Wisdom.Applied Wednesday: Millennials are Scarfing Down theSkimm

Very few Millennials get their daily news from an actual newspaper. Only 4% of 14-30 year-olds use newspapers as their primary news source, with most Millennials gravitating to news websites, social media and word of mouth as their primary news sources. Unfortunately, the fact that many young people are not inclined to sit down with a newspaper to learn what is going on in the world only reinforces the commonly-held belief that Millennials have shortened attention spans and are only interested in instant gratification. While the debate is still ongoing as to whether these are faults with our generation, two young female entrepreneurs, Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin, saw the lack of a news source targeted at Millennials as a business opportunity. This Wisdom.Applied Wednesday, we are looking at how Weisberg and Zakin capitalized on this niche market by creating an easily digestible and relatable news source: theSkimm.

TheSkimm, a free daily newsletter that is sent to subscribers every morning of the work week, gives readers the most important headlines of the day, a brief summary and a takeaway message (or “TheSkimm”). In order to attract the Millennial market, the newsletter is very mobile friendly, which fits in nicely with a Millennial routine of waking up and checking their phones to see what happened while they were asleep. The writing is also very relatable and witty, which makes it very readable at 5:59 EST when the newsletter is sent out. Additionally, theSkimm does not post on weekends as to not interfere with brunch plans that 20-somethings are so fond of.

Not only have Weisberg and Zakin created a product that easily fits into the lives of their target audience, they have created a way for their audience to get involved through the Skimm’bassador college program. The role of the Skimm’bassadors is to get the word out about theSkimm on their own college campus via social media, flyers, their extracurricular activities, etc.

TheSkimm could be criticized for not giving readers any motivation to read deeply and research issues further (as well as contributing to our shortened attention spans and desire for instant gratification). However, that’s the point of the newsletter. Links to full-length articles are embedded within each blurb for those who are inclined to read further, and as put by Zakin, “what’s so great about theSkimm is that we are catering to your routine and that you have no time, but also really making you engaged and making you informed about topics you might not seek out or might not be exposed to on a daily basis.” TheSkimm is an excellent example of creating a product that’s useful and fills a consumer void–and fits in to a daily routine as comfortably as an iPhone fits in a hand.

Cover Photo Source: Syda Productions

Jenny is a Junior Executive at SJG. She earned her BA in Psychology and a minor in Educational Studies in 2014 from Colgate University. Outside the office, Jenny loves to travel (usually to Disney World), bake and watch copious amounts of TLC.