Online dating industry analysis


A recent report by Topeka Capital Markets finds that the combination of tough economic times, a rise in the number of singles, social media and mobile technology is causing a resurgence in the "fast food dating" business of online personals. people are a lot more comfortable posting their personal information online.

So there's no longer a negative stigma attached to online dating," said the report's author, Victor Anthony, Topeka's managing director of Internet media. In a recent Pew Internet survey, 59 percent of Americans said they consider online dating a good way to meet people compared with 44 percent in 2005. are single, meaning there's plenty of opportunity for dating sites.

Since acquiring Match.com, IAC has bolstered the personals business with several acquisitions, including Ok Cupid in February 2011, expanding the Match unit's sales to 3 million in (2012) from 6 million in 2008.

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But even though the industry as a whole is growing, not all online personals sites are created equal, and analysts say only a select few make for good investments. Others focus on niche markets like race, religion and ethnicity.

Sites like e Harmony—the second largest online dating website in the U. "There are few stand-out investment opportunities these days," said Mark Brooks, an Internet dating industry consultant based in New York City.

IAC previously spun off travel service Expedia in 2005.

Launched in April 1995, is now in 24 countries and hosts websites in 15 languages.

Leading the pack is Match.com, owned by IAC/Inter Active Corp, the Internet holding company controlled by billionaire Barry Diller.