BUSINESSWEEK - Feb 28 - The $30M advertising and marketing push had made ChristianMingle an unexpectedly popular dating site with 8M registered users, 154K paying subscribers at $19.99 a month. That’s almost double the 84K paying subscribers of SparkNetwork’s groundbreaking Jewish singles site, JDate. SparkNetworks.com was founded in 1997. JDate grew rapidly by word of mouth. ChristianMingle was launched in 2004 and remained small until 2010, when Spark consulted with local ministers and prominent Christian leaders about how best to serve their constituents. As a result, the company founded an advisory council of church leaders and hired ChristianMingle spokeswoman Ashley Reccord, a pastor’s daughter, to help conduct outreach. Then the company launched Believe.com, which features Christian editorials, and redesigned the site into something more devout-seeming than JDate. Spark reported the number of ChristianMingle paid subscribers grew 89% for the Q4 of 2012 vs. the period a year earlier. There are other suitors in the market for Christian romance; eHarmony and ChristianCafe.com.
by Logan Hill
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