Robinhood Launches New Media Outlet Sherwood Media

Robinhood Launches New Media Outlet Sherwood Media

by January 25, 2023

Digital investment platform Robinhood is launching a new media arm called Sherwood Media, which will cover the markets, economics, business, technology and the culture of money, the company said last week. The fintech firm joins the growing list of companies that are entering the media business in a bid to gain exposure, sell more products and become more profitable.

Sherwood Media, which will operate as a subsidiary of Robinhood, will be led by media entrepreneur and technology editor Joshua Topolsky and will build on the company’s successful daily newsletter, Robinhood Snacks.

Robinhood Snacks is a three-minute newsletter that aims to give subscribers “a daily dose of financial news.” It’s meant to be “the most fun business news you can get” and easily digestible to the everyday person. Previously known as MasterSnacks until the company was acquired by Robinhood in 2019, Robinhood Snacks has amassed a significant readership, totaling 36 million email subscribers in June 2021.

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Robinhood Snacks homepage, Source: snacks.robinhood.com

Robinhood Snacks homepage, Source: snacks.robinhood.com

Topolsky, the founder and former editor-in-chief of tech news network The Verge; co-creator of its parent company Vox Media; and a former chief digital content officer at Bloomberg, will serve as the editor-in-chief and president of the newly formed entity.

He will be in charge of overseeing the entire operation, including product development and the hiring of editorial and sales talent, Topolsky told American news website Axios in an interview. Dozens of employees are expected to be hired this year, including reporters, editors and social media content creators, he said.

Sherwood Media will house Snacks, the company said, and a suite of new editorial offerings are expected to be launched throughout 2023 focusing on news updates and analysis, original reporting, social-first content, as well as live events. New newsletter products centered around specific verticals related to business and finance could also be introduced in the future, Topolsky said.

While Robinhood had in the past made no effort to monetize Snacks, Sherwood Media will provide advertising opportunities to select partners, Robinhood said.

Moreover, because Sherwood Media is being established as an independent company, the media outlet will be able to cover Robinhood “where and when it makes sense, with disclosures obviously,” Topolsky said, something Robinhood Snacks wasn’t able to do “to avoid any real or perceived conflict of interest.”

Topolsky compared the move to that of Bloomberg, which started out as a financial software provider before expanding to consumer media and becoming one of the world’s leading news agencies.

Robinhood is one of the increasing number of companies that are either creating or acquiring news and media companies to build their brand, acquire new customers and increase customers retention.

HubSpot, a publicly traded marketing software company, acquired in 2021 The Hustle, a media outlet focused on business news that clocks close to two million newsletter subscribers. The deal reportedly valued The Hustle at around US$27 million.

JP Morgan, the world’s largest financial services institution, acquired The Infatuation, a publisher that offers reviews and recommendations on restaurants across the US and internationally.

Last year, Pipe, a US trading platform for recurring revenues, acquired Purely Capital, a media and entertainment financing company. Pipe said in a statement that the deal was meant to help Pipe expand into other sectors, furthering its mission to becoming the trading platform for any company with recurring revenues, regardless of industry.

Other organizations, meanwhile, have opted instead to build their own media platforms. This is the case for Coinbase, which rolled out in 2021 a new blog called Fact Check to hit back at negative press coverage and “misinformation”.