Meet Group CEO's Strategy? Bring Live Video to Niche Dating Apps

March 7, 2019

By Chloe Aiello

Meet Group isn't trying to create the next Tinder or Bumble ー it's merging entertainment and dating with the goal of introducing people face-to-face. And it's banking on its newest acquisition to help.

"We really focus on building the best place to meet new people through video. And those last two bits are what separate us from a Tinder or a Bumble. Tinder and Bumble are essentially just Match 2.0, right, it's just another way of trying to drive subscription revenue," Meet Group CEO Geoffrey Cook told Cheddar. Meet Group, on the other hand, offers users the chance to connect through live video streams that are more engaging than a simple swipe-right.

Match and Bumble did not immediately respond to Cheddar's request for comment.

Meet Group ($MEET) announced on Wednesday that it acquired same-sex dating app Growlr for $11.8 million. Growlr, which tallies about 200,000 daily active users, will join a roster of dating and social apps that the company has acquired in recent years, including Skout, LOVOO, and Tagged. And just like those other apps, it will also receive live video integration.

"We are essentially creating entertainment properties out of these social apps and it really works, because when you are trying to meet new people, you often have these down moments," Cook said. "If we can give you the right content at the right time ー a live streamer who is making a real connection with you ー you are going to stay on the platform much longer."

Cook said the average user who frequents the live streams of Meet Group's various apps watches for about 25 minutes, and those videos monetize "at an extremely high rate." And although none of Meet Group's properties are nearly as well known as rivals, like Bumble, Tinder or Grindr, Cook said the company is on the lookout for niche apps with strong communities.

"We are looking for other sorts of communities that we can enable with our video product ー and that's what we saw in Growlr," he said."

Meet Group is among the first companies to integrate video streaming capabilities into western dating apps. But the trend is already popular in China with apps like Momo.

For full interview click here.