WALL STREET JOURNAL -- June 10 -- Spark Networks is losing subscribers even as Internet dating as a whole is growing. Spark said it's trying to rebalance its portfolio to be less reliant on JDate. However, its segment weighting seems to be shifting more because of the relative speed of subscriber losses. Stock is down about 9% year-to-date and ~47% over the last 52 weeks, reflecting the prolonged poor performance, and has a market capitalization of $47.1 million. "I live in hope for them," said Mark Brooks, editor of the blog OnlinePersonalsWatch.com and an industry consultant."But quite consistently, they've shown not particularly enthralling results." Spark's Q1 revenue dropped 20%. Meanwhile, revenue at Match slid just 1%. Ad-supported free sites like PlentyOfFish.com, which saw unique visitors nearly double to ~2.9 million in April from a year earlier, are a threat. Spark is focusing ad spending on a handful of its niche sites to bring them to scale and has all but given up on AmericanSingles.com.
Mark Brooks: Spark Networks acquired Engage.com a few months back, and acquired Hurrydate in February 2007. What should Spark Networks do next? Your comments please.