Stock trading app Robinhood has seen rapid growth during the pandemic, leading it to raise hundreds of millions more dollars in funding — most recently in a $200 million round that valued the company at $11.2 billion.
And the content side of the business has been growing as well. The company acquired the financial podcast and newsletter MarketSnacks early last year, rebranding it as Robinhood Snacks. Now it says the Snacks newsletter has 20 million subscribers, while the podcast has nearly 2 million monthly listeners. And a shorter version of the podcast, the Snacks Minute, was one of Spotify's most popular podcasts of the summer.
Snacks founders Jack Kramer and Nick Martell still host the podcast and they'll be hosting the video series as well. Like the rest of their content, it's a news-focused show, filmed from their living rooms and quickly edited by the Robinhood Snacks team.
"We're starting with two videos a week for now, until we get the hang of it," Kramer told me. But the goal is to get to a daily publication schedule in the "near future."
He argued that video seemed like the best way to reach new, younger audiences who might not be reading the newsletter or listening to the podcasts. The approach will be similar to other Robinhood Snacks products, analyzing two big financial stories in less than three minutes, and in a way that should be accessible to normal viewers.
Kramer suggested that just as Robinhood is trying to "democratize finance for all," Robinhood Snacks is trying to deliver financial news in "a totally new way." As Martell put it, they want Snacks to be useful to experienced investors while remaining accessible to people who don't know "what an earnings report [is], don’t know revenues from profit and maybe are confused about why the Tiffany's acquisition isn't going through."
"When we’re covering news, we're focused on: How is this relevant to listeners as consumers?" Kramer added. "How is this relevant to investors as a potential investor in the company stock? And how is this interesting and relevant to consumers with regard to trends that play in the story that we’re telling. It's not just earnings per share."
The ultimate goal, he said, is to make finance "as culturally relevant as music, sports and the arts."