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The largest player in the field is the Match Group, with 51 dating sites; over the last few years alone it acquired such high-profile companies as Tinder and Plenty of Fish.“It’s never been cheaper to start a dating site and never been more expensive to grow one,” said Mark Brooks, a consultant for the internet dating industry who also runs Online Personals Watch.
Part of the problem, he said, is that 70 percent of internet dating in the United States is now on mobile.“It used to be 10 percent of those who registered converted to paid,” Mr. “Now it’s more like 2 to 3 percent.”Advertising can be tough to get, said Tom Homer, editor of the website Dating Sites Reviews, and on a mobile device it does not pay much because there is less real estate available than on regular websites.
Other tensions are pulling at the online dating industry.
Do consumers want to find a special someone or just anyone?
Spark Networks (which trades under the ticker symbol LOV) eventually grew to about 30 dating sites, but the crown jewel has always been JDate. Goldberg estimates that 70 percent of the Jews of dating age in the United States have had some contact with JDate or JSwipe, with about one million registered users.“We’re unambiguously touching a greater percentage of the Jewish population than ever before,” he said.
That may be the case, but according to Spark Networks’ 2015 filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the number of paid subscribers to its Jewish networks declined to around 65,000 last year from a little over 85,000 in 2012.
” The survey responses, from 39 executives, produced the following conclusions:“Internet dating has made people more disposable.”“Internet dating may be partly responsible for a rise in the divorce rates.”“Low quality, unhappy and unsatisfying marriages are being destroyed as people drift to Internet dating sites.”“The market is hugely more efficient …
People expect to—and this will be increasingly the case over time—access people anywhere, anytime, based on complex search requests …
the whole world (versus, say, the city we live in) will, increasingly, feel like the market for our partner(s). Tired of all the drama, tired of not being good enough, tired of life.
Not many people have heard of Spark Networks, but far more are familiar with what it owns: JDate, Christian Mingle and a host of other sites like Silver and Black
JDate, especially, would seem to be one of the success stories of online dating. Stories about happily married couples who met on the site.
In August, Spark sold 16 percent of its stock to the investment firm Peak6, laid off workers and closed its Israel office.
But Brad Goldberg, president of Peak6 and Spark’s new board director as of August, said that through modernizing the company’s technology and focusing on how to effectively market its two best known sites — JDate and Christian Mingle — the company will adapt and “take advantage of the changing industry landscape.”JDate was created in 1997 in a West Los Angeles condominium; Christian Mingle was added in 2001.