The modern phenomenon of binge watching just got a little more romantic.
Dating site Match.com paired their latest dating experiment with AMC’s "The Walking Dead" to test whether singles could find love at an online television viewing party. Match.com aired Sunday's midseason return episode, “Rock in the Road,” in an online chat room to gauge their user base’s interest and found it to be a resounding success. Now they’re looking to turn the experiment into a full-on service.
“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,” Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of Match.com, said in an interview with Variety.
Match.com invited subscribing members to participate in the online viewing party and chat either publicly or privately. In previous tests, the dating site found approximately 80 percent of viewers opted to stay for a show’s hour-long run-time.
The test was inspired by a study conducted by the site, which found that millennials are 70 percent more likely than previous generations to be attracted to someone who watches the same shows as them, and that people who enjoy binging on the same TV shows are 79 percent more likely to have had a date in the last year.
“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 told Variety. “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.”
The next step in the process is to incorporate even more series into the mix. Match.com has already tested the waters with “The Walking Dead” and “Scandal,” but there’s no word just yet on what other television series could make the cut when the yet-named service goes live.
As for the sum of all fears in online communication -- trolls making things unpleasant for everyone else -- Ginsberg said “The Walking Dead” midseason return chat was surprisingly civil and that the need for moderation was minimal. As it turns out, most of the users in the dating site’s test chat room just wanted to talk about the show.