MARKETWATCH - July 15 - The Match Group announced that it will buy PlentyofFish for $575M in cash before going public. "In this industry, size really matters," says Mark Brooks, a dating-industry analyst and the editor of Online Personals Watch. "The Match Group gains very sizable key strategic assets and very effectively cements its position as market leader." The US online dating industry is dominated by IAC, with 21.8% market share. While each site has its own secret set of algorithms, the industry is consolidating and becoming more efficient from a business perspective.
"Making ideal matches is a virgin science," Brooks says. "We don't really know when we've been successful, so we don't really know when the algorithm has actually worked." That will soon change with the popularity of location-based apps and mobile technology, he says. "We'll be able to survey singles before and after dates." "Dating algorithms do exactly what they're designed to do, which is to match to sets for data,"” says Amy Webb, author of "Data, a Love Story: How I Gamed Dating to Meet My Match." Some dating sites beg to differ: "eHarmony has only a divorce rate of 3.86%, well below the national average of 40% to 50%."
by Quentin Fottrell
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