2-year-old Bustle hits 45 million monthly uniques, flirts with profitability, and launches a new website for millennial moms, 'Romper'
The website, which will be called "Romper," will target the millennial generation as they get older and enter a new phase of life: parenthood.
But are there really enough millennials having children to warrant a website dedicated to them?
Wheeler Johnson admits the launch of Romper may be a few years premature since most millennials (ages 18-34) aren't yet thinking about having children. And those who are having children make up a relatively small market: just 10-15 million people in the United States, according to Wheeler Johnson.
But Wheeler Johnson also cited a recent CDC census that found the average age of a new mom in the United States is 26, and that 83% of new moms are 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 insists. "Millennials are growing up and we're taking that next step with them."
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's been made popular by other new media companies like Vox and Business Insider, and older media brands like Conde 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 co-founder Bryan Goldberg in 2013, currently has about 45 million monthly unique visitors globally according to Quantcast. Goldberg says his site will generate $4 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.
"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 if Bustle intends 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."