Emily Groch
Emily Groch is Mintel Comperemedia’s Director of Insights, Telecommunications, providing omni-channel marketing analysis and competitive insights to telecom providers.

Over Valentine’s weekend, my husband and I shamelessly powered through the second season of Amazon’s award-winning series Mozart in the Jungle. Luckily, we share similar tastes in movies and TV, so agreeing on a binge-worthy series is pretty painless for us. Similar tastes in TV shows and music certainly make it easier for couples to enjoy content together. Naturally, many singles look to a potential partner’s tastes in films, music or shows as markers of compatibility or incompatibility.

Netflix recently commissioned a study that found 58% of Millennial-aged US Netflix subscribers use their favorite shows and movies as guideposts for compatibility. What’s more, half said sharing a Netflix password means the relationship is serious, and 17% won’t share their Netflix password until they get engaged. It seems as if the Netflix password is the modern-day equivalent of an apartment key. Sharing a Netflix password requires a significant level of trust, perhaps because our viewing history and preferences expose so much about who we are.

The Netflix password is the modern-day equivalent of an apartment key

Mintel Comperemedia’s 2016 Telecommunications Trend Content Overload highlights a growing marketplace of content sources, through which consumers must navigate to find the videos, music, and more that are most important and relevant to them. Perhaps it is this very process of piecing together specific content that makes our specific combination so revealing about us as individuals. The fact that the content we consume can be so revealing opens up the opportunity for providers to offer a highly personalized experience for their customers. When the data is used well, the service will seem to know us, and will serve up meaningful content. In fact, looking ahead, we are likely to see improved ways that content providers use the data they have about our likes and dislike to match us up with all sorts of experiences that could be meaningful for them.

Spotify is one provider that already has a history of doing this. Through its Concerts feature, for instance, the music provider matches its customers up with concerts relevant to their musical tastes and geographic location. But leading up to Valentine’s Day, Spotify took personalization to the next level by matching up singles with others sharing similar tastes in music. Yes, Spotify became a temporary online matchmaker.

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Spotify email to customers encouraging them to create a musical love note.

Teaming up with Belgian developer Appstrakt, Spotify offered a microsite where subscribers could sign in through their accounts to answer questions about where they live and which bands they like or don’t like. The app then matched users with singles sharing compatible musical preferences. The service was targeted at a niche group only—singles working in ad agencies—and Spotify said the matchmaking capabilities would not become a permanent addition to its service.

In the spirit of romance, Spotify also helped its paired-up members send a musical Valentine’s message to a significant other, by turning a brief love note into a personalized playlist for their sweetheart. Spotify emailed subscribers ahead of the Valentine’s weekend, inviting them to “pick how hot the songs would be, tune the genres, and then write your heart out.” Afterward, Spotify used the customer’s preferences to select love songs whose titles would transform the subscriber’s note into an acrostic poem.

As we spend more and more time online, we leave a digital footprint that can be just as insightful, perhaps more so, than the collection of items we amass in our homes. This is evident in the level of intimacy Millennials require of their relationships before sharing their Netflix password. Yet, providers have ready access to all of this information and can quickly know their customers’ tastes and behaviors through the massive amounts of data they are collecting.

When used well, this data opens the door for providers to offer a better, tailored, more memorable experience for their customers. Matching the information appropriately with other opportunities or services can help providers expand their experience beyond the digital platform itself. In this marketplace, crowded with content providers, it may just be the unexpected methods of matchmaking that make a brand stand out.


Emily Groch is Mintel Comperemedia’s Director of Insights, Telecommunications. She provides omni-channel marketing analysis and competitive insights to wireless, TV, internet, over-the-top, and home security service providers across the US and Canada.