2-year-old Bustle hits 45 million monthly uniques, flirts with profitability, and launches a new website for millennial mums, 'Romper'

Bustle, a new media company for millennial women, is launching a second website in November.

The website, which will be called “Romper,” will target the millennial generation as they get older and enter a new phase of life: parenthood.

Margaret wheeler johnson bustle romperBustleMargaret Wheeler Johnson is the managing editor of Bustle’s new site, Romper


Romper will be led by early Bustle employee Margaret Wheeler Johnson. Wheeler Johnson formerly helped The Huffington Post launch its “Women” section in 2011. She is a new mum herself and 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 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 mum in the United States is 26, and that 83% of new mums 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.

Bustle editorsBustleBustle editors: Alex Finkel, Editorial Operations; Jennifer Hollander, Senior News Editor (on floor); Kelsea Stahler, Associate Entertainment Editor; Kara McGrath, Fashion & Beauty Editor; Julie Alvin, Senior Lifestyle Editor; Lia Beck, Associate Entertainment Editor.

“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 $US4 or $US5 million during the fourth quarter of 2015, and about $US10 million for the year, making his startup profitable — at least for the moment. Bustle has raised $US27 million from investors like General Catalyst and Social+Capital Partnership.

Wheeler Johnson hopes Romper will have a similar trajectory and ultimately wants it to be the resource mums 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 mums, 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 Mum,” 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.”

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