After pricing its shares at $17 last night, Demand Media went public this morning with an initial public offering. After only a few hours on the market, Demand Media, Inc. (DMD) was trading at $25 a share -- it's since fallen to the $23 per share range, but that is still considerably higher than was anticipated. With 8.9 million shares available, trading in that range puts the company's market cap near $2 billion, more than that of the New York Times and in the same general ballpark as IAC and AOL, two big (and established) players in the digital space. That's as crazy as it sounds.
The mad scramble to pick up some of Demand's shares doesn't mean that the company is putting out quality content, as Jeff Bercovici noted this afternoon in a post on his Forbes blog. "This is as good a time as any to point out that much of the content Demand churns out is still profoundly, absurdly stupid," he wrote. And that's not a stretch. Bercovici selected a few articles that Demand has produced recently -- "How to Pick Blueberries in Iowa," "Ideas for Organizing Scrunchies," "How to Unscrew the iTouchless Pepper Mill," among others -- that seem like they were cherry picked to make a point. And they may have been. But if they were, Bercovici put too much time into this piece because this is the kind of content that Demand is producing on a daily basis.