INVESTORPLACE - June 30 - Blind dating gets a modern upgrade, making MEET stock a potential winner even amid the pandemic. The Meet Group has recently announced the rollout of an interactive game known as Blind Date. This will be an addition to The Meet Group's popular NextDate game, which "is like speed dating, except that there's an audience and the contestant gets to choose the specific people they'd like to connect with," according to CEO Geoff Cook. The Blind Date game will be integrated into The Meet Group's MeetMe, Skout, and Tagged. It will also be integrated into Match Group's Plenty of Fish. Blind Date should serve to increase user engagement. MEET stock could easily reclaim its former high point as the company's innovative spirit could bring people back into the dating game again.
PRESS RELEASE - June 23 - The Meet Group, a leading provider of interactive dating solutions, has released Blind Date, a new interactive game rolled out to The Meet Group's MeetMe, Skout, and Tagged mobile apps, as well as Match Group's Plenty of Fish. The new feature will allow users to meet and date through a timed video chat that is based on personality rather than appearance. "A recent survey of MeetMe users found that 91% of members wish that dating was more focused on personality, and 77% would chat with someone before seeing what they looked like," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. "We are seeing that our members value personality over attractiveness, and with Blind Date, they are given the opportunity to chat first and gain a sense of who they are connecting with."
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
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PRESS RELEASE - Apr 15 - The Meet Group, a leading provider of interactive livestreaming solutions, has created two new features designed to help users connect while maintaining proper dating distance on its dating app Tagged, the US dating app primarily focused on African Americans. The two features are: Blind Date and 1:1 video chat. Blind Date allows users to meet and date streamers through a timed video chat based on personality rather than looks. The Company expects to roll-out Blind Date and 1:1 Video Chat to Tagged users over the coming weeks.
BUSINESSWIRE - Dec 9 - IDEA (The Internet Dating Excellence Association) is launching the Social Safety Badge and Guidelines for high quality dating apps. "The goal of this badge is to help users identify dating, matchmaking and social apps that are distinguished in their commitment to a safe and exceptional experience for users," said IDEA President Mark Brooks.
The guidelines cover:
The following dating apps are in the initial launch group and have signed on to the badge, stating that they will adhere to the guidelines:
IDEA was formed in 2007 as the Internet Dating Executive Alliance and changed to the Internet Dating Excellence Association in 2018. The group is made up of 700+ dating industry executives and dating company leaders and innovators from around the world.
BUSINESSWIRE - Nov 22 - Users of MeetMe, Skout and Tagged can purchase a custom food donation gift to help make the season a little brighter for those who need it the most. The Meet Group plans to make a donation for every East Trenton Center Food Bank gift sent in the apps up to an aggregate of $10K to the East Trenton Center Food Bank. The limited edition gift will be available from November 22nd through November 29th.
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.
GURU FOCUS - Apr 5 - Even though the The Meet Group's stock price has surged 170% higher in the last year, further growth could be ahead. The company is focused on improving user experience through the introduction of innovative new products that may improve its monetization potential. It is also expected to expand into new territories and niches, while further acquisitions could enhance its overall performance. The launch of Battles could drive monetization, as well as attract new users and enhance the user experience. Battles bring together two live streamers in a competition, with users being able to give gifts to support their favorite streamer. The streamer with the most votes is named the winner. Battles were recently launched on the company's Meet Me, Skout and Tagged. The Meet Group is also set to launch a new product called Levels. This adds a gamification element to live streaming through establishing aspirational ranks for users to achieve, as well as exclusive benefits for them to unlock.
by Robert Stephens
See full article at Guru Focus
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.
PRESS RELEASE - Nov 15 - The Meet Group's members (MeetMe, Skout and Tagged) have been successful in raising $10K for Alex's Lemonade Stand in September and $10K for Ryan's Well Foundation in August. This month, the Meet Group is partnering with Action Against Hunger. The campaign is set to launch today (Nov 15) to raise an additional $10K to fight global hunger. The company will offer a limited edition virtual gift in its MeetMe, Skout, and Tagged mobile apps. For every gift sent to broadcasters, The Meet Group will donate $0.25. Action Against Hunger has led the global fight against hunger for ~40 years. The organization is committed to doubling the number of children who receive urgent hunger care, from 3M to 6M by 2020.
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.
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.