'Media Titan' Moves in Small (Even Empty) Websites

Little-known Internet player hitting the big time with simple idea
By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 16, 2008 1:29 PM CDT
Rosenblatt at an event.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – Richard Rosenblatt doesn’t work in Silicon Valley and few people, even there, know his name. But in just 2 years his Demand Media has become a huge player, backed by $355 million in private investment, and pulling in nearly $200 million in revenue this year, the Los Angeles Times reports. His big idea is, well, a small one: eat up thousands of niche social-networking websites, the so-called Long Tail of the Internet, and create tailored content that draws the faithful, and by extension, the advertisers.

Demand Media is valued at $1 billion by its investors, and Yahoo has recently expressed interest in purchasing the loose conglomeration of websites and content. Rosenblatt, who has had a storied, if occasionally shady, trip through the Internet era, put his business plan simply. “Google finds the Long Tail,” he said, “and we fill it.” An analyst is ebullient. “Is this a potential out-of-nowhere media titan? This would seem to be, yeah.”