This Free Dating App Matches Users Based On Their Musical Taste



Robyn Mowatt

Robyn Mowatt is a staff writer at Okayplayer where she…

Vinylly, an app that has experienced a burst of growth during the pandemic, curates matches based on users’ Spotify listening history.

Finding companionship and love during the pandemic just got simpler. Vinylly, a new dating app, is bridging the gap between music lovers nationwide. 

Created by Rachel Van Nortwick, the app — which launched last fall nationwide and in Canada — was an idea that was sparked due to her innate passion for music and concerts. “I saw my friends and family struggling on dating apps or just sort of perpetually swiping and it not leading anywhere,” Nortwick said over a Zoom call. 

Vinylly was designed with the idea that its members would add it to their lineup of dating apps like The League, Hinge, and Bumble. Vinylly curates matches based on users’ Spotify listening history. The app also uses responses from specific questions that assist with rounding out one’s music preferences.

“You can see someone’s photo, obviously, their age and where they live,” Van Nortwick said. “What you’re going to see more in depth is really what music they’re into, and what they’ve been [actively] listening to lately.”

Users are also able to listen to playlists, liked songs and other music for every single person they’re matched with. Bonding over hip-hop, R&B, and soul is how some connections are made in real life. The app capitalizes on this. Vinylly also pairs members based on proximity, the overall theme of your page, and specific genres. In addition to music choices, the app also bases matches off of past concerts users have attended.

On the backend, Van Nortwick says the app stays in tune with how often you use your Spotify account. Each time you log back in it syncs with the music streaming platform. Also, the more you listen to certain artists and songs, Vinylly catches on and continues evolving with you.

At the moment, no other dating apps have algorithms based on music choices. That’s the distinct difference between Vinylly and other platforms. Despite launching in October 2019, a few months before the pandemic, the app experienced a burst of growth as the months in quarantine dragged on. 

“Thousands of users nationwide are using the app, and we do see people asking each other out [to go] on dates,” she said. Van Nortwick admits though there’s tremendous growth in Vinylly’s first few months, a necessary pivot had to take place due to COVID-19 — within the app users are able to others on a virtual concert stream date. This function which is within the chat box you use once paired with someone was added because she was constantly seeing this pop up as quarantine and at-home sheltering became the norm. 

As for live concerts, there’s an option to invite users within the chat box too. Once a user agrees to and you’ve already shared the link, you can click on a link in the app and buy tickets right away. 

“I don’t think Vinylly’s aspiration is to sort of become the only app someone uses,” she said. “For people who go to festivals, or who love music, or just [are constantly] buying and downloading music daily, they’re the people that Vinylly makes sense for.”

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Banner photo: Graphic: @popephoenix for Okayplayer 



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