Demand Media, Inc. (DMD) reported its financial results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended December 31, 2013.
Q4 2013 Financial Summary:
- Total revenue ex-TAC declined 3% year-over-year, with 12% year-over-year growth in Registrar revenue offset by an 11% decline in Content & Media revenue ex-TAC. Excluding the acquisitions of Society6 and Name.com, total revenue ex-TAC decreased 15%.
- Registrar revenue grew 12% year-over-year, primarily due to the addition of Name.com, which was acquired at the end of Q4 2012. Excluding the acquisition of Name.com, Registrar revenue increased 2%.
- Owned & Operated revenue decline of 5% was driven primarily by reductions in search engine referral traffic, offset by revenue of $8.4 million from Society6, which was acquired at the end of Q2 2013. Excluding the acquisition of Society6, Owned & Operated revenue decreased 23%.
- Network revenue ex-TAC declined 31% due primarily to $3.5 million less revenue from the Company’s YouTube Channels as well as declines in the Company’s Social Media and Network Monetization businesses, offset partially by growth in Content Solutions.
- Adjusted EBITDA decreased 39% year-over-year, primarily reflecting the negative impact from search engine referral traffic on high-margin revenues and a mix shift to lower margin commerce and Registrar revenue.
“We generated over $8 million of free cash flow in the fourth quarter and over $44 million for the year,” said Demand Media’s CFO Mel Tang. “We will continue to invest our free cash flow into our strategic content, commerce and new gTLD initiatives.”
Domain Name Services:
- Launched our back-end registry platform in Q4 2013, powering the launch for over 60 new gTLDs and over 150,000 domain registrations to date.
- Signed our first registry operator agreements with ICANN in Q4 2013, and have signed 14 agreements to date, including .dance, .democrat, .immobilien and .ninja, which are currently in their ‘sunrise’ launch phase.
- Our registry entered into its first agreements with registrars to distribute our owned gTLDs, with over 40 signed to date.
- Our eNom and Name.com registrar channels signed agreements with new registry operators to distribute new gTLDs and have launched over 80 new gTLDs to date.
Content & Media:
- January 2014 US and Worldwide comScore Rankings:
- On a consolidated basis, Demand Media ranked as the #19 US web property and Demand Media’s properties reached more than 88 million unique users worldwide.
- eHow.com ranked as the #27 website in the US and reached more than 50 million unique users worldwide.
- Livestrong / eHow Health ranked as the #3 Health property in the US, with more than 20 million unique users worldwide.
- Cracked ranked as the #5 Humor property in the US, with more than 8 million unique users worldwide.
- In Q4 2013, our Content Solutions business, which delivers custom and hosted content marketing services to partners, grew revenue ex-TAC 50% year-over-year to $2.8 million.
- During Q4 2013, Society6 had a record $8.4 million of revenue and its sales on Cyber Monday increased 73% year-over-year. Society6 also expanded its product line-up to include mugs, baby onesies, kids T-shirts and a calendar created in collaboration with the artist community.
Q4 2013 Operating Metrics:
- Owned & Operated page views increased 21% year-over-year to 4.1 billion, driven primarily by mobile page view growth on our core Owned & Operated sites, which more than offset significant declines in search engine referral traffic. Owned & Operated RPM decreased 22% year-over-year, reflecting the mix shift to lower yielding mobile page views as well as lower direct display advertising, offset partially by increased revenue from Society6.
- Revenue per visit to our Owned & Operated Content sites was $0.05, up 25% year-over-year.
- Network page views decreased 50% year-over-year to 2.2 billion, reflecting the Company’s decision in Q3 2013 to focus its monetization efforts on its Owned & Operated properties. Additionally, there were lower reported page views from its Pluck customers. Network RPM ex-TAC increased 38% year-over-year, reflecting higher monetization of our Social Media and Monetization page views.
- End of period domains increased 9% year-over-year to 15.0 million, driven by the acquisition of Name.com, with average revenue per domain up 4% year-over-year, due to higher average revenue per domain on Name.com.
Due to the planned separation of the Company’s domain name services business and evolution of its content and media business, the Company is replacing quarterly and annual guidance with a discussion of expected short and long term trends.
In 2014, the Company expects the following:
- Slightly declining revenue year-over-year driven by the Company’s shift away from traditional branded display sales and continued declines in eHow coupled with product and ad format changes to improve user experience, offset partially by growth in Society6, Content Solutions and Registrar revenue.
- Adjusted EBITDA margins in the mid-teens, reflective of the inclusion of $8-$10 million of annual gTLD operating expenses post the launch of our first gTLDs in February 2014, $10-$15 million of operating expense related to content remediation and infrastructure ramp for Society6 and Content Solutions, and a revenue mix shift to lower margin commerce and domain name services revenue.
- Significant free cash flow generation.
Longer term, the Company expects the following:
- Demand Media standalone revenue driven by a return to growth in eHow, as well as our growing Content Solutions and commerce businesses contributing a significantly higher percentage of total revenue.
- Rightside revenue driven by growth in domain name services revenue from the new gTLD opportunity, partially offset by continued declines in domain parking revenue.
- For both businesses, we expect margin expansion and to continue to generate significant free cash flow.