Online dating companies
Some of the difference, of course, is generational.
Younger people are more likely to be interested in casual dating and more likely to use mobile devices for dating, the IBISWorld report states. Goldberg, the Peak6 president, sees it, now “there is growing frustration as people tire of swipe-based apps.” He added, “Consumers want companionship and deeper interactions, and the industry will have to adapt.”Some also see a move toward ever more niche sites like Mouse (Disney lovers) and Gluten Free (the name says it all).
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.
In August, Spark sold 16 percent of its stock to the investment firm Peak6, laid off workers and closed its Israel office.
But, as can sometimes be the case with online daters themselves, all is not what it seems.Such companies offer a wide variety of unmoderated matchmaking services, most of which are profile-based.Online dating services allow users to become "members" by creating a profile and uploading personal information including (but not limited to) age, gender, sexual orientation, location, and appearance.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.