I am fascinated by both the instant controversy and the disruption opportunity sparked by Married at First Sight – a new reality TV show on the FYI network. Promoted as a social experiment, complete strangers are first matched by experts, and then subsequently married without so much as a handshake or first glance. The show’s concept met with much skepticism and outright criticism prior to its debut; many feeling that it made a mockery of traditional marriage and family values.
Now that a few episodes have aired I see the tide changing. Throughout my Twitter feed, Married at First Sight is now widely praised as relatable, authentic and different from “regular” reality TV. The experts on the show include: Chaplain Greg Epstein and Drs. Joseph Cilona, Logan Levkoff, and Pepper Schwartz – each of whom are very well positioned to launch the next eHarmony.com. Founded by clinical psychologist Neil Clark Warren, eHarmony.com has topped over a billion dollars in cumulative revenue by focusing on compatibility questionnaires without the benefit of its own reality TV show. I think the Married at First Sight concept could be expanded to give tired daters immediate access to their end goal – making me wonder whether this is the new multi-billion dollar success formula for
dating marriage sites.
This social experiment has the ability to be an influencer in the wider matchmaking market as well. So even those companies and experts outside the show in any matchmaking, wedding planning, coaching, or love-connection company can maximize on this reality TV trend by entering the conversation socially or by adding a new twist on their marketing campaigns and/or service offerings.
Though we are only a few episodes in – should successful relationships emerge between the couples – I can foresee that there will be plenty of consumers who long for the same type of service.
Forget The Bachelor/Bachelorette concept – I think FYI is onto something. Let’s see who rides this reality TV trend…