Below is out interview with Yves D. Ropper from It’s Nice to Hear You:
Q: Could you provide our readers with a brief introduction to your company?
A: “It’s Nice to Hear You” is a 6 episode podcast about an audio-only online dating experiment. The twist is that participants can only get to know each other by exchanging voice memos. No names, no direct contact, no pictures. In May 2020, I solicited single strangers seeking an alternative to online dating to participate in a month-long experiment. After collecting more than 100 hours of voice memos, I proceeded to create a 6-episode podcast to share what happened to a few pairs from the experiment. Each episode shares a lesson I learn about dating and human connection through the story of 1 pair. This genre-bending series has the intrigue from a reality dating show, intimacy from a personal memoir, and insights from a psychology study.
Q: Any highlights on your recent announcement?
A: We all want to be heard, but we forgot how to listen. This is the feel-good story we all crave today. This podcast is about an anonymous matchmaking experiment based on the exchange of voice memos. In eavesdropping into the participants’ conversations, listeners hear an earnest story about human connection – how they showcase affection, fall into “like”, and reciprocate vulnerability.
Q: Can you give us more insights into your offering?
A: This story is as much about the experiment, its participants, and my personal story. In creating this experiment and the process of making the podcast changed my life. It taught me important lessons around compatibility, communication, and vulnerability. By the end of the series, I share how I apply the lessons I learned to my own life. I launched the experiment under lockdown while searching for something to occupy my time after being laid off. I didn’t expect it to evolve into a 14 month journey that would drastically change my perspective on dating and alter the course of my life.
Q: What can we expect from your company in next 6 months? What are your plans?
A: I am doing another experiment and currently soliciting single people! Interested singles looking to connect with someone romantically in a novel way that optimizes for emotional connection.
Q: What is the best thing about your company that people might not know about?
A: I partnered with speech recognition and emotional AI leader, Behavioral Signals to analyze all of the voice recordings from the experiment to see what technology can tell us about the power of voice. The participants’ voice memos were analyzed with the company’s proprietary algorithm to gather insights about the emotional connection between matches. It turns out that assessing HOW we speak in addition to what we say can tell us a lot about how we feel. For example, the analysis identified when participants showcased feelings of heightened anxiety and how this varied between the pairs and highlighted significant differences by gender. As listenership of podcasts continue to rise and audio-forward platforms like Clubhouse become more mainstream, this show is a timely and poignant expression of the power of voice.