NBC buys iVillage — which has been standing on the corner like a floosie with a big pricetag for sometime now — for $600 million. I’m not sure I get it — that is, I’m not sure what addition this brings GE strategically. When the NY Times Company bought About.com (full disclosure: I consult there), it got a cut of search advertising and search engine optimization expertise. When Dow Jones bought Marketwatch, it got the traffic it couldn’t generate behind its pay wall to sell the advertising it was leaving on the table. When News Corp. bought MySpace, it got a new relationship with the public and a new means of promoting and probably creating entertainment. In the latest old media/new media mashup, NBC buys a content site with lots of forums and horoscope traffic at a high price. This feels more like a mini (and much less harmful) version of Time Warner and AOL: trying to buy the online strategy you missed out on. Or what am I missing?

  • It brings NBC women — online, and no doubt, in synergy with its more traditional television and other properties. The larger and more influential audience will allow for new advertising, sponsorship, and other opportunities to be integrated throughout the NBC Universal network of properties.

  • Yet DailyCandy is worth $100 million? Get real. This is a great deal for NBC, a total bargain. iVillage has a loyal audience, one that dwarfs any blog. (They have those too.) You might even call their base “customers” but iVillage thinks of their readers as “neighbors.”

  • Michael Grisham

    AOL bought Time Warner, not the other way around. Are we a little conventional-media-centric?

  • Update to my previous comment: Still can’t understand why this is a good deal? Go here. Methinks you’re prone to jump the gun and even treat Web 1.0 companies like Old Media. That’s a silly thing to do, especially concerning one that is “successful.”

    I’m baffled you don’t see the value in this deal. Are you really a business consultant?

  • Tom

    Another analogy might be EW Scripps in reverse. Similar content, similar demographics only EW built out their own online properties. NBC OTOH is taking existing online properties to augment their offline channel.

  • Mandy
    Can you tell us in real measurable examples, “What’s the value in this deal?”
    And please sign your work.

  • “And please sign your work”?

    Are you completely mad, Laurence??

    I have a request too, please go f*ck yourself. Read Jeff’s post about the protection of anonymity and then go f*ck yourself again. I didn’t come in here guns-a-blazin’ or make a mess of the place with cowardly comments. I stated an opinion and provided a link to the NYT blog. There are many reasons why people choose to post anonymously. The nerve of you. I won’t waste any more effort trying to explain the value of a good deal on someone like you, not worth the time.

  • Observer


    in all honesty, who knows? NBCUD is spending $600M for a female-centric site, which will hopefully help NBCU’s core business (tv ad sales, movie sales), and may add some online ad growth and digital media sales around the margins.

    It’s not like iVillage is a profit-making powerhouse. True, there’s the possibility now of offering advertisers tv + web ad buys. But I dunno why NBCU didn’t just get its own website(s) together or brand a new one; I’d have thought that $600m would go a long way in that direction. Maybe iVillage will grow and thrive – we’ll have to see.

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