The Dating Industry
Group Presentation on The Dating Industry

[ Size Revenues Profits and Trends ]

The dating industry is comprised of matchmakers, newspaper and magazine personal ads, telephone chat lines, singles bars, nightclubs geared toward singles, speed dating organizations and internet dating services. Internet dating services began to take shape with the advent of the first major player in the online industry, in 1995. Years later, has maintained its place as the best known, most reliable resource and largest network for online dating.

Since the start of the new millennium the online dating industy grew rapidly from year to year. The industry grew by 73% in 2002 and 77% in 2003. In 2004, however, those high numbers began to drop. The 2004 online dating market grew by only 19%. Former Vice President of romance for, Trish McDermott, reported a 154% growth in revenue, from $49.3 million in 2001 to $125.2 million in 2002. According to McDermott, earnings for the first quarter of that year amounted to $40.9 million; profits were $36.1 million in 2002 versus $2.7 million in 2001. “This is a massive business,” said Roben Farzad, a writer for SmartMoney magazine in September, 2005 “It’s hit an absolute homerun.”

The Web has revolutionized this business and has brought affordable and convenient matchmaking to the masses. This market is a now a $1 billion business in the U S. Currently with the US market saturated with over 1000 dating websites, things are slowing down and leveling out. Original growth statistics were approximately 70% a year, but by 2006, the growth of the industry slowed to just 10%. Dating website revenues grew only 4.5% last year. It is expected that this downward growth trend will continue through the year 2011. At present the online dating industry is a 700 million dollar industry. Because of the decline in industry growth, dating sites have focused on increasing conversions of viewers into paying subscribers in order to keep growing.

The single population over the age of 18 in the United States is estimated to be between 92 and 100 million people. Of that number, approximately 16 million have tried online dating services. The average price of online dating services is between $20 and $30 dollars a month. It was initially a very lucrative business to be in with online dating services soaring in popularity since 2001 and representing nearly 50% of the dating market’s value. As more and more singles migrate to free social networking sites, however, the profitability of dating services is narrowing to those services with the best reputations and largest network communities.

Europe and China are the next untapped markets. Off-line chains and matchmakers are posting moderate growth, but radio datelines and print personals continue to slide. Speed dating continues to do well, along with certain niche markets."(

Dating-Related Activities Online Single and Looking Internet Users
Roughly 10 million internet users say they are single and looking for a romantic partner. Here are some of the ways they have used the internet for dating…
Flirt with someone 40%
Go to an online dating website 37%
Ask someone out on a date 28%
Find a place offline, like a nightclub or singles event, where you might meet someone to date 27%
Been introduced to a potential date by a third party using email or instant messaging 21%
Participate in an online group where you hope to meet people to date 19%
Search for info about someone you dated in the past 18%
Maintain a long-distance relationship 18%
Search for info about someone you were currently dating or were about to meet for a first date 17%
Break up with someone you were dating 9%

(Source: Pew Internet & American Life Project Survey, September–December 2005.) Member Growth Statistics 2001-2005
May-01 1.8 million members 300,000 new members per month
June 2001 2 million members
October 2001 2.5 million members 220,000 paying subscribers
February 2002 382,000 paying subscribers
Mar-02 2.75 million members 382,150 paying subscribers
May-02 3 million members 527,000 paying subscribers
Jul-02 3.25 million members 527,000 paying subscribers
Aug-02 604,000 paying subscribers
Oct-02 4.5 million members 653,000 paying subscribers
Dec-02 5 million members 653,000 paying subscribers
Sep-03 18 million members 857,000 paying subscribers
Jan-04 20 million members 910,000 paying subscribers
Apr-04 974,000 paying subscribers
Feb-05 15 million members 32 countries, 18 languages, 6 continents

We Need more recent data Here Hint: find out if any online dating companies are public companies or owned by public companies. (I know is!)//

This is good data. But now you need to get up-to-date information. Remember that public companies publish annual reports. You can also look for industry association reports. Try newspaper and business magazine sites too.

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