Back in 2016, The Meet Group saw livestreaming video as the perfect match to their core dating apps business – and has been working to seamlessly combine the two areas ever since. The company became a pioneer in the field when they first implemented livestreaming video in their apps as part of their user experience. Meanwhile, livestreaming video is available on their social apps in their portfolio and excites many users throughout Europe and North America. Since 2020, The Meet Group also provides its livestreaming solution vPaaS (video-Platform-as-a-Service) to other players in the field and beyond. This livestreaming video expertise was a big advantage when Parship Group acquired The Meet Group in September 2020 to become ParshipMeet Group, now forming the Dating & Video segment of ProSiebenSat.1 Group. The segment fits synergistically with the other areas of the company, one of them being the Group’s Entertainment business.
After all, the consumption of entertaining content in apps is growing and opens new potential for the Group. Consumers worldwide spend over 500 billion hours livestreaming in the top social apps in 2021. “To create a valuable experience for members, no love potion is needed,” explains Sean Lawrence, Director Product Monetization of The Meet Group: “For livestreaming video, four different aspects play a key role from a product standpoint: The unique video format; the interactivity, enabled by text comments and gifts; the gamification – meaning playful elements that we bring in by reaching levels or giving badges; and lastly the creators, helping to build an entertainment business on top of a technology business. At ParshipMeet Group, we work hard to succeed in all these aspects.”
When Liza starts browsing through the live section, she swipes from stream to stream looking for a topic to grab her attention – just like zapping between different TV programs. She sees someone showing magic tricks, a comedy show, and others playing music. As Liza continues browsing, she stops at a weekly streamed show on celebrity gossip, which she really enjoys. To create a video experience unlike any other app, ParshipMeet Group curates some of the streams into live shows. Currently, ParshipMeet Group runs over 100 shows in their apps from fitness to talent, from magic to interview talks. Three new shows are launched every week, aiding to increase the time users are spending on the apps with engaging content.
What Liza particularly appreciates in the streams: How the creators interact with their audience. Some are just chatting along and answering questions from their community, others are playing dating games, such as NextDate. The dating game brings together two core competencies of ParshipMeet Group, dating and social entertainment, as Lawrence explains: “NextDate is an example of gamifying the dating app experience for livestreaming video. It lets anyone be the star of their own dating show by doing two-minute speed dates. The creator must then decide whether to pass on them and hit “next” or to hit “date” while their audience watches. More than 50 million dating games are played in a year.”
To keep track of her most beloved streamers and shows, Liza follows her favorites on the app. She gets notified as soon as one of them goes live or starts a show. Just now a notification appears on her screen: “Foreign Mami is live.” Foreign Mami is one of Tagged’s most successful streamers. This also is a specialty of ParshipMeet Group: By creating its talent community from scratch, the company now has creators in its portfolio that are strongly committed to the platform. The company invests into the community to attract and retain talent. “We have a dedicated talent team with more than 30 employees who recruit new creators, identify and promote home-grown organic talent, and train and coach creators to ensure they are getting the most they can from the platform and building a strong community. We work hard to retain our creators by helping them create featured shows and developing new tools for them to use. Additionally, we use sophisticated AI and a full-time team of over 500 human moderators to monitor livestreams proactively for safety reasons,” Sean Lawrence says. In 2021, over six million creators were active, sharing their lives and passions with their community in The Meet Group’s Live network which includes The Meet Group’s apps as well as its vPaaS partners. By putting the creators in the center of its streaming universe, ParshipMeet Group taps into a trend that we have been seeing on other platforms for a long time – and that ProSiebenSat.1 has been harnessing with its digital media and entertainment company Studio71 as well: the creator economy. The creator economy which monetizes creators and social influencers is estimated to be a USD 100+ billion market today. The Meet Group’s Live creators produce nearly 200,000 hours of livestreaming content every day, and the community watches 1 billion minutes of livestreaming content every month across the Live network of owned-and-operated and vPaaS partners, earning both the group and its creators money.
As much as it is a dating app, you don’t always have to message someone and flirt your way to their hearts. I see so many people connecting beyond love and relationships on Tagged, which is amazing.
One of them is the London-based streamer ForeignMami: She enjoys make-up and shares her beauty knowledge on Tagged. The London-based creator used the app to build up a loyal community – and to fulfil one of her dreams: “Being on Tagged helped explode my business in makeup. With the support of my community, I was able to launch my own beauty products, including the Streamer Heat eye shadow palette, which was featured by British Vogue.” Foreign Mami has earned over 47 million diamonds on the app – an in-app measure of the number and value of virtual gifts she has received from her dedicated viewers. In a busy stream, giving a virtual gift is a great way to stand out and get the attention of the creator as well as support the content they are creating. This gamification approach is a powerful engine for driving monetization. Liza uses gifts to show her appreciation: When she really likes a streamer’s content, she usually buys a gift for the creator – pink unicorns, colorful castles or funny-faced plants are some of her favorites. The virtual gifts on the platform range in value from about USD 0.05 to over USD 1,000 and are monetized both for the company as well as for the creator – creating a margin-strong revenue stream. But just like dating, livestreaming video is a people business: The active users create the experience on the apps – and they can find way more than just love, as Foreign Mami sums up: “As much as it is a dating app, you don’t always have to message someone and flirt your way to their hearts. I see so many people connecting beyond love and relationships on Tagged, which is amazing.”