‘Baby’ Centers Energy On Video-Thirsty Moms

BabyCenter.com has rolled out its first spate of original video content. The Johnson & Johnson–owned site has launched a pair of original series aimed at expectant and new mothers.

The first, Inside Pregnancy, is a seven-part series, featuring 3-D animation that attempts to recreate a baby’s development in the womb. The second, Live Birth, is a documentary series chronicling the delivery experiences of six different women—everything from natural to water births. Both series will be ad-supported. BabyCenter executives said they have begun talking to marketers and signed on the J&J’s Baby product line as an initial sponsor.

According to BabyCenter CEO Tina Sharkey, as online video consumption continues to surge, more women are seeking the site’s core service information through video. “I felt that, given what I was seeing in terms of share shift, we had to be as state-of-the-art and expert in multimedia as we could be,” said Sharkey. “We are seeing…evolving media consumption habits in new moms. Nap time is [the] new prime time, and we have to be there.”

BabyCenter’s investment was significant, said Sharkey, particularly for Inside Pregnancy’s 3-D animation, which took two years to produce. “This is like something you’d see on Nova.”
Down the road, users might be able to buy the series on DVD, Sharkey added. But for now, the company is looking to build out its online video library. The site has added some marketer-produced content, and plans are in the works to add user-generated content.

“We needed to anchor ourselves in expert advice first,” said Sharkey. “Then you’ll see us incite the long tail.”