Grindr is more than just an online dating and social site for gay and bisexual males. The company is launching a Millennial-focused online news platform called Into. Peter Sloterdyk, vice president, global marketing at Grindr, was recently in New York at the LGBT Film Festival promoting it.
Q. Let’s talk about Grindr as a brand. How do you see Grindr and its brands evolving, especially in this day and age of activism among the company's users?
A. Grindr is the ultimate connector for our entire audience. Through each of the brands under the Grindr umbrella, we allow our users to connect with the world in truly unique ways. When it comes to activism, we know that our users, who tend to skew under 35, are inherently concerned about the world around them. Through Into, Grindr for Equality, and the Grindr App, we ensure that our users have access to the information, education, and activism opportunities to make a difference around the world.
One great example of how local activism is being pushed forward by our vast audience is what happened recently in Portland, Tenn., when city officials decided to postpone a vote to ban Drag Shows because of the presence of the ACLU and local activists. Recently, we've received a lot of coverage for our Grindr for Equality work in the Middle East, and my hope is that all of this shows that Grindr as a brand is so much more than people initially give us credit for. Our family of brands is reaching far and wide and making a difference in millions of people's lives.
Q. Tell me about the launch of your Millennial-focused online news platform IntoMore.com. How do you plan to compete with some of the other LGBTQ-specific online outlets? What's on the horizon for IntoMore.com and the lifestyle brand you're aiming to establish as a go-to for this younger generation of LGBTQ individuals?
A. I am so very proud of Into. I have been passionate about this project since my first day at Grindr in November of 2016, and I am thrilled that the world has responded so well to our launch. Into had 3.7 million unique visitors around the globe in our first month — showing us that our reach is far more broad than just the LGBTQ space.
While publications like The Advocate and Out paved the way for the past few decades, Into seeks to serve a much broader audience and I believe we have changed the game for Millennial LGBTQ individuals with our coverage — essentially providing content for the Millennial LGBTQ community from the Millennial LGBTQ community. Our 3 million daily active users on Grindr told us that the media landscape was missing a queer perspective that resonated with them. Into addresses that missing perspective with our globalized content that is delivered with localized context.
As for what's on the horizon for Into and Grindr's path to becoming a queer lifestyle brand, I can tell you that 2018 will be bigger, better, and even more exciting. We have great plans for more experiential opportunities, more partnerships with brands and outlets across the spectrum, and our editorial team and impressive group of contributors will only continue to grow.
Q. What types of brands would Grindr like to partner with? Who are some of your advertisers and why do they find Grindr attractive? (Are the ads similar to the ones on Tinder, where the brand is incorporated into the mechanism of the app, it comes up when users are swiping and is usually pretty comical?)
A. We are interested in partnering with brands across all verticals, and aim to be a consultative partner to help brands engage with the LGBTQ community. Some of our current advertisers include FOX, Halo Top Ice Cream, Netflix, Absolut, Walgreens, Gilead, Estee Lauder, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Diesel, Paramount Pictures, Dollar Shave Club and hundreds of others. Our ad placements across the Grindr app and Into include not only rotational display placements, but also high impact native units and custom editorial executions.
Q. You were just in NYC for the LGBTQ Film Festival. Tell me more about the video series you debuted and IntoMore.com's role in producing video in the future?
A. CAMPerVAN is a beautiful digital series of short films that investigates the concept of "queer spaces" through a road trip around Western Europe. The series is a fantastic example of what Into is all about in terms of highlighting LGBTQ talent from around the world and giving them a megaphone for their voices. Samuel Douek and his production team created a series that provides an intellectually incredible and visually stunning look at how to define a "queer space," as well as what it means to youth all over Europe.
I am thrilled to have the opportunity to bring films like this to a much larger audience than has ever experienced them before. The team and I will continue to commission and distribute works by queer artists as well as develop scripted series, travel and experiential content, and even more opportunities for our brand partners to reach this engaged audience.
Q. How does your background help you in this role as you try to grow Into and the various components of Grindr?
A. I am very fortunate to have led so many different aspects of marketing through my career, including entertainment, durable goods, digital products and more. These varied experiences have allowed me to always be learning, always be listening, and always be developing my keen sense of what an audience or consumer is looking for.
I am thrilled to bring that methodology to bear at Grindr as we continue to develop our growing family of brands and engage our millions of users in a variety of ways. As a queer consumer myself, I am able to easily gut check our messaging and activism efforts before testing with our audience. Testing and learning is at the core of what we do.
Q. What would you say are the common misconceptions of the LGBTQ consumer? What are the opportunities for marketers and brands that you think they are missing?
A. The most common misconception is that the LGBTQ consumer is only active in the month of June; that they only expect a brand to market to them during Pride. There is much more to our community than rainbows and pride parades, and we take notice when a brand includes the LGBTQ community in their marketing campaigns and chooses to speak directly to us in every month of the year. I call it "thinking beyond the rainbow."