The number of articles available to claim at Demand Studios has dropped drastically. On the heels of the Seed.com shutdown, writers are asking what this might mean for Demand Studios a.k.a. Demand Media.
Low Number of Articles at Demand Studios
The official explanation from Demand Studios is always the same, that different clients have different needs that fluctuate over time. The party line makes sense when the company is talking about third-party websites, but much of the content generated by writers for Demand Studios ends up on Demand Media’s own websites such as eHow.com. Even if the demand from the company for articles on eHow and other Demand Studios websites does fluctuate, it is somewhat disingenuous for the company to act like it has no idea what is happening on the demand side of the equation, or whether such demand will resume, or when.
I have often wondered if the titles, especially Demand Studios titles that pay higher, dry up around the end of the quarter. Demand Media is a publicly traded company. As such, it must report its financials quarterly. Many companies hold off on taking on expenses at the end of a quarter or the end of the year. By deferring expenses into the next quarter, a company can report higher profits and lower expenditures for a given quarter. This is especially alluring for a company like Demand Media, where any given article costs money now, but earns that money back over time.
Consider as an example, if Demand writers generated 5,000 titles during the last week of a quarter. At $15 per article (which is the going rate for basic articles), that works out to $75,000 in expenses, with virtually no time to generate any earnings off of those articles. If, on the other hand, those same articles were generated during the first week of the following quarter, then current quarter profits would be $75,000 higher. These are paltry numbers to be sure, but this is just an example. I have no idea how many articles are generated on a given month.
Are There Any Demand Studios Articles Left?
So, what happened to all the Demand Studios titles to be claimed?
To be completely accurate, the Demand Studios queue rarely reaches zero. That being said, certain categories current have no titles available for Demand Studios writers at all. For example, there are no articles in Investing, Personal Finance, or any of the other eHow Money categories that I like to write for to keep sharp as a freelance financial writer. In fact, the total articles available overall is just over 1500 as I write this.
For those writers who depend on writing for Demand Studios full-time or as a major part of their income, this is a major concern. If there are no titles to write, then you can’t make any money writing. For me, it’s a bummer because I had a bit of spare time and was hoping to earn a quick $100 from writing Demand Media articles.
Potentially ominous is that the 3rd quarter is over, so if my theory was correct, titles should be coming back now. Of course, there might be a need for that process to take longer to avoid any wrong impressions, but for now, the writer’s forums are filling up with worried writers wondering if Demand Studios is going out of business like Seed.com. As a public company, that isn’t likely, but professional writers who depend on Demand Studios would be wise to diversify their client list unless they want to be pinching pennies during the holiday season.