers like Goldman Sachs, they shouldn’t have too hard a time with an offering, once the markets rebound.

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