Demand Media Acquires Online Retailer

Company looking to diversify as Web traffic slides

In its first foray into e-commerce, Demand Media, owner of eHow, Livestrong and Cracked, has acquired online retailer Society6 for $94 million.

Society6 is a community of 300,000 artists who sell their wares including prints, iPhone cases and tshirts. The company generated about $15 million in revenue last year.

Demand Media is looking to diversify its business, according to AllThingsD, as it readjusts its revenue forecast. On Monday, Demand lowered its Q2 expectations from around $105 million to around $100 million, due to a reduction in search engine referral traffic to its flagship eHow website.

"This acquisition will significantly accelerate the scale of our e-commerce business as we continue to expand into new revenue models," CEO Richard Rosenblatt told Bloomberg.

Though Demand claims 100 million unique global visitors per month for its content properties, the company has recently made efforts to rely less on advertising and Google. Changes in the search engine's algorithm have not favored sites like eHow, which rely on "quick hit" traffic from inquiries for things such as recipes and job interview tips.

In March, for example, Demand acquired Creativebug, an arts-and-crafts subscription video website.

The company plans to spin off its media properties from its registrar business, which squats on domain names like .actor and .social, at the end of the year.