HORIZONT.NET - With the takeover of The Meet Group by Parship, ProSiebenSat1 (P7S1) became one of the top online dating companies. In this interview, Marc Schachtel, Co-CEO of the Parship Meet Group, gives insights into growth plans and the relationship with P7S1.
Q: Mr. Schachtel, you have been leading the Parship Meet Group since July 2021 together with The Meet Group founder Geoff Cook. How does the cooperation work?
A: We complement each other. We have a clear division of tasks that works very well: Geoff takes care of the video-focused apps - MeetMe, Skout, Tagged and Growlr. I am responsible for Parship, Elite Partner, eharmony and Lovoo.
Q: You are currently preparing for an IPO. Apart from that, what have you achieved in the past six months?
A: We managed to successfully lead the company through the pandemic.
Q: What are you doing better than the Match Group?
A: There is a space for many players. Today there are ~800M singles in the world; by 2025 there will be nearly a billion. It is crucial how we influence the market. I see it as our task to bring the quality back into the business and to keep dating safe and healthy. The pandemic has changed everything. We rolled out a video date function on our Parship, Elite Partner and eharmony platforms right at the beginning of the pandemic.
Q: Will avatars meet on your platforms at some point?
A: I was asked about the possibilities of virtual reality when I came to Parship in 2011. I assume that the topic of dating will shift to a certain extent into the virtual world, but in the end relationships are something deeply interpersonal, where chemistry and physicality play a big role. At the same time, we see ourselves as players in the Metaverse with our video products. We always describe our video brands as a bar to go to to be entertained and have fun while looking for a partner. Our B2B product Video Platform as a Service enables our partners to quickly integrate live streaming technology into their platforms and monetize it. vPaaS is now used in ~15 apps, most of them outside of our company.
Q: How does the cooperation with Pro Sieben Sat 1 work?
A: It is a success story that has grown gradually over a decade. With our video business, we are now also part of the entertainment industry. I'm a very big fan of the content work that has been done at P7S1 lately. Our new dating show "Love at First Kick" will certainly not be the last one.