We all know how popular online dating has become. Years back it had a stigma, and people who met a partner through websites like matchmaker.com (one of the earliest) would often make up an alternative story of how they met.
Things have changed. A 2013 study by Pew Research of American adults showed that online dating has become mainstream. 11% of internet users surveyed said they have used a dating site and 59% said that they thought using these sites was a good way of meeting people.
So with such a large part of the population using these services, there is obviously money to be made. This comes through site membership fees, or in the case of the free dating websites like pof.com through advertising revenues. Many of the free sites also offer a paid “premium” option that a percentage of members upgrade to in order to get addition features.
It is estimated that more than $2 billion will be generated by the dating services industry in 2014, and around two thirds of that will from dating sites. Currently the biggest player in the market is match.com, which operates in more than 20 countries.
While the big sites generate huge income from having such a large membership base, smaller niche sites that cater exclusively to a certain sector of society. There are even websites that offer dating services to people who are married: not really very cool at all, ashleymadison.com…
To find out more about how the industry has changed and for more facts and figures, check out this article from cnbc.com.