TheSkimm Is Quietly Building a Terrifying Empire

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The Skimm, the easy breezy newsletter for women who like their world politics in the tone of a shampoo commercial, is rapidly expanding into a multimedia empire for women. Axios reports that co-founders Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, who now have an audience of seven million subscribers, “have acquired the technology behind the texting platform Purple,” a platform that would allow them to charge subscribers for receiving news updates via text messages.

The acquisition fits with the company’s trend towards ever-increasing expansion. In the past few months, the Skimm has launched a podcast, Skimm This, which dispenses the top news stories in 10 minutes every day, a video series, and in June are publishing a book, How to Skimm Your Life. The company also has an app, which costs $2.99 per month, which contains the podcast, a calendar, and brief summaries of the news. In March, Zakin and Weisberg secured another $12 million from Google Ventures, Spanx founder Sara Blakely, 21st Century Fox, and other companies.

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In an October feature, New York Magazine provided a flushed out portrait of the Skimm’s general mission, which is “all about making it easier to live smarter.” “Smart,” in Zakin and Weisberg’s opinion, involves self-awareness as you eat avocado toast. As New York Magazine described:

When the brand launched, the Skimm Girl loved SoulCycle and J.Crew and was drinking a jalapeño margarita. Now she cares for Club Monaco and Zara Home — she has recently ditched her roommates to live in a small space on her own — and Bumble. This summer, she was drinking Palomas and eagerly anticipating the return of This Is Us and How to Get Away With Murder. “For sure a fitness brand, too,” says Weisberg. “I’ve been hearing a lot about Peloton lately.” Zakin turns and says softly, correctingly, “Yeah, but that’s expensive.” The Skimm Girl, both agree, has an entrepreneurial spirit. “I think she might not order the pumpkin-spice latte, but she likes her avocado toast and knows that she is living a real cliché at this moment,” says Zakin, “but also has a self-awareness that can be like, Yeah, this is kind of embarrassing right now, but also I’m going to go rally and get 100k people to vote.

I look forward to drinking a SkimmWater while listening to the Skimm podcast on my Skimm headphones, sitting on my Skimm-Peloton bike. The future of media looks so bright.

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Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is a senior reporter at Jezebel.

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