Another historic online industry moment today with the announcement that NBC Universal is acquiring iVillage, a grassroots Internet brand, that grew out of AOL's Greenhouse project under Ted Leonsis. The Wall Street Journal article notes the iVillage deal is another in a string of mainstream media acquiring successful online brands:
In the last few years, New York Times Co. bought hub About.com, News Corp. bought social-networking site MySpace and Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal Online as well as the print Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, purchased financial-news service MarketWatch site MySpace and Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal Online as well as the print Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, purchased financial-news service MarketWatch- WSJ
The press release and webcast are available under the corporate information section of the iVillage site. The webcast lead by Beth Comstock, President of NBC Digital Media, is recommended listening as they describe the value of iVillage as "one of the nation's most successful online destinations for women", and their expectations for its contribution to NBC's digital strategy. In the words of the press release:
With this acquisition, NBC Universal will engage millions of loyal iVillage users, a community which mirrors a key demographic of the NBC Universal audience - women. Every part of NBC Universal, from television and film to home entertainment will support and drive iVillage forward. From this platform, NBC Universal will chart the next generation of digital content development and enhance user experience
For those who may have thought online "community" is dead, the value of a passionate, loyal, connected audience as iVillage has created is clearly alive and well at NBC Universal. In the webcast Beth Comstock's words include:
"..compelling content and finding engaging destinations.. marry community with content.. proprietary content and a way to engage users and advertisers.. turbocharges what we do.."
"programming and community.. experiences wherever technology can take it.. videos, community.. "