One in 10 adults now average more than an hour every day on a dating site or app, Nielsen data show.Yet for all their growth, the companies have staggeringly different ideas of how American daters can find their match — and how to best serve different generations.
With the industry expected to grow by another $100 million every year through 2019, analysts say the dating game is increasingly becoming a battle of the ages, with both sides hoping their age-based gambles yield the most profit from those looking for love.
It’s not clear that the young and perky are the best market for corporate matchmakers.
Of course there are sites aimed at specific religious or ethnic groups, but there are also those who aim to match couples with very specific interests.
The Passion Network, for example, is a small empire of 250 dating hubs like Thanks to the growth of such sites, the industry has expanded at 3.5 percent a year since 2008 — right through the recession — to become a $2.1 billion powerhouse.
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 , just 21 percent of Internet users agreed with the statement "people who use online dating sites are desperate," an eight point drop from the last poll in 2005.
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Tinder shook up the dating world, known for its long personality quizzes and profile-based matchmaking, with its ego-boosting, hook-up-friendly, mobile flirting app: Two daters are presented with each other’s photos, and if (and only if) they both like what they see and swipe right, the service hooks them up with a chat box, where the daters can take it from there.
After taking off on college campuses, Tinder now boasts 26 million matches a day, and its leaders have invested heavily in maintaining its reputation as a hook-up haven for young people.
Tinder, America’s fast-growing online-dating juggernaut, last week unveiled its first big branding partnership aimed at its core audience of millennial fling-seekers: a neon-drenched video-ad campaign hyping Bud Light’s mega-keg party, “Whatever, USA.” Meanwhile, over at Tinder’s less-youthful rival e Harmony, a recent ad saw its 80-year-old founder counseling a single woman besieged by bridesmaid’s invitations to take some time (and, of course, the site’s 200-question compatibility quiz) to find that special someone: “Beth, do you want fast or forever?