The Washington Post announced its creation of The Lily, a branch of the Post dedicated to stories and columns on gender equality, women’s health and other topics designed for millennial women on Wednesday, Jan. 18.
While The Lily won’t launch until later this year, plans for the platform include producing a newsletter twice a week offering original content that will “emphasize platform-specific storytelling, integrating smart content with striking visuals to inform and entertain.” Post stories, videos and photos will also be shared through the news product, which will appear on Medium, Facebook and Instagram.
“This is a first-of-its-kind initiative for The Post which pulls content together in a way we don’t naturally do on our site. By launching under a different brand, we can give The Lily its own voice, more freely experiment with how we present Post journalism, and see if we can capture a new audience we wouldn’t otherwise have,” said Tracy Grant, deputy managing editor at The Post, in a WashPostPR blog. “This initiative has the potential to be a model for how we distribute Post content in the future.”
While there is the notion that millennials don’t consume the news and that The Lily is reaching out to an entirely new market segment, this isn’t entirely true.
In a study by the Media Insight Project 69 percent of millennials, or anyone who is between the ages of 18-34, were found to get news at least once a day. The following statistics were also highlighted in the study:
- 85 percent of millennials said keeping up with the news is at least somewhat important to them
- 45 percent regularly follow five or more “hard news topics”
- 86 percent said they see diverse opinions on social media
- 40 percent pay for at least one news-specific service, app, or digital subscription
The statistics cited in the study contradict the common perception by researchers and social critics that millennials don’t visit news sites, read the news and have a narrow perspective of the world around them.
The millennials surveyed in the study also get news from more than three social media platforms; 88 percent get their news from Facebook, 83 percent get their news from Youtube and 50 percent get their news from Instagram.
These are great signs for The Lily in reaching a target audience that consumes news on Facebook and Instagram, especially in having the opportunity to build its own voice and brand image. However, The Lily also has the potential to cannibalize the Post’s current audience or fail to interest milliennial women, but only time will tell as the product begins to produce content.
The name “The Lily” is a reference to the first United States newspaper edited by and for women, first published in 1849. What are your thoughts on The Lily? Let me know in the comments below!