The growth is in verticals (how many times must this be said?)

iVillage had a 46% year-over-year display ad revenue gain in the first quarter, which has to make the folks at NBC happy. If they can maintain such rapid growth throughout the year, they’ll be looking at annual revenue approaching $150 million–50% more than last year’s $100 million, according to Gavin O’Malley at Online Media Daily.

Much of this growth likely comes from NBC’s purchase ($600 million) of the site last year and the subsequent network marketing that came with it. This is textbook television Media 2.0 strategy. It recognizes that revenue growth is in online verticals and uses its airtime to promote them. This is the new “third value” of television airtime.

iVillage is the top women’s site on the web and one that survived the bubble days to achieve that position. It was a smart purchase by NBC.

At the local level, niche communities like these are just waiting to be birthed, (and are being birthed, e.g. O8sis by Belo here in Dallas), but there’s really only room for one per topic per market.

You’d think that would create a sense of urgency among local media companies, huh?


  1. Terry, this is a rare case where I disagree with you. The mistake for most locals is to go the vertical route, and o8sis is a great example– Filled with content you can get a thousand other places, with the primary (only?) local hook being that the site sits on a local server. That’s going to generate community?

    Even companies that I see doing really smart things in local verticals miss the boat by not finding a way to integrate that into their primary site. How many convoluted URLs do we expect people to remember and actually visit? Why am I going to to go to a Dallas company’s site to read about ironing tips and the Sopranos finale?

    Ad-exemplarium rant aside, the trick on the local level is to make local the vertical and understand that by connecting individuals to “their” verticals LOCALLY you get a community. I’m not going to go to a local country music site and a local politics site and a neighborhood crimewatch site and my kid’s school site every day — But the site that gives me all that WHILE filtering out what is dross to me (and what may be treasure to you) will get the local eyeballs and advertisers.

    At least I hope so 😉

    And, btw, I do know someone in local who is already delivering behavioral content. The advertising is just a matter of a couple weeks’ dev time.

  2. Mike, I don’t disagree with you, but you have to start somewhere. It’s just simply a whole lot easier to start, say, a local sports vertical instead of building the all-encompassing local portal. You must remember that my industry doesn’t do entrepreneurship very well.

    If you’re going to start a community site, obviously it has to be LOCAL. I use O8sis, because there just aren’t a lot of good examples from the broadcasting world. And, I’d like to see companies aggregate all their verticals (and others) in the creation of portals, if that’s what you’re talking about. The problem with that, of course, is that they will tend to only offer THEIR OWN sites in an aggregator, and that won’t cut it with users.

    I believe strongly in the self-bundling of that which is unbundled and that it doesn’t matter where those bits originate. I want my clients to move in that direction and to create the application for that self-bundling. This makes more sense to me than trying to organize information for people.

    Dave Weinberger has a great line in his book “Everything is Miscellaneous” about filtering information “on the way out” instead of “on the way in,” which is the Yahoo model.

    So I guess my disagreement with you is that people are increasingly not “going” anywhere, and that they are bringing stuff to themselves. I realize this may reach “mass” downstream a bit, but I want my clients ahead of the game instead of constantly reacting to that which already exists.

    Or perhaps we don’t disagree at all.

  3. i have gotten my fill of news today from sources that include hawaii (going there on a trip in the near future), s. florida (got proterty there), w. virginia (got a son there for the week studying at NRAO…very x‑files to me) AND detroit (my home) among others.

    yet, in all my ‘travels’ the ads did not follow ME.

    gotta be a rev. sharing deal to make it happen, but when i can travel worldwide by noon and be back in time for lunch w/ very little relevant advertising there’s an opportunity missed.

    if that’s what you call behavioral then we totally agree.

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