Business of online dating

11 Jan

As dating sites and apps like Tinder and eharmony continue to grow in popularity, many of the companies behind them are finding it difficult to compete in the saturated market and to attract investors. Like bunnies, dating apps have shown a knack for proliferation.

With a young, increasingly busy and mobile audience, the allure of the dating app business can be intoxicating.

Markus Frind, founder and CEO of Plenty Of Fish, says he brings in more than million a year (at least half is pure profit) working for just an hour a day.

Once a profile has been created, members can view the profiles of other members of the service, using the visible profile information to decide whether or not to initiate contact.

new study on online dating and found that 15% of American adults have used online dating sites and/or mobile dating apps, up from 11% in 2013. billion in revenue each year and expanded at an annual rate of 5% between 20.

Aaron Smith, author of the report, told NPR that mobile apps' appeal lies in their simplicity and "game-ified way of engaging with other people." Crafting snappy blurbs and swiping right or left are a lot easier and less time-consuming than writing a painstakingly detailed profile for a traditional dating site like Ok Cupid.

e Harmony doesn't disclose its user numbers, but Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster estimates that its revenues were about 0 million with about 13 percent market share. Waldorf says that the lengthy questionnaire and the price tag weeds out people who aren't serious, and the algorithm they use to crunch the answers matches customers with compatible life partners. There are the niche sites like and Christianmingle.com, which are both owned by Spark Networks .

e Harmony costs about twice as much as per month, but e Harmony's CEO Greg Waldorf explained to me why he believes it's worth it. In addition to and IAC owns niche sites Blackpeoplemeet.com, and