FORBES - May 11 - The Meet Group provides interactive live video solutions for its apps - MeetMe, LOVOO, Skout, Tagged and Growlr, and also Match Group's Plenty of Fish. Across that spectrum, The Meet Group works to ensure safety and security for its social media connections. Recently, the live meet-up sections of MeetMe, Skout and Plenty of Fish introduced NextDate speed dating sessions with built-in The Meet Group Technology. Running now through May 30, those sites will host Speed Dating Social Hours at 10PM and 11PM ET, every Thursday and Saturday. The Meet Group will reward those who find their match on NextDate. The first 25 couples to match will receive 8K ($50) credits redeemable on the MeetMe, Skout, and Plenty of Fish dating apps to buy and send gifts to members who are live-streaming on the apps or playing NextDate on any of the social media platforms.
by John Scott Lewinski
See full article at Forbes
FOUNDERELLA - Sep 25 - Benjamin Bak, the founder of dating app Lovoo, wants to help young companies. He is opening a startup incubator in Dresden and looking for for five startups that his team wants to support with their knowledge and their network. Interested startups can apply immediately. Benjamin Bak sold Lovoo 2 years ago to The Meet Group for ~$70M.
GAYSTAR NEWS - June 21 - Gay entrepreneur Coley Cummiskey launched men's dating app Growlr in 2010 in Columbus, Ohio. In March, it was revealed he'd sold it in a $12M deal to tech company, The Meet Group. The app says it has 10M members and ~200K daily users. Growlr is aimed very much at the 'bears' market – men who are bigger, hairer and heftier, plus their admirers. TMG is a publicly owned business headquartered in New Hope, Pennsylvania. TMG was founded in 2005 as MyYearbook, but has grown and changed its name in the intervening years. It was founded by current CEO, Geoff Cook with his siblings, Catherine and Dave Cook, and specializes in dating apps. Its other brands include MeetMe, LOVOO, Skout and Tagged. They launched live streaming on MeetMe in April 2017, and have now embedded it into LOVOO, Tagged and Skout. "What we saw with Growlr was a very active, and a pretty sizeable community sending many millions of messages every single day. We saw the potential to roll out live streaming video into that community," said Mr Cook. One thing that won't change is the app's focus. The team realize that's its strength. Growlr does have a very distinct sense of community. Its users are very loyal and very engaged.
PHILADELPHIA BUSINESS JOURNAL - Mar 21 - The Meet Group has built its portfolio of five dating apps through acquisitions, with the $11.8M deal to buy niche gay dating app Growlr being the most recent. Historically, the company has looked for apps that either expand into a segment of users it hasn't reached before or a new geographic area, like Growlr with the gay community and Lovoo with its European foothold. Integrating video has been a top priority. They like to see a lot of one-to-one chat messages and relatively high DAU. Meet's new video revenue stems from in-app purchases users make to buy and give "gifts" like a virtual race car, and when a popular livestreamer acquires the equivalent of ~$200 worth, they can redeem for cash. Apple and Google get a 30% cut of revenue stemming from in-app purchases, the livestreamer gets 35% and Meet pockets the other 35%. Cook expects video revenue to double in 2019 and double again by 2021.
OPW - Mar 21 - The Meet Group grew its live-streaming product - Live - to a $48M business in less than a year. Live, which monetizes through in-app purchases, is one of the most engaging features the company ever launched. Users spend ~25M minutes in Live each day. In her presentation, Catherine Cook Connelly talks about how they built Live, why it monetizes so well, and how it enables meaningful connections for their users on MeetMe, Skout, Tagged, and LOVOO.
MARKETING TECHNOLOGY INSIGHTS - Feb 15 - Catherine Cook Connelly, the co-Founder and VP Brand Strategy at The Meet Group spoke at the Mobile Growth Summit 2019 this week. Her session is about how they built Live, their live streaming video feature and why it works so well for their portfolio of apps. "It is the most successful product we have ever launched in the company's history, reaching a $71M annualized revenue run rate in just 15 months of being active," she said.
Q: What was behind your decision to build Live?
A: From watching MOMO and other popular Chinese dating apps, we began to see how live streaming can fill a core product gap in dating apps. We've always thought of our apps as the neighborhood bar, and video is the live entertainment meant to keep people engaged and give them something more to talk about. Our apps - LOVOO, MeetMe, Tagged, and Skout - have ~25M minutes of live video every day, and we have not experienced cannibalization of our core text-based chat. Instead, live video fills the product gaps.
Q: Did you have a monetization model in mind prior to its launch?
A: Yes, we used the monetization model popularized in Eastern live streaming apps that rely on viewers to send gifts to the broadcaster. The model has taken off with our users because streamers have an incentive to make interesting streams. We're introducing new products such as Battles, which brings an exciting competitive dynamic to Live. The feature brings together two live streamers for a live competition, whether it be for best dancer, musician or comedian. Each battle lasts just a few minutes, and the winner is the streamer who earns more diamonds from the audience. On a larger scale, we expect to bring Levels to the platform this year. Levels adds a gamification element to Live by establishing aspirational ranks for users and exclusive benefits to unlock.
Q: It seems like being a "live streamer" is now a formal occupation that can be quite lucrative… can you discuss this phenomenon as you are seeing it unfold firsthand?
A: A few of our streamers have said they plan to quit their jobs or have taken a step back from their previous job to build themselves up as streamers. 20% of our streamers consider themselves full-time live streamers.
WUV.DE - Dec 20 - The three 20-second Lovoo spots will be featured on the ProSieben, ProSieben Maxx and Sixx channels by the end of January. It will advertise the new livestreaming feature of the dating app. The campaign was developed by the creative agency Jung von Matt.
OPW INTERVIEW - Sep 3 - Meet Group has acquired Skout, Tagged and Lovoo, and has added video, in similar fashion to Momo, in the last year. Fascinating! I asked Geoff how the integrations are coming together, and monetizing.
Meet Group is ahead of schedule for enabling video, and are finding that audiences across their various geographic markets are very similar in terms of their behavior around video. Livestreaming really fits the dating context well, and actually helps solves a particular core problem with Internet dating. Many males and females are left out with Internet dating apps. They come to a dating platform to feel less lonely, and end up feeling more lonely. However, on Meet Group dating services, "livestreaming video enables them to replace feelings of loneliness with feelings of entertainment where they can actually engage with the broadcaster." But its not all about entertainment. 56% of video users report that they meet in real life.
"Video monetizes extraordinarily well." Meet Group went from zero revenue from 'gifts' to video broadcasters to a $37 million run-rate business from video gifts by July 2018. This is mainly from MeetMe and Skout. Meanwhile, Lovoo has been experimenting with bitcoin, but this is very fledgling and not a huge contributor to revenues yet.
MOBILBRANCHE - Aug 10 - Dating app LOVOO says it is possible for companies and publishers to earn up to 2K euros a month with their new live streaming feature. The example is 20-year-old wood sculptor Alexander Bartl who films himself live while working on wooden figures. He has built a fan base that rewards him with cash or virtual gifts. He has collected 2M diamonds in the last three months. This corresponds to a monetary value of ~4K euros.
by Sebastian Beintker
See full article at MobilBranche
PRESS RELEASE - July 18 - "With LOVOO Live now rolling out in Germany, we have completed the rollout of live video on all of our major apps," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. The Meet Group's annualized video revenue run rate now exceeds $35M based on June's results, up 20% in two months.
BUSINESSWIRE - June 13 - The Meet Group announced the release of live video on LOVOO, its leading European dating app, in Spain and Italy. "We are pleased to continue rolling out livestreaming video to the LOVOO audience, building on our previous launches in Austria, Switzerland, and France with this expansion to Spain and Italy," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. "We are progressing ahead of schedule, and we expect to bring Live to Germany, LOVOO's largest country, later this summer." Live lets users interact with one another by allowing them to broadcast from anywhere at any time.
BUSINESSWIRE - May 31 - Lovoo Live enables users to broadcast and view live-streaming video, invite others to join their streams, chat, and earn virtual gifts. The release of live video in France and Switzerland follows the launch of Live in Austria two weeks ago, where an average of 15% of users engaged with video on the first day. "What has been surprising is the rapid adoption of gifting on Lovoo," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. "On MeetMe, it took 6 months from the launch of gifts to reach 2% of viewers giving gifts. On LOVOO, we achieved that milestone in the first week."
BUSINESSWIRE - Apr 9 - "We see momentum in video building," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. "We have begun the rollout of Tagged livestreaming on our shared video platform, and we expect to launch enhanced video monetization on Tagged next month. Additionally, we are ahead of schedule with our plans to bring live video to Lovoo, and we now expect to begin rolling out the feature in a phased approach starting in May." The number of monetizing users continues to increase on MeetMe and Skout. The number of paid gifters increased 36% in March over February. Gifters buy virtual gifts for livestreamers.