The About page of Betches.com reads,
We’re the website, Instagram, podcasts, store, books – everywhere that young females go to experience the thoughts that run through their heads, but are too afraid or uncomfortable, to say out loud.
In 2011, Samantha Fishbein, Aleen Kuperman, and Jordana Abraham, then seniors at Cornell University, began their company as a WordPress blog catering to other college-aged women and recent graduates. Since then, Betches Media has evolved into a full-fledged multimedia destination, covering a vast range of topics from hard-hitting news and politics, to beauty and dating advice, to entertainment and live events.
In 2017, Forbes estimated that Betches’ revenue exceeded $5 million, and each of the founders was recently named to the 2019 Forbes 30 Under 30 Media list. Their overwhelming success has transpired as a direct result of the Betches’ willingness to say the things that everyone is thinking, providing a “community for women around the world who desire to keep things real,” as they say so themselves.
Today the brand features:
- A wildly popular Instagram account (@Betches) with over 6.6 million followers,
- a growing podcast portfolio with at least eight separate weekly productions (including Betch Slapped, U Up?, and Diet Starts Tomorrow),
- two New York Times bestselling books and one more published last year,
- and an e-commerce platform called Shop Betches.
But that’s not all. For the bulk of this post I want to focus on two entirely new business ventures that will soon fall under the Betches unbrella and ideally take the company to the next level–a dating app and a Freeform television series.
The Dating App: Ship
First, Ship is the dating app created by Betches in collaboration with Mandy Ginsberg of Match Group (the owners of Match.com, OkayCupid and Tinder), with the goal of mimicking the way women lean on their friends while dating. Fittingly, “dating made fun again” is its slogan.
The instructions are simple. If you’re single, you sign up and invite friends to your Crew. Then you either sit back and let your Crew find you matches, or join them in the search. Finally, you can discuss prospects with your Crew, decide who you want to talk to, and move forward with whoever you choose. If you’re not single, you can sign up and select “I’m not single,” join your single friends’ Crews, and match them with people you deem worthy.
In an interview with Forbes, Fishbein, Kuperman, and Abraham describe how the app will hopefully revolutionize the culture of dating apps. “By inviting your friends and family to join you in the dating experience,” they explain, “the dating experience feels less isolating as there is comfort in numbers… [we] wanted to implement behaviors that mimic the [real life] dating experience like group chats, which are like the digital version of the post-date conversations you have with friends over brunch.”
The Series: Betches
Next, last month Freeform announced its plans to enter the animated comedy space with two new female-led series–one titled Woman World, and one by the name of Betches. The latter will be based on the multimedia brand itself, following three millenial best friends and roommates as they are determined to figure out who they are in their careers and in love. In addition to Fishbein, Kuperman, and Abraham, Emma Roberts of American Horror Story has been named a producer of the show and is likely to voice one of the three main characters.
It had been previously reported by the Hollywood Reporter that the same animated TV series was in the works at Comedy Central, but this announcement seems to align much more seamlessly with the Betches brand. The cheeky, irreverent tone commonly present in the editorial and video content produced by Betches will likely be appreciated by Freeform’s teen and young adult audiences, with the fact that the show will be animated adding another dimension to the channel’s current lineup. The timing of this development does come at an odd moment, given that Disney, Freeform’s parent company, has just announced the introduction of its own streaming service, Disney+. While most Freeform content currently lives on Hulu’s streaming service, it will be interesting to see where the newer content like Betches will end up long term. In my opinion, this could either make or break the show’s success.
The Future of Betches Media
In the same interview where they were asked about Ship, the co-founders of Betches talk about the future of the company:
Bringing Betches into the tech space via Ship has encouraged us to continue to grow our brand onto other platforms. One area in particular we’re continuing to prioritize is our ever-expanding podcasting empire. As a multi-platform media company that mainly reaches our audience digitally, we’re also excited to engage with our audience in new ways, especially through IRL events and partnerships with other like-minded brands.
So far, no other company has even come close to duplicating what Fishbein, Kuperman and Abraham have created. At this point in time, the founders still own 100% of the company. This leaves a lot of room for growth, but also significant room for error.
What do you think–is the future bright for Betches Media?