Feeds

Consumer heavyweights race to build UK women's portal

Only women read

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Consumer publishing houses are crowding into the UK's underdeveloped Women's website sector.

We say "underdeveloped", because no mass-market web site for women actually spring to mind. But in coming months, there could be four or five heavyweight companies jockeying for position in this market. IPC, the UK's biggest consumer publishing house, has gone cap in hand to Cinven, the supplier of its MBO finance, for £25 million to fund the development and launch of IPC electric, The Observer reports.

National Magazines is launching a UK-centric version of women.com (they share the same owner in Hearst Magazines) sometime soon. And the Daily Mail, a mid-market tabloid which boasts the biggest percentage of female readers of any UK newspaper, is also preparing for a "women-related site", code-named charlottestreet.com, The Observer reveals.

Throw into the pot Handbag.com launched last week by the Telegraph group and Boots, the high street chemist and UK household institution, and you've got a heady brew.

But wait there's more. Lurking in the background is Time Warner, said to be "investing millions in a European venture that will cut across some of the areas covered by women.com and IPC electric".

The Net land-grab for British women is prompted by the US success of women.com and iVillage, each of which claims 4 million unique users a month. Women.com has a head-start over IPC electric - it's got the infrastructure, the software and the content already in place. IPC is more difficult to call. It's got the content, the brands, the paper distribution - but are its pockets deep enough?

Our eyebrows were raised by IPC's decision to seek external finance to build its site. This probably has a lot to do with the company's need to conserve cash in the run up to flotation (sometime next year, we guess). IPC bosses bought the company from Reed in 1997 for £860 million -- the interest payments are huge and they need to recapitalise the business on the stock market. They also need to supply their VC with a reasonably quick exit route. Finally, we trust IPC electric is a working title - as a brand name it sucks. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
Banking apps: Handy, can grab all your money... and RIDDLED with coding flaws
Yep, that one place you'd hoped you wouldn't find 'em
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Ballmer leaves Microsoft board to spend more time with his b-balls
From Clippy to Clippers: Hi, I see you're running an NBA team now ...
Video of US journalist 'beheading' pulled from social media
Yanked footage featured British-accented attacker and US journo James Foley
Primetime precrime? Minority Report TV series 'being developed'
I have to know. I have to find out what happened to my life
Broadband slow and expensive? Blame Telstra says CloudFlare
Won't peer, will gouge for Internet transit
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
prev story

Whitepapers

Best practices for enterprise data
Discussing how technology providers have innovated in order to solve new challenges, creating a new framework for enterprise data.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?