At the end of 2018, New Hope-based The Meet Group — the publicly traded social media conglomerate behind apps like MeetMe and Tagged — crunched the numbers with a smile: During 2018 it brought in $178 million in revenue, beating its highest projection by $4.5 million.
Ask CEO Geoff Cook how the company was able to top its forecast and he’ll say it directly correlates to the work that went into incorporating video streaming capabilities into its apps.
“What we liked about video is that we’ve seen this trend of video helping to make communities become more connected,” Cook told Technical.ly. “We were very much aware of the Chinese dating app Momo, which rolled out live streaming video in Q1 of 2016. We were paying close attention to that space and decided to jump in with both feet and build the feature.”
By early 2017, the company added the capability of in-app gifting — essentially giving the apps an ecommerce flair, with audiences pumping real dollars to streamers who produce engaging content. Users can also purchase in-app credits to buy premium services or perks.
“Video revenue grew in total and across each of our apps in the fourth quarter compared to the third,” said Cook. “We exited the year with an annualized video revenue run-rate of $71 million based on the month of December, capping a remarkable year for a product that we launched just 15 months ago.”
The Meet Group, which has half of its 300 staffers set up between Bucks County and Center City, saw advertising dollars go from comprising 90 percent of its revenue in 2017 to around 40 percent in the third quarter of last year, signaling a more diversified revenue stream.
For 2019, the company will look to strengthen its apps, growing the types of video capabilities and exploring new niche communities.
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