Feeds

Consumer heavyweights race to build UK women's portal

Only women read

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
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?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.