Wired article about Demand Media's automated How To videos

Man, the web really does change everything!

The company “Demand Media” has developed a Google-like business model for creating how-to videos:

  1. Use data mining to figure out what people are searching for.
  2. Use semantic database to figure out what their search queries mean. (e.g. “how to draw a gun” vs. “how to draw a flower”.)
  3. Find out how much advertisers are willing to pay for an ad that appears next to the video.
  4. Look at how much content already exists to answer the question.
  5. Use 1-4 to calculate the expected lifetime value of the how-to video.
  6. Automate the process of matching freelance writers, videographers, editors, and fact checkers to create the video as inexpensively as possible. (In the $30 per video range.)
  7. Host the resulting videos on Youtube (and other video sites) and monetize with ad keywords.

They say that the algorithm produces lifetime values about 5 times higher than human editors do.

These guys have basically automated the “How to” video market. Amazing! I wonder if they will move up the video food chain into music videos, TV shows or movies? It might work for low budget children’s programming.

Or even for casual games. Hmm.