Glam Media has acquired Britain’s BabyWorld community site, a purchase that’s meant to both spur the company’s growth in the “family/parenting” vertical and solidify its presence in the UK. The deal also reflects a growing consolidation within the mom-blogs segment, as advertisers and brands follow female consumers into the space. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.
The acquisition also cements Glam’s focus on women’s lifestyle content, even as it as sought to broaden its collection of vertical blog networks to men with Brash, which included buying German men’s online media company Fantastic Zero last fall. For a while, Glam’s acquisition strategy — which has always been pretty active — had been centered on adding technology like the purchase of ad tech startup AdPortal, which helps power the GlamAdapt sales platform.
The company has been considered a prime IPO candidate. The company had been experiencing double digit revenue growth even during the downturn, suggesting to potential investors that Glam is a pretty safe bet. There’s a lot of competition among bankers to do IPOs in the social media space, as witnessed by the very strong demand for professional social net LinkedIn (NYSE: LNKD), which is pricing its shares on the New York Stock Exchange at $45, up from $42. The difference between Glam and some other hot prospects, like Groupon, is that it’s in the lifestyle space and has reached profitability in the U.S.
The purchase of BabyWorld comes as Glam is trying to impress marketers with its scale in the women’s lifestyle and family categories. The company pointed to recently released comScore (NSDQ: SCOR) numbers that showed Glam pulling ahead of Disney (NYSE: DIS) Online in the Family & Parenting segment last month with 25.1 million users; Disney had 24.4 million uniques.
While the company has been building physical presence in Canada and the UK, as well as in Japan, Samir Arora, Glam’s CEO and founder, said that the company sees itself as updating an older media distribution formula for the digital age.
“Globalization is the large trend of the internet,” Arora told paidContent in an interview. “The old model of media says that you produce shows in the U.S. and export it using a local partner. That does not work on the internet. The world is flatter and you need to create a new distribution model to harness this change. While we are a U.S. company, we don’t export the content one way. BabyWorld has an appeal across borders. But it was something that was created in the UK and it has a natural affinity there, of course. The point is, we don’t need to recreate it elsewhere, users in any country can consume the content. For example, if a marketer comes to us and and wants to run a campaign across six countries, we can do that with local and global content. And because the sites reflect their locations, but aren’t narrowly focused on them, it can work no matter where the user is.”