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NBC Universal’s iVillage is continuing to build up its wellness offerings, this time with a partnership with QualityHealth. In an interview with paidContent, Jodi Kahn, iVillage’s EVP, says that QualityHealth will give the NBCU property the exclusive right to manage display ad sales for its flagship site.
The display deal is similar to the one iVillage signed with the EatingWell Media Group last spring.
“They have a core skill set that we don’t have and vice versa,” Kahn said. “They have performance management abilities, lead gen. In turn, we have a large audience base that they would like to tap into. We’re going to learn a lot from each other.”
This arrangement goes a little further than the one signed with Eating Well and offers a hint at what iVillage is looking for in future partners. Apart from offering iVillage additional content to feature and sell display ads against, QualityHealth will present wellness offers and other marketing and promotional assistance.
Since last year’s major revamp, iVillage has added or reformed a number of its vertical channels, including entertainment/celebrity, pregnancy & parenting and beauty & style. While it seems that iVillage has been mostly interested in wellness lately, Kahn said that other areas of the network will be getting more attention. For example, this week, iVillage is launching its home and garden channel with Sherwin Williams as its debut sponsor. It’s also planning to expand its beauty content. Specifically, iVillage wants more partners in the B2B and B2C spaces and is looking for entities that can augment its marketing and editorial features.
Underlying all this is its new user-gen platform coming next month. “We’re having a pretty busy summer and we’re enthusiastic about threading our content through our community,” Kahn said.
— Update: While Jersey City-based QualityHealth has a variety of marketing partnerships, the iVillage deal will help it broaden its audience reach and open up display as a revenue stream, said Rob Rebak, the company’s chairman and CEO, in an interview with paidContent. “There were two things at work here: one, we wanted to expand our audience and two, this is a real chance to expand our footprint in display. We have a fantastic set of assets and substantial inventory. But we’ve been more focused on performance-based advertising — we sell actions. Display is a different kind of ad sales experience.”
Like iVillage, QualityHealth will also continue to look for partners, but with its display efforts on solid ground right now, it will turn back to seeking out entities that can help drive conversions for its performance-based ads.
In terms of audience, QualityHealth mostly skews a little older, so iVillage, which draws a fairly wide age range of women, should also benefit on that end as well.