ADWEEK - A new campaign for eharmony embraces radical honesty. Freshly showered and wrapped in a towel, a man takes a peek in the bathroom mirror and realizes there's a giant blemish on his shoulder that he can't quite reach. His solution is to ask his boo to play a round of Dr. Pimple Popper. All together now: Awww, so sweet.
The video series launches today. One spot highlight a woman who helps her partner mourn the death of a beloved houseplant. Another shows a man who goes into DJ mode to cheer up his beau after a lousy day at work. "Real romance-it's about depth" says Natalia Fredericks, creative director at eharmony's agency Party Land.
eharmony's goal is to help daters "express their personality and individuality so they can make genuine connections where they feel comfortable being themselves" said Patrick Moore, brand lead. Will air on Hulu, PlutoTV and networks in the U.S., Canada, U.K. and Australia, also podcasts, digital and social media buys.
MASHABLE - eharmony's Dating Diaries report reveals upcoming "sexolutions" for 2024, emphasizing reduced stigma around sexual history and a focus on better sexual communication and experimentation. Key findings include a significant number of singles not wanting to discuss partners' sexual pasts.
LEXOLOGY - The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recently taken legal action against eHarmony for alleged misleading practices in breach of the Australian Consumer Law. ACCC claims eHarmony gave false impressions about membership durations, renewal rates, and obscured auto-renewal details. The company is also accused of not displaying the true minimum price and misleading customers with "free dating" promotions. The situation underlines the need for businesses in Australia to ensure clear communication, accurate pricing, and vet promotional claims for accuracy and legality.
AUSTRALIAN ASSOCIATED PRESS - The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has taken legal action against eHarmony, accusing it of misleading consumers regarding its pricing, membership renewal, and duration. The ACCC alleges that eHarmony enticed users with a "free dating" offer that only provided limited access, such as viewing blurred profile photos and minimal communication options. Furthermore, eHarmony is accused of automatically renewing memberships without clear consent, potentially costing users more than expected. The ACCC seeks penalties, costs, injunctions, and consumer redress from eHarmony. eHarmony has cooperated with the ACCC's investigation but could not comment further due to the ongoing legal proceedings.
WALL STREET JOURNAL - Hinge recently added a plan at $50/mo, and is examining a plan for Tinder at ~$500/mo. Bumble is considering a tier above its $60/mo plan. Grindr plans to add more premium offerings. Match has made up ground, with revenue per payer rising in the past two quarters. Bumble reported paying users rose 20% to 3.6 million in its most recent quarter from a year earlier.
Match which will roll out a superpremium tier on Tinder in the fall. "If you actually take a small fraction of our payers at higher price points, you actually get a number that's in the tens of millions of dollars on an annual basis," CEO Bernard Kim said.
Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd sees premium services delivering new opportunities. "We see that there's a lot of runway to expand there."
Even if uptake is slow, there is precedent behind the move to raise prices. Mark Brooks, CEO of Courtland Brooks, which helps online dating companies grow, said that other brands, such as eHarmony and Tawkify, have for years priced their premium services above what Tinder, Hinge and Bumble charged. The stakes are high in showing users that paying is worth it, Brooks said. Otherwise, they could defect to competing platforms. "They've got to actually really deliver on it, because they'll get crucified if they don't," said Brooks.
MASHBALE - eharmony, in collaboration with LGBTQ advocacy group GLAAD, has expanded its platform to better cater to LGBTQ daters. The dating site now offers an extended list of genders and the option to display or hide this information on user profiles. Following a 2020 redesign and inclusive ad campaigns, the platform saw a 31% increase in LGBTQ membership from 2022 to 2023. Alex Schmider from GLAAD and eharmony's COO, Gareth Mandel, both emphasized the platform's commitment to inclusion.
THE MIRAGE - A recent survey conducted by eharmony found that 52% of surveyed men would pursue a relationship with someone who has children. 61% of female online daters perceive single fathers positively, believing them to be more committed to a relationship. 63% of single parents believe it would be easier to date someone who also has children. Additionally, 70% of single parents expect their new partner to act as a role model for their children. The findings suggest that having children does not deter online daters.
MASHABLE - eharmony's Dating Diaries report, based on a survey of ~2K people, highlights generational differences between millennials and Gen Z in attitudes towards sex and dating. The report shows that 91% of millennials in relationships have sex at least once a week, compared to 78% of Gen Z. However, Gen Z is more sexually explorative and is more likely to have unprotected sex. Millennials prioritize sexual chemistry, while Gen Z values emotional connection before engaging in sex. Gen Z is also more likely to use dating apps and social media for meeting partners and learning new things for sexual experiences, but 48% report experiencing dating app fatigue.
OPW - ProSiebenSat.1 reported that its financial year 2022 was in line with expectations, generating revenues of EUR 4.2B (compared to the previous year's EUR 4.5B), with adjusted EBITDA of EUR 678M (compared to the previous year's EUR 841M) and adjusted net income of EUR 301M (compared to the previous year's EUR 365M). In the Dating & Video segment, external revenues amounted to EUR 518M in 2022, representing a decrease of EUR 24M or 4% (previous year: EUR 542M). eharmony continued its growth course throughout the year and is now the highest-revenue brand in the dating portfolio.
BLOOMBERG - Grindr, eHarmony, Coffee Meets Bagel, and other dating apps are facing appeals of dismissed lawsuits that accused them of patent infringement. Wireless Discovery asked the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to reconsider a pair of Delaware federal district court orders that invalidated four of its asserted patents. Wireless Discovery had accused the dating apps of infringing patents covering social media technology that helps people meet online and exchange contact information.
DAILYMAIL.CO.UK - Users of dating apps such as Tinder, Bumble and Hinge spend 55 minutes a day 'swiping', according to a new study by eHarmony which shows this is having a 'severe' impact on user mental health. 39% of users check the apps as soon as they wake in the morning, while 48% swipe just before bedtime. 70% of singletons feel anxious or depressed after using them. The research - carried out by eHarmony among 1K Britons - also found 44% of users want a casual hook-up while 27% of women use apps to get an ego boost.
EYEWITNESS NEWS - One study found 81% of online daters misrepresented some aspect about themselves, be it height, weight, or age. The Federal Trade Commission says phishing and dating scams on apps cost victims $304M in 2020, double the amount of the previous year. Top10.com researched the background check and user verification processes for the most popular dating apps and websites.
The company announced in March 2021 a partnership with nonprofit background check technology Garbo. The app provides historical information about domestic violence and abuse.
The app makes sure the person is legitimate by having users take an image in a unique pose to verify. Badoo also allows users to further verify using a phone number or social network account and marks verification on their profile.
Bumble uses a combination of AI and human-led monitoring systems to review accounts and messages for violations of their terms of service. These include imagery or language that discriminates against someone's race, ethnicity, disability, gender expression, and a range of other criteria.
AdultFriendFinder doesn't do background checks. While users are to accept sole responsibility for their own interactions with other users, users have recourse to report account abuse, and moderators are also looking out for abnormal behavior on the site.
User verification and background checks are counterintuitive to the goal of Ashley Madison.
Similar to Badoo, Happn users have the opportunity to certify their profiles by taking a video posing with unique head gestures, as instructed by the app. While Happn claims noncertified profiles are not fake, they do not provide any additional background on whether a vetting process exists for noncertified profiles.
Zoosk provides online dating safety tips for people new to dating online. Although, in those tips, it's suggested that users do their own research on potential suitors because Zoosk asserts it does not "routinely screen our members, inquire into the background of our members, attempt to verify information provided by our members, or conduct criminal screenings of our members."
While the dating service does not conduct an official background check, it does provide users with an 80-question survey to narrow in on the specificity of the website's services.
Grindr notes in its terms of service that it does not conduct criminal or other background screenings of its users and doesn't verify the information users provide.
by Vivian Muniz
See full article at PA Homepage
STAR OBSERVER - eHarmony once again has conservative groups in an uproar over an ad, now airing in Australia, which features a gay couple. One Million Moms, an American Christian organisation, created by the anti-LGBTQ American Family Association, has launched a petition against the ad, calling it "the site's attempt to normalize and glorify the LGBTQ lifestyle." eHarmony said that the company has experienced a 109% growth within the LGBTQ market. One Million Moms has previously targeted brands and celebrities like H&M, Campbell's Soup, Nabisco, Disney, Kmart, Marvel and JCPenney when they chose Ellen DeGeneres as their spokesperson.
WALL STREET JOURNAL - Since Jan '19, App Annie data show U.S. users have spent 7.4M hours on dating apps a month on Android phones alone. Match Group and Bumble collectively boast ~$50B in fully diluted market value, but plenty of businesses are trying. Coffee Meets Bagel, which hits users with algorithmically curated matches every day at noon, has made ~130M matches since its launch in 2012. Hily, which works to make it easier to start conversations, has 22M users. Snack, which is focused on video-first dating, was the 10th most-downloaded dating app in the U.S. last month, according to App Annie. Some just need a larger platform to help them take off. Hinge, in which Match took a majority stake in 2018 before acquiring it in 2019, saw ~100K U.S. downloads in Jan '18. By Mar '21, it was closer to 600K. Berlin-based Spark Networks did $233M in revenue last year. And then there is eHarmony owner ParshipMeet, which is preparing for a 2022 IPO. In the Q2 it had €139M ($164.2M) in revenue.