TheSkimm has hired ad veteran Brandon Berger as its first chief business officer
- The plan is to help the newsletter company unlock different revenue streams
- The media company recent success in pushing book sales is being viewed as a replicable model
TheSkimm is looking to move beyond the inbox.
The newsletter startup has named digital advertising veteran Brandon Berger chief business officer, with the aim of helping the company expand its business beyond its daily newsletter, which reaches 6 million subscribers a day.
Berger was most recently chief digital officer worldwide for the ad agency Ogilvy & Mather. Previously he served a stint as vice president of digital innovation at the ad agency holding company MDC Partners.
TheSkimm was founded in 2012 by Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, two roommates who quit their jobs at NBC once they saw an opening to reach millennial women with a daily news roundup.
The company’s expansion process is already underway. It has already rolled out a video production arm as well as a subscription offering and partnerships with companies like Starbucks and Netflix.
The plan is to take things up a notch.
“We’ve had this great consumer narrative,” said Weisberg of theSkimm newsletter. “It was a very clear brand that people fell in love with. We almost created that before we even created the business. Now, five years in, we’re a full-fledged media company with multiple revenue streams. So it was exactly the right time to develop new revenue streams and take the company further.”
That’s where Berger comes in. The ad vet said he’s been mulling his next move for some time and was connected to theSkimm founders a few years ago at a dinner.
In his mind, few media companies have established such a strong connection with readers with so much upside, he said.
“They own 6am,” said Berger, who is moving from Chicago to New York to take on the new role. “There are very few brands in the world that have the love and trust and relationship with this customer that we have,” he said. “We can go so deep and guide this customer. We want to take advantage of that.”
For example, theSkimm has recently started a book recommendation service that has proven to drive sales. Berger and his two new bosses see the potential to apply that formula to several other ad categories.
“TheSkimm moves product,” said Weisberg. “We know how to connect with our audience.”
The startup has raised $US18 million to date, including $US8 million last year in a series B round led by 21st Century Fox.