There is no longer a negative stigma attached to online dating. One study suggests that a third of newly married couples first met online.
The online dating industry was estimated to be worth two billion dollars in 2012 alone. So it comes as no surprise that thousands of websites – old and new, big and small, popular and obscure – are fighting for their own piece of that enormous pie.
The market is huge, recession proof, and growing. The target demographic is ninety million singles (with the number of singles increasing each year) – in the US alone. That is not even taking into account those who are “married, but looking”. About forty percent of users on any given online dating website is already married!
How websites make money in this niche? If you are a member of some online dating website, you may be saddened to realize that they are actually not providing their services in order to help you find a perfect partner that you are so eagerly looking for. They’re in it for the money!
Some of these websites are indeed completely free to use; however, they are paid for by selling advertising on their pages. Some online dating websites require a subscription. Some others are, again, free – but you must pay to unlock the more advanced features (if you want to).
For these services to make money, they want their registered users to log into the website as frequently as possible. They, actually, make more money when they are unsuccessful in their mission to find you love! On the other hand, they don’t want to leave you completely disillusioned. A user who doesn’t believe any more that he will ever find his prince or princess online won’t return to the dating website again.
Unfortunately, only one percent of new online dating startups succeed. The market is oversaturated. The best niches are already taken. In the US alone, there are more than two and a half thousand online dating services, and that number is constantly growing, plus there is probably more than eight thousand operating outside of the US. Let us not forget Facebook: this social networking site is a formidable competitor in the online dating niche as well!
Make no mistake: there are some websites making serious money! One of the first that decided to go the free route, Plenty Of Fish, today makes more than one million dollars a month – just from selling advertising on their website.