Former MySpace chairman to buy ExpertVillage.com<br />
EmptyNEW YORK - A company founded by the ex-chairman of social network MySpace plans to announce on Tuesday it has purchased online video site ExpertVillage.com to bolster its archive of "how-to" information on the Internet.
Financial terms of the purchase by privately owned Demand Media were not disclosed.
ExpertVillage, founded last year, operates a site with about 17,000 videos that run one to three minutes each on everything from "How to Reduce Jet Lag" to pet-grooming tips. The company said it was already one of the top 10 channels on Google Inc.'s YouTube online video sharing site.
How-to videos represent some of the most-sought-after content on search engines, Forrester analyst Charlene Li said. "It's an immediate need."
ExpertVillage matches professional and amateur filmmakers with projects of interest to Web audiences. Topics are created from a proprietary algorithm that sifts through data related to what users search on the Web, Demand Media founder Richard Rosenblatt said in an interview.
Filmmakers agree to produce how-to films, such as one on belly-dancing, for example, and they are paid by the site for them. ExpertVillage retains the copyright.
"We intend on increasing the scale of ExpertVillage's existing business and expanding into new content areas," Rosenblatt said.
The site's videos will be made available to Demand Media's other properties including eHow Inc., a text how-to site. Videos will also be available to regular users looking to post clips on their own social network sites.
ExpertVillage faces mounting competition in online how-to videos. London-based rival VideoJug Corp. launched a U.S. version in June and now has more than 15,000 how-to videos created by its own staff. VideoJug said this month it planned to add 100,000 more videos to the site over the summer.
Forrester's Li said Demand's expertise was in improving the quality and volume of traffic to a site from search engines, and then "sell advertising around it."
Demand has been buying up relatively unknown sites since last year and relaunching them with social networking features and video capabilities that serve specific niche interests.
Rosenblatt is best known for brokering the sale of Intermix, which owned MySpace, to Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. for $580 million in 2005.