NBCU’s Strategy On Women’s Sites Appears To Work; Collective Traffic Up 28 Percent

NBC Universal’s (NYSE: GE) strategy to link its women’s sites together in a content and ad network seems to be paying off, traffic- wise at least. The company’s cluster of women-oriented sites operating under the [email protected] banner– iVillage.com, BlogHer, Oxygen.com and BravoTV.com — attracted a collective 19.8 million uniques last month, ClickZ reported, citing stats from Media Metrix. That number represents a 28 percent increase over the 15.4 million uniques it had in August 2007, signifiying the 25th straight month of year-over-year growth.

Validation for iVillage: As an individual site, iVillage, is up 26 percent, Peter Naylor, SVP of digital media sales for NBCU told ClickZ. In particular, the Parenting and Pregnancy Channel grew 8 percent over the same period last year. If the growth continues, it will represent a considerable victory for iVillage, which had been struggling up until last spring, such as when NBCU pulled the plug on the iVillage Live TV show due to disastrous ratings in February. The site itself had undergone a series of overhauls as well since being acquired by NBCU for $600 million over two years ago.

The trend continues: By the time NBC Universal had launched its [email protected], its long-anticipated virtual female-targeted content and ad network, in May, it looked like the media company was a little late to the party. In the two months prior to [email protected]’s unveiling, Yahoo (NSDQ: YHOO) introduced its female-focused site, Shine, while media stars Liz Smith, Lesley Stahl, Peggy Noonan, Mary Wells and others banded together to create WowoWow (WomanOnTheWeb). And to show that the trend isn’t slowing, earlier this week, AOL (NYSE: TWX) pulled the curtain up on Lemondrop, billed as an “edgy” site catering to young women.