IVillage Acquisition Adds Video Ad Inventory

Women’s media publisher iVillage today acquired Healthology in a $17.2 million cash and stock deal. The purchase gives the company six million new monthly pageviews of health-related video and text content upon which it can sell advertising.

“Healthology will prove valuable in building out iVillage Video and our Newborn Channel video offerings,” said Doug McCormick, iVillage chairman and CEO.

IVillage plans to sell streaming advertising on Healthology video content, which is authored by physicians. Healthology’s content library includes more than 1,200 streaming videos on health-related topics, including women’s health, healthy aging, general health and men’s health. In the company’s current video offering, iVillage Video, which is served by FeedRoom, streaming video ads are shown before each clip.

One of the first things iVillage will do is bring Healthology’s ad sales functions in-house. Healthology distributes its health content to more than 4,500 Web sites, including consumer portals, health foundations and medical associations. Some of those sites serve no ads and others serve their own ads. Going forward, all ads will be sold and delivered by Healthology, McCormick said.

“By February, we’ll see a Healthology network that is much more aggressive about selling ads on those sites,” he said.

The content will also enhance the Newborn Channel Online, the expansion of its in-hospital video network, expected to debut as a subscription site this year, according to McCormick.

McCormick expects that the acquisition will help iVillage attract more of the ad dollars spent on health content, which Interactive Advertising Bureau statistics put at $118 million last year, he said. Healthology will retain its brand, while being closely aligned with iVillage’s health and wellness area.

In addition to advertising, Healthology generates revenue by charging pharmaceutical companies for the creation, production and distribution of health-related content and streaming media. Healthology also charges fees for licensing, co-branding and re-branding content to distribution partners.

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