WASHINGTON POST - Jan 10 - ChristianMingle is owned by the same company, Spark Networks, that owns JDate, the wildly successful Jewish dating service. Indeed, JDate has been the engine behind ChristianMingle’s “God” campaign this year. Spark has plowed revenue generated by the older, more established JDate into promoting the Christian site. ChristianMingle is now the biggest of Spark’s 28 dating sites, each for a specific subset of singles. The company says ChristianMingle is the nation’s leading Christian-based dating site, with ~8M registered members. Spark Networks' Christian dating division had revenue of $22.9M during the first nine months of 2012, an increase of 111% over the same period the year before. (Its Jewish division had revenue of $19.4M, down 5%). Spark poured ~$30M into marketing and advertising for the division, more than double the year before. Overall, Spark lost $4.45M over the first three quarters of 2012 after a loss of $503K during the same period of 2011. ChristianCafe, which says it is the only Christian-owned dating site among the major players, has a marketing tie-in with Focus on the Family, the conservative Christian group founded by author and radio preacher James Dobson. Focus on the Family once had ties with eHarmony.com and its founder, Neil Clark Warren, but eHarmony has moved away from a Christian-centric approach in a bid for a broader market.
by Paul Farhi
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