OPW - Sep 25 - This is probably the biggest dating ad I've seen yet. On a recent trip to Stockholm I discovered this bus with a huge ad for Firstdate.com.
TELEGRAPH.CO.UK - Sep 23 - Only 1% (240K) of the British population is gay according to a report from the ONS. The gay ‘dating’ website Gaydar has 1.5M profiles in the UK. Given that almost all its users are men, that means – if the ONS figures are to be believed – that at ~1.25M heterosexual men in the UK are registered on a site whose principal purpose is to hook men up with each other for casual sex. Gaydar is entirely private and a bit naughty, whereas the ONS figures come from a survey where people were asked out of the blue to tell the government their sexuality. Whose figures do you think are likely to be more accurate? FULL ARTICLE @ TELEGRAPH.CO.UK
SHINY SHINY - Sep 23 - Grindr is an app aimed at gay men looking for chat, dates or sexy times with other gay men nearby. Its success has prompted questions about whether there'll ever be a straight version of this. Do women date like this? Women do seem to be fine using location based dating apps - there's a lesbian equivalent of Grindr app called Qrushr Girls (different company, different app, same concept). FULL ARTICLE @ SHINY SHINY
HERALD SCOTLAND - Sep 23 - Bill Dobbie, CEO of Easydate, is sitting on a £10.4M paper profit on his 32.5% stake in the company, less than three months after it listed on the stock exchange. Easydate shares soared 12p or 13.3% to 102.5p yesterday after it announced a maiden first-half profit of under £2M, compared to under £1M for the whole of 2009. Revenue from its sites, which include benaughty.com, girlsdateforfree.com and maturedating.co.uk, was £8.8M for the period, against £8.5M for the full year to Dec 2009. The company is now valued at £77M, £32M more than when it listed at 60p a share on June 30.
The full article was originally published at Herald Scotland, but is no longer available.
GUARDIAN.CO.UK - Sep 22 - EasyDate acquires North American rival cupid.com in a deal worth £4.4m. EasyDate already operates cupid.com outside the US and will now take charge of its US and Canada operations – reversing a trend that has seen US sites such as eHarmony eye up the UK for acquisitions. FULL ARTICLE @ GUARDIAN.CO.UK
WSJ - Sep 22 - A new mobile app MeetMoi NOW uses the location of your phone and scours a database for compatible profiles of other users around you. The system works even when your phone is in your pocket, using the background processing capabilities of Google’s mobile Android platform. The idea, according to MeetMoi founder Andrew Weinreich, is to make dating more streamlined. In 2007, Weinreich launched MeetMoi, an Internet dating service intended for smartphone users. In that version of MeetMoi, users would text their address or ZIP code to the service, which would scan its system for compatible matches interested in a date nearby. If each party was impressed by the other’s profile, a match was made. FULL ARTICLE @ WSJ
YOUR TANGO - Sep 22 - Noel Biderman, the mastermind behind cheating website AshleyMadison, defends his dating site.
Q: How do you feel about promoting infidelity?
A: We should stop being so judgmental about it. A monogamous marriage has a 50/50 chance of making it, you may realize that cheating happens in order to preserve marriage.
HELIUM - Sep 22 - Virtual dating is a growing reality in the $1 billion annual industry of online dating, and with clients willing to pay $1,200 per month to hire their own personal online dater. An online virtual dater is basically a person that handles all the annoying parts of finding a partner online. They manage the dating profile, they may spend a little time in the chat rooms using the client ID. A virtual dater will spend time interviewing and checking in with their client.
The full article was originally published at Helium, but is no longer available.
CHARLOTTE OBSERVER - Sep 22 - Laurie Berzack is a professional Jewish matchmaker. Berzack created Chai Expectations in 2006 to help Jewish marriage-minded singles find their soul mates. Contact information and pictures are not online for anyone to see. Berzack meets with her clients. If Berzack has a person in her resource pool that she thinks would be a good match for her client, she will suggest an introduction. Clients range in age from 23 to 80 years old, and Berzack doesn't take on everyone. Her fees start at $3,000, which guarantees a minimum of six introductions. However, for $750, she will help people develop online profiles.
The full article was originally published at Charlotte Observer, but is no longer available.
PRESS RELEASE - Sep 21 - Grindr, the all-male mobile location-based networking service, has reached yet another milestone as its member ranks swell to more than one million. Since launching only eighteen months ago in March 2009, Grindr has become a global sensation. In the US, Grindr has ~500K users. Meanwhile, in the United Kingdom and Australia, ~150,000 and ~100,000 users respectively have joined Grindr . On a daily basis, Grindr counts ~250K active users who log on eight times per day and spend an average of 1.3 hours each day using the app. FULL ARTICLE @ PR NEWSWIRE
OPW - Sep 21 - After posting notes from the iDate Paris presentation: The Turkish And Middle Eastern Dating Markets, we received an email from Tarmer Kulmac claiming that his company, eCift.com, is the market leader in Turkey in matchmaking industry and Siberalem.com is one of the top casual dating sites in Turkey. eCift.com started 9 months ago and has currently ~820K registered members. They have recently closed a financing round led by international european VCs including BrainsToVentures in Swiss and Corporate Finance Partners in Frankfurt. They also have Konstantin Urban, the former founder of Parship as business angel on board.
OPW - Sep 20 - A special thank you to the iDate Paris exhibitors and sponsors.
Dating Factory - Continental European white label leader.
EasyDate - Runs some of the top sites in the UK, along with white labels.
Introanalytics - Behavioral matchmaking and discovery.
OculusAI - Image moderation for dating sites.
messmo - Extending dating sites to mobile.
ONLINE BARRONS - Sep 18 - JDate, a dating site for Jewish singles, is a hit with its clientele, but its parent company is a bust with the shareholders. Spark shares are languishing~$3 a share, amid disappointing financial results and after a proposed buyout at $3.10 a share earlier this year by the company's largest holder, Great Hill Equity Partners, was rejected by a special committee of the board. Spark shares look reasonably priced, based on the company's profits, solid balance sheet and JDate's franchise value. Osmium Partners, an investment firm that owns 6.7% of Spark, opposed the Great Hill bid, arguing Spark's intrinsic value exceeds $6 a share. "Spark is highly undervalued, and it would be a nice fit for an acquirer at the right price", says John Lewis, a principal at Osmium. In 2009, JDate generated $29M in revenue. While that was 63% of Spark's sales, it's a small fraction of the $1 billion in annual revenue generated by the online dating industry, which is dominated by eHarmony and Match.com. In contrast, general dating sites spend heavily on TV and Web ads. eHarmony may spend $125M on marketing and advertising, or more than 40% of its estimated $280M in 2010 revenue. JDate spends as little as 5% to 10% of sales on marketing and advertising. FULL ARTICLE @ ONLINE BARRONS
WSJ - Sep 17 - alikewise.com is a free dating site that matches singles based on books and has amassed 4,000 users, mostly in their 20s and early 30s, since it launched in July. The site facilitates matchmaking by notifying users when someone adds a book of the same title or genre. Matt Masina and Matt Sherman hatched the idea for the site after Mr. Sherman broke up with his girlfriend. Mr. Masina asked him what he was looking for in a prospective date. His answer? "A girl who has read 'The Black Swan." "When you're dating, there is always that fateful moment when you see someone's bookshelf for the first time and either smile to yourself or run for the door. Our site is trying to mimic that experience online," Mr. Masina says. FULL ARTICLE @ WSJ
OPW - Sep 19 - The Paris Internet Dating Conference happened Thursday and Friday of this week. Over 125 delegates were in attendance, mostly from Europe. Delegates from DatingFactory.com, Easyflirt, Zoosk, Parship, and many other idating leaders were in attendance. Irena Brooks overviewed some of the top presentations for Online Personals Watch. The conference overlapped the German marketing conference DMEXCO which drew some attention away. In future, we'll make sure the conference meshes with either DMEXCO in Cologne, or with Ad Tech. The next conference is the BIG one.
The Miami Internet Dating Conference is the big conference of the year. I'll be providing a 3 hour pre-conference session. A primer on the Business Of Internet Dating. I'll also be doing a roundup of the news and trends on the first day. On the second day, I should also be providing an overview of some of the most useful findings in academia applicable to your internet dating businesses. InternetDatingScience.com will launch in January as a sister blog to Online Personals Watch. - Mark Brooks