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- Online dating could be worth $12 billion â and it's all thanks to Tinder, analyst says (MTCH)
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- How online dating became a $2 billion industry
Target marketing, changing demographics, and decreasing stigma about online dating are continually bringing new users to fore. That growth is already beginning to attract investors.
The field is already crowded, with almost 3, companies running dating sites, according to a report last fall from business research firm IBISWorld. The report projects the industry to add about a hundred companies per year over the next four years. That means making a dent as a new player will be harder than ever since many will have to build a database of users from scratch, says IBISWorld analyst Jeremy Edwards.
To survive, they'll need a novel marketing strategy and a focus on untapped potential daters — sites targeting niche markets have higher rates of membership growth, according to the report. The biggest web dating companies have a huge lead over the competition — two control more than 40 percent of the market. The stats are staggering. Of 19, couples married between and , more than a third met through an online dating site, according to a study in last May's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Last December, more than 1 in 10 American adults visited dating sites, spending more than an hour a day there on average, according to Market research company Nielsen.
Changing demographics are a big part of what's inflating the industry. In , just 28 percent of American adults were single; today, the share is 47 percent, according to the Census Bureau.
Online dating could be worth $12 billion â and it's all thanks to Tinder, analyst says (MTCH)
This is on top of the already fraught history between the two companies: After all of this fracas, the Facebook news was, at least, professional, complete with courtesy call. The market for using technology to connect singletons the world over has flourished in recent years, but its real potential has yet to be unlocked. Still, even as a rising tide has the potential to lift all boats, it also tends to roil the water.
If Match Group wants to stay No. Those who know her say Ginsberg is likely to be up to the task. Having joined the company in , she knows the industry inside and out. When I raise my eyebrows, she continues: But it is fastgrowing: Usage of online dating platforms tripled among users ages 18—24 between and , according to Pew Research Center.
In addition to a huge and largely untapped market, the industry has strong tailwinds, including increasing millennial spending power, longer work hours, and young people delaying marriage.
Match Group is the conglomerate parent to plus brands in more than 42 languages, including Match. LOV parent of Jdate, Christian Mingle, and others; Badoo, which claims million users worldwide but is used primarily overseas; and Bumble, the fast-growing upstart created in , which allows only women, not men, to initiate contact. For those singles who want something a bit more, well, specific, there are hundreds of other special-interest sites, from FarmersOnly. I met the ex from whom I told Ginsberg I had recently separated on Match.
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By , it was registering a billion swipes a day and had become a cultural phenomenon: The app is the rare example of a breakthrough innovation coming not from a startup but from inside a large company. Tinder also nailed a business triple axel: It grew virally all over the world with almost no marketing expenditure. But nothing is ever that easy, in dating or in life.
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And for all its growth, Tinder has also been the source of many problems. Between speed-swiping, the heavy reliance on photos, and perhaps the life stage of its intended demographic, it almost immediately earned a reputation as a hookup app.
How online dating became a $2 billion industry
Nor did a blockbuster harassment suit help matters. The companies denied wrongdoing, but Tinder quickly suspended Mateen who later resigned and settled the suit. Sean Rad, also a cofounder, was pushed out as CEO, returned, then six months later went from CEO to chairman before finally exiting the company for good last fall.
The incident was a huge black mark and amplified the perception that Tinder was an inhospitable place for women to work.