Bustle, a new media company for millennial women, is launching a second website in November.
The website, which will be called Romper, will target millennials as they get older and enter a new phase of life: parenthood.
Romper will be led by early Bustle employee Margaret Wheeler Johnson. Wheeler Johnson formerly helped The Huffington Post launch its women’s section in 2011. She is a new mom herself, and she says Romper has been in the works for a year and a half.
But are there really enough millennials having children to warrant a website dedicated to them?
Wheeler Johnson acknowledges that the launch of Romper may be a few years premature since most millennials (ages 18 to 34) aren’t yet thinking about having children. Those who are having children make up a relatively small market: just 10 million to 15 million people in the US, according to Wheeler Johnson.
But Wheeler Johnson also cites a recent census from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that found the average age of a new mom in the US was 26 and 83% of new moms were in the millennial generation.
“A lot of brands are still speaking to millennials like they’re the kids, but they’re having kids,” Wheeler Johnson says. “Millennials are growing up, and we’re taking that next step with them.”
A lot of brands are still speaking to millennials like they’re the kids, but they’re having kids.
Kate Ward, Bustle’s editor-in-chief, says the three-year-old startup is in the perfect place to launch a spin-off brand, a tactic that has been made popular by other new media companies, including Vox and Business Insider, and older media brands such as Condé Nast, Time Inc., and Hearst.
“The mission with Bustle was to reach every millennial woman there is in the US,” Ward says. “But we talked about how a lot of our lifestyle content felt a little more urban, so we were probably going to naturally reach a more coastal audience [where people are having children later] and we wanted to reach everyone. So at some point we thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to target women who have kids in their 20s?'”
Bustle, which was founded by Bleacher Report cofounder Bryan Goldberg in 2013, has about 45 million monthly unique visitors globally, according to Quantcast. Goldberg says his site will generate $4 million or $5 million during the fourth quarter of 2015 and about $10 million for the year, making his startup profitable – at least for the moment. Bustle has raised $27 million from investors like General Catalyst and Social+Capital Partnership.
- Courtesy of Bustle
Wheeler Johnson hopes Romper will have a similar trajectory, and she ultimately wants it to be the resource moms turn to when they’re up in the middle of the night with their newborns.
“It’s you, your baby, and your phone,” she says of the late-night parenting. “We want to be what you read at that time.”
More than that, she wants the site to be for all types of new moms, not just cookie-cutter families. Stories Romper plans to run include “Ways Having A Baby In Your 20s Actually Makes You More Successful,” “I Let My Son Wear A Dress To School, And It Was The Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done As His Mom,” and “I’m Raising Biracial Kids, And This Is What It’s Like.”
When asked whether Bustle intended to roll out any more websites in the future, Wheeler Johnson replied:
“That’s like asking someone who just had a baby if they’re going to have another one.”