NEW YORK NBC Universal’s iVillage has inked a content sharing partnership with the women-centric blogging network BlogHer, which as part of the companies’ new relationship will receive $5 million in series B investment from both NBCU’s parent company General Electric and the venture capital firm Venrock.
BlogHer, founded in 2005, manages a female-oriented community of 2,200 individual blogs. Through the new deal, select content from those blogs will be featured on the NBCU Web sites iVillage, Oxygen.com and BravoTV.com – which are all part of the company’s new Women@NBCU platform, which pools together assets from multiple women-focused brands.
In addition, while BlogHer will continue to maintain its own ad sales operations, the two companies plan to collaborate on several large scale promotional opportunities. Those opportunities may in part be driven by a new female-targeted digital ad sales network being launched by NBCU, which Lauren Zalaznick, the president of women and lifestyle entertainment announced in conjunction with the BlogHer deal. That network will encompass iVillage, BravoTV.com, Oxygen.com and Sugar Inc., another network of women-targeted blogs which iVillage partnered with roughly a year ago.
NBCU is betting that this digital network, and its expanding overall reach in the women’s market online, make the company a must buy for brands targeting women on the Web. “In today’s fragmented market, Women@NBCU digital is uniquely positioned to offer advertisers access to a wide range of women with one-stop-shopping,” said Peter Naylor, NBCU’s senior vp of digital media sales. “The BlogHer partnership, in addition to our already robust offering in the women’s digital space, gives us an unparalleled online presence in this key sector of the market.”