Ladies, meet Kevin. He loves taking long, slow walks, his chosen inspirational quote is “uuunnnnhhhh,” and his favorite pastime is consuming human flesh.
Hmm, doesn’t sound like he’s the one.
To coincide with Sunday’s mid-season premiere of “The Walking Dead,” Match.com is launching a new entertainment-driven platform aimed at bringing singles together over their common love of TV shows. And hopefully keeping zombies like Kevin out of the dating picture.
“We realized that with singles in America today, one of the things that they connect on the most is the shows they watch and they love, and we wanted to figure out how to replicate what’s happening in the real world on the Match site and on the app,” explained Match.com CEO Mandy Ginsberg.
When the AMC series airs on TV, Match.com will invite its subscribers to chat about the show in a “live online viewing party” in which they can choose to respond to the group as a whole or message people individually.
After performing test runs on previous episodes of “The Walking Dead” and “Scandal,” during which around 80% of the people at the party stayed for the entire hour-long broadcast, the people at Match concluded they had found a well of untapped potential for their users.
“We were a little nervous because we thought people might be inappropriate or say things that we’d have to monitor, but the fact of the matter is we didn’t need to because people were so into the show and were so funny in talking about what could happen, what they liked, what they didn’t like, it was so organic,” Ginsberg said. “It was like they were sitting at brunch with a bunch of friends and talking about what happened on ‘Scandal’ last night.”
Ginsberg also revealed that part of the idea behind the platform came from a study that Match.com conducted on singles in America, their dating habits and, in this case, their viewing habits. The study found that “millennials are 270% more likely than those of other generations to be turned on by someone who watches the same shows as they do,” and that people who enjoy binging on the same TV show as someone else are 79 % more likely to have had a date in the last year.
As a result of these findings, Ginsberg said Match.com is incorporating more TV shows into their user experience in order to help their singles make connections in the “entertainment-led society” that we live in.
“People didn’t used to talk about series, but now we all sit down and blow through them pretty quickly, so we think about shows in terms of series, and no one talked like that five years ago,” Ginsberg said. “If we can have people connect over series, that’s something we’re very excited about, I think it could change the game in terms of starting real conversations.”
Match.com has yet to announce which TV shows will get the viewing-party treatment, but is expected to focus on future key episodes of popular series.