Demand Media just announced that it has acquired CreativeBug, a provider of online video workshops for arts and crafts. The property should fit right into the company's content network, which it plans to split away from its domain registrar business.
"They are on the leading edge of two big growth opportunities: e-learning and crafts," a spokesperson for Demand Media tells WebProNews. "The overall market opportunity is huge – the crafts industry has grown into a $30 billion dollar industry and the worldwide e-learning market is around $90+ billion."
"The Creativebug acquisition accelerates our expansion into e-learing, one of the paid content models that we plan to aggressively invest in during 2013," she adds.
During a recent earnings call, Demand Media said it intends to increase its investment in content production, and evolve its content production arm (Demand Studios). CEO Richard Rosenblatt indicated the company will double its investment in content this year. He said they would diversify into new content models, and expand the core ad-driven model with new paid opportunities, including subscription video and e-learning content. We can probably expect to see similar announcements in the near future.
“We’re seeing a ‘disruption and reinvention’ in the way that people are learning new skills. They are increasingly going online to learn both practical and creative skills, and we believe this convergence has huge potential,” said Joanne Bradford, Demand Media's Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer. “Instead of browsing at a bookstore or attending a class at the local community college, people are going online to learn from a world-renowned expert at a time that fits their schedule, accessing online videos from their smartphone, tablet or desktop.”
“Creativebug represents a community of true believers. From our employees to our customers and instructors, everyone at Creativebug has experienced firsthand the obsession and addiction of being an artist/designer/crafter,” said Creativebug Founder and CEO Jeanne Lewis. “We take pride in doing everything thoughtfully, from filming high quality videos that illustrate the exquisite detail of hand-stitching to hand-delivering donations to our favorite local causes. We decided to join Demand Media because they care deeply about content and communities, and we are glad that we can offer our instructors a broader platform to reach more people.”
Creativebug should appeal to the Etsy crowd (which has grown substantially over the past year).
“Creativebug masterfully leveraged the e-learning and craft trend in the emerging ‘Create it Yourself’ movement to become a leader in this market,” said Dan Brian, Demand Media's Executive Vice President of Media. “We’ve seen interest in craft-related content on eHow grow more than 20% on average every year over the last three years. We’re sprinting to keep up with demand, adding 29% more video content over the same period. Millions of people who visit eHow every month will be able to access Creativebug’s video workshops led by the top artists and designers in the world. We’re thrilled to add the passionate Creativebug team to the Demand Media family.”
eHow itself continues to expand internationally as well, while Demand Media appears to be leaving the famous Google Panda update, which significantly impacted its business not so long ago, in the rear view mirror for good. That's definitely a good thing for the company, considering that Panda is evolving into a rolling update.
A major part of Demand Media's strategy has been taking advantage of social media channels, and skills learned from a site like Creativebug would no doubt flourish on a channel like Pinterest.
As far as e-learning, IBIS Capital estimates the market to be about $91 billion.
Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.