Dating industry size

03-Mar-2016 11:06 by 8 Comments

Dating industry size

Online dating has exploded in popularity over the past 10 years.Once seen as a rather nerdy, even desperate way to meet a potential partner (or, let’s face it, a less than wholesome means of finding a sexual encounter) – the industry has now become a much more acceptable way of finding love.

It’s also interesting to note that the split of male to female members on most of the sites is around the mark, and the number of older daters (those from 50 years of age and up) has become a real growth market.On the contrary, some of the brands had even witnessed an increase in members as a result of the recession – it’s cheaper to search for love from your laptop at home than it is spending a night in bars and clubs.“Online dating is an industry that can sustain a recession – people may cut back on luxury items and the amount they go out and stay to stay at home instead,” Kate Devine, online marketing manager of, told Huff Post UK.“I've had to be really aware of the recession, both in terms of lowering my acquisition costs and the unwillingness of consumers to spend in the UK,” said Andy Hammonds, managing director of Bright Day, which runs a wide portfolio of niche internet dating sites, including Mums Date uk, Christianand uk and 50Up uk.“I’ve adapted my focus to accruing profit in more affluent dating markets outside the UK, like Australia for instance.As a result, the last 12 months have been very successful, seeing increases in revenue of over 300%.”Matthew Pitt, operations director at Global Personals, which is the driving force behind more than 7,500 dating sites globally, warned “if you are thinking of joining the industry now, you are very unlikely to be successful - unless you have very deep pockets and a differentiated dating offering”.Matt Connolly has one of the newest sites on the market – launched on 26 October, his my Lovely Parent site - which encourages children of singles in their 50s and over to recommend their parents for dates - uses a platform he created from scratch.Connolly decided to take the expensive option of building the technology from scratch. “We want to positively impact the lives of people first and foremost.”“One reason why Seeking has done so well is because we are a ‘lifestyle’ dating business.And sugar daddies or sugar babies tend to be in the dating pool for long periods of time,” he added.

Charlotte Cory, founder of, set up her site after leaving her husband at the age of 49 and realising that no one should be on their own in mid-life.

She is now remarried to a man she met through internet dating.

The older dater market has attracted a lot of new entrants, including Cupid, which offers traditional dating sites such as and, as well as what they call “casual” sites – such as, and “Although we are seeing a proliferation of small niche sites powered by white label providers, generally these sites cannot deliver the same breadth and quality of experience for members,” said’s Gregory.

“Every few months a new online dating start-up pops up and advertises aggressively, but many just come and go.

We’ve been around for more than 10 years in the UK, and we’re confident we’ll still be leading the way in another 10.”Seeking Arrangement’s Wade neatly summarises the key issues affecting the dating industry: “Over the next 12 months, I see two issues becoming increasingly important; mobile applications to make dating websites more accessible and background checks to make online dating safer.”“App development is always an option, but it isn't always cost effective due to the 30% commission requested by providers.

Native web apps are actually more economical to run and revenues are far higher,” he added.