We are an industry that tells stories about others. But this year, media is scrutinizing itself. What is the truth, and whose truth is it? What consequences does our work have? How can media make itself resilient?
In times like these, Refinery29 has found it rewarding to return again and again to what’s always been our North Star: serving the women who read us, watch us, teach us, and motivate us to push back, speak up, and fight out loud. What Refinery29 makes fuels this woman who’s rapidly changing how the world operates, from her own household to The Hill. Through this year of reckoning, our strengths — our nimbleness, our diversity, our purpose-driven staff — have made us resilient and valuable. Join us in acknowledging all the work we’ve accomplished this year.
The 2018 elections saw the most amount of women running for office in order to defend our rights. Our deep and empathetic coverage of the underdogs — from Democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Republican Young Kim — set us apart from traditional newspapers that largely ignored these women. Read more.
Our readers were rabid about our Money Diaries column, with 7MM unique visitors in 2018 joining our conversation about how real women spend their cash — one of the most pervasive taboos for women. Viral posts got the entire internet discussing privilege and ambition, with features in The Washington Post, WSJ's MarketWatch, The New Yorker, BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, and more. Additionally, author and Refinery29’s work and money director Lindsey Stanberry turned the franchise into a resourceful book. Lindsey crossed the country on a sold-out book tour, connecting with real women to discuss why we don't talk enough about our finances — and why we should. Read more.
Refinery29 global editor-in-chief Christene Barberich’s critically acclaimed podcast UnStyled celebrated its third season with a litany of guests, including Aly Raisman, Cynthia Nixon, Tess Holliday, and Bethenny Frankel, who joined Christene for a live taping at Advertising Week. As always, the podcast explores the funny, inspiring, sometimes heartbreaking tales of life, work, and love — as told through the things that we wear. Read more.
Refinery29 writer Connie Wang hosts this second season of Style Out There, traveling to Namibia, Japan, and beyond to look at the relationships between what women wear and what they have to say. The show has reached 30M people and has a 352% higher watch time than average. The February relaunch won a prestigious Newswomen’s Club of New York Front Page award this fall. Watch now.
We debuted an investigative video series this year that calls out the illegal, dangerous, and sketchy practices inside the notoriously under-examined beauty industry. Host and Refinery29 writer Lexy Lebsack goes deep within the source of human hair extensions, the exploitation of NFL cheerleaders, and the unlicensed plastic surgeons flourishing on Instagram. In 2018, this series was watched for 140M minutes. Watch now.
With a diverse staff dedicated to covering race in America, Refinery29 made the decision to take “months” devoted to minority awareness and turn them into opportunities to discuss taboo subjects: Why aren’t minority women celebrated all year long? Has discussing cultural appropriation made us less culturally sensitive? How do we reconcile our past and current traumas to imagine a more just future? From Black Is The New Black to #NotYourTokenAsian to #SomosLatinx, our coverage was complicated, compassionate, and courageous. Read more.
Our ever-popular Beauty Innovator Awards really dug into what women consider beautiful this year, celebrating brands who made inclusivity a priority, the people that showed us new ways to express beauty, and the no-BS products that actually worked. View awards.
Refinery is making a huge difference in Hollywood by making our films and respecting the director’s vision.
JESSICA SANDERS / The Los Angeles Times
With Assassination Nation and Little Woods, Refinery29 expanded into feature films through a new partnership with NEON, the award-winning studio responsible for the release of I,Tonya, Sundance- and Spirit Award-winner Ingrid Goes West, and Three Identical Strangers. This partnership further expands the breadth and scope of the company’s video and entertainment business, allowing it to serve new and existing audiences with an appetite for premium women-focused content. Read more.
This year’s NewFronts challenged advertisers to incorporate a philosophy of abundant thinking and channel social change. Our powerful new slate of video programming and upcoming business initiatives like Shady, Style Out There, and Unbothered were covered in a number of trade outlets. The Wall Street Journal said: "In a week where many brands avoided touching on hot-button political and social issues because of recurring brand safety concerns, Refinery29 didn’t play it safe." Read more.
Our YouTube channel surpassed 1 million subscribers in May thanks to addictive series like Try Living With Lucie and Sweet Digs. Since then, our YouTube has grown by another 600,000 subscribers. To date, our YouTube Channel has over 311 million views and has grown viewership by 137% YTD 2018 vs. 2017. Read more.
SNAPCHAT SHOWS US UP
We migrated our ever-popular Beauty Evolution series to Snapchat this April. Since then, our most popular video series, including Strong Opinions, How Stuff Is Made, Style Out There, and World Wide Wed, can be found there. Read more.