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Bumble Doesn’t Think Print Is Dead

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The specter of magazine publishing may be haunting advertisers, but millennial-centric apps like Bumble and Airbnb are not perturbed.


More than startups, these digital-first companies are symbols of a millennial lifestyle of both travel convenience and swiping dating culture. Increasingly, they are turning to print magazines in an unexpected move meant to set them apart from the competition and engage their user base.


Bumble Mag launched on April 5, with150,000 copies. To secure a copy of the print magazine, users need open the Bumble app and match with the profile of the magazine, and the publication will send one “while supplies last,” according to Bumble editorial director’s LinkedIn page.


From day one, Bumble has brought out the big guns. The new lifestyle magazine is in partnership with longtime magazine publisher Hearst through its branded content studio, HearstMade.


“I dispute the conventional wisdom that print is dead,” Clare O’Connor, Bumble’s editorial director, told AdWeek. She added that the publication will focus on advice and “real talk” and aims to be a “big supportive sister.”


What does that sound like?


Perhaps Bumble Mag will end up like Lenny, the newsletter for female millennials that shuttered last year after high-profile partnerships with Hearst and Conde Nast. Lenny Letter had 350,000 subscribers, according to The New York Times.


Or it may gain traction, stick around for a few months or even years, or evolve into something else similar to Facebook’s flirtation with print.


Despite the unparalleled hold Facebook already has on publishing, the social media giant still launched Grow. The print publication has sprung a monthly newsletter and a podcast micropage.


Bumble’s partners and advertisers, as always, are flocking to where the audiences and the celebrities are.


While Bumble is not the fastest-growing dating app (Hinge is), the company has attracted prominent investors like actress Priyanka Chopra and tennis champion Serena Williams, who joined Bumble Fund as investors last month.


Maybe embracing print is a smart move for Bumble. Instead of celebrity-driven content platforms skewered around a specific personality’s interests, this magazine will cater to a captive audience, a somewhat established community already on the platform.


If millennials aren’t matching up with the love of their lives, then maybe they’ll turn to a print magazine instead.

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