Video Looms Larger in iVillage Site Overhaul

NEW YORK iVillage said it has redesigned its Web site with an eye to expanding its video advertising inventory.

Visitors to the women-focused site now see video offerings on each Web page. IVillage recently upgraded its video content through its $17.2 million acquisition of Healthology, a medical information provider with a library of 1,200 streaming videos.

“Demand is outstripping supply,” said Peter Naylor, senior vice president of sales at iVillage. “I would love to get more video inventory.”

Videos are preceded by a 15-second advertisement. Video advertisers on the site include Kraft, Microsoft and NBC.

Online video advertising is pegged as a big growth area. Jupiter Research has forecast ad spending on Internet video will rise from $121 million in 2003 to $198 million in 2005.

Added video advertising sales would help iVillage boost its growing online ad sales. In the third quarter, the company reported $16.7 million in revenue and a $1.1 million profit. Excluding an ad deal with Hearst that expired in June 2004, third-quarter 2004 ad sales increased nearly 50 percent to $5.7 million compared to the same quarter a year earlier, according to iVillage. The company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter and full-year results on Feb. 9.

The site overhaul cuts down on the number of links on iVillage’s home page from 80 to about 20. It now gives visitors entry into the eight most popular areas of the site, which include sections like health and entertainment. IVillage has also put its search box in a more prominent position on the home page for visitors looking for specific information. IVillage generated $200,000 in revenue from paid listings in the third quarter through a partnership with Google.

The site has also adopted the Interactive Advertising Bureau’s suite of four standard ad units.

Kellie Gould, iVillage’s editor-in-chief, said iVillage would produce more of its own programming like its “Too Sexy for Work?” video feature currently on the site.

“We’re definitely going to do more of that,” she said. “We really wanted to make sure consumers understand this isn’t just a place you come when you have a problem.”