WALL STREET JOURNAL - Apr 25 - Match Group says Japan is its second-biggest market after the U.S., thanks to the popularity of its Pairs app. The company says its revenue in the country is seven times what it was five years ago. Pairs is Japan's top-ranked dating app, with 3.1M downloads in 2020, according to App Annie. It is aimed at singles serious about matrimony and tries to make women comfortable about signing up. Men have to pay and show their full real names if they want to start chatting. Women get in free and can use initials (46% of Pairs users are women). "Internet dating in Japan wasn't just stigmatized - it was beyond a stigma. It was viewed as dirty," said Mark Brooks, a consultant who advises internet dating businesses. "Japan has always been enticing to internet dating companies, but they knew they had a job to do to clean up the reputation of the industry overall." About half of Match Group's $2.4B in revenue last year came from outside the U.S. Match Group's success in Japan started with an acquisition of Eureka, the developer Pairs, in 2015.
QUARTZ - Feb 14 - Dating online has revolutionized how we fall in love. The industry has 270m monthly users globally and grew by 13% in 2020, but online dating (swiping) has become exhausting. Experts say the apps that define the next era of online dating will offer more fun, safety, and community.
Amarnath Thombre, head of Match North America said Match's strategy is to "have each app run its own experiment," and, as the experiments play out, the company can use the successful features in its other properties. Match is also expanding into Asia with the lucrative Pairs in Japan, and Hawaya a Muslim-focused service.
"Pretty much everything that we charge for on Hinge, we couldn't really give away for free because then it wouldn't work anymore," said Hinge's CEO/founder Justin McLeod. "Think about Roses, for example. Roses are really, really special. If we gave everyone unlimited Roses, then it would completely defeat the purpose of Roses." Hinge downloads grew 63% globally between 2019 and 2020.
Mark Brooks, a leading industry consultant, says that for dating apps to be able to keep monetizing, moving into a more community-oriented gear is the way to go. "We want people to stick around, have fun. Yes, hook up, meet up, and maybe stick around even beyond that point," he said. "I think we'll see a general shift away from dating into more community-esque apps."
Since the beginning of the pandemic, The Meet Group saw livestreamed minutes increase by 40%. The Meet Group provides livestreaming for Match Group's Plenty of Fish, and the feature is proving to be popular. In Feb Match acquired Hyperconnect, a Korean "social discovery" company that owns a livestreaming app, and a video and audio chatting app that translates conversations in real time, for $1.7B.
Cook points out that the growth of the dating industry has generally been slowing. "And so what do dating companies do when you're saturating the market? ...they find other ways to engage the user. ...they can provide some entertainment value."
Every female dater interviewed for this article mentioned how they often feel unsafe on the apps, or how they are put off by unwanted sexual attention. In 2019, Bumble launched a feature that detects and blurs inappropriate photos. Tinder directs users who report violations to support organizations. Content moderation is slowly getting better.
Dating could jump to new media. For a true dating revolution to happen, the industry needs another media shift, like the one from desktop to mobile, said Brooks. He predicts that the jump will be to Augmented Reality, and that through wearable technology like AR lenses, people will get more "intel-on-the-go" about potential matches. "When passing by someone who has double matched, or is viable and an exceptional date candidate, they will be indicated to them." (Hakuna Live, one of the apps Match acquired in its Hyperconnect deal, features augmented reality avatars).
What's more, Brooks thinks we need more "coaxing along" when we're dating. AR, as well as "informed, tailored advice" from the dating service will deliver helpful nudges in real time, such as: "it's been 20 days since your last date night, might be time for a date at ,'" he said. "I think the benefits of timely advice will outweigh the creepiness of having a computer act as an informed advisor."
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THE HINDU - Feb 9 - Consumers across the globe spent ~$3B on dating apps in 2020, up 15% YOY, according to App Annie. Tinder secured the top position in terms of consumer spending worldwide, while Bumble and Pairs took the second and third spot. Dating apps witnessed a total of 560M downloads over the year. Tinder was the top ranking app in India and the U.S., having the highest annual overall consumer spend among non-gaming apps in 2020. It also ranked in the top 10 in both China and South Korea.
WALL STREET JOURNAL - Feb 4 - Match showed impressive resilience early on in the pandemic. Q4 results slightly topped Wall Street's estimates. Match's shares took a dive in mid-January following Bumble's IPO filing, but had since recovered. Then its shares tumbled again 5% after hours following Tuesday's Q4 report. Investors shouldn't be overly discouraged. Its Q4 numbers show it met its initial revenue guidance for 2020, given way back in Nov of 2019, before the first case of Covid-19 had even been identified. For the past few years, the Match story has revolved around Tinder's rapid growth but Match's relationship-focused apps should increasingly come into focus in 2021. Match said downloads of Hinge grew 82% in 2020 through the end of Sep and that the direct revenue soared ~200% in the Q3, suggesting users are eager to pay for it. Beyond Hinge, Pairs, acquired by Match in 2015, is now Japan's biggest dating app.
THE MOTLEY FOOL - Nov 10 - Tinder dominates Match's revenue. It has grown from around zero revenue in 2014 to ~$1.4B this year. Match.com and other legacy websites like PlentyofFish make up around a third of sales. The smallest part of Match's current portfolio is the "emerging opportunities." It includes brands like Ablo, Pairs, and Hawaya, but is led by Hinge. Hinge is "designed to be deleted," meaning it targets people in the slightly older millennial cohort looking for long-term relationships. Match doesn't disclose Hinge's nominal revenue numbers. However, the app downloads year-to-date were up 82%. In fact, the company disclosed in its Q2 report that Hinge users have grown more than tenfold since 2017. With ~10M downloads globally, Hinge may be on the verge of what Tinder achieved a few years ago: hitting escape velocity in its target market.
by Brett Schafer
See full article at The Motley Fool
OPW - Nov 6 - Yesterday, the Match Group announced Q3 financial results. Revenue was up 18% YOY ($640M). Operating income was $200M, up 14% YOY.
SENSOR TOWER - Sep 29 - The top grossing dating app worldwide for August 2020 was Tinder with~$83.5M in user spending, which represented 7.8% growth from August 2019. ~43 percent of Tinder's revenue was from the US, followed by 6% from the UK and 6% from Germany. Bumble was #2 with ~$22.7M in gross revenue, up16.8% YOY. The next top grossing app was Pairs, followed by Badoo and MeetMe.
SENSORTOWER - Aug 24 - The top grossing dating app worldwide for July 2020 was Tinder with ~$68.5M in user spending. 40% of Tinder's revenue was from the United States, followed by 6% from Japan and 5% from Great Britain. Bumble was #2 with ~$16.8M in gross revenue. #3 was Pairs, followed by MeetMe and Badoo.
SENSORTOWER - July 30 - The top grossing dating app worldwide for June 2020 was Tinder with $64.8M in user spending. ~41% of Tinder's revenue was from the US, followed by 6% from the UK and 6% from Germany. Bumble was the second highest earning dating app worldwide with more $16.5M in gross revenue. ~76% of Bumble's revenue was from the U.S., followed by 7% from the UK. The next top grossing app was Pairs, followed by MeetMe and Tantan.
SENSORTOWER - July 3 - The top grossing dating app worldwide for May 2020 was Tinder with ~$65.3M in user spending. ~41.5% of Tinder's revenue was from the U.S, followed by 5.6% from UK and 5.4% from Japan. Bumble was the second highest earning dating app worldwide for May 2020 with close to $16M in gross revenue. The next top grossing app was Pairs, followed by MeetMe and Tantan.
NIKKEI ASIAN REVIEW - May 14 - Tokyo-based marriage agency Sunmarie says inquiries about its services were up 20% in April from the same month a year ago. The company began offering 40-minute, free online consultations the day after the government declared a state of emergency on April 7. Many customers say the coronavirus has given them an opportunity to think about their future. Most people seeking consultations are in their 20s to 40s and the majority are women. Kekkonjoho Center, which runs the Nozze marriage agency, has been offering free spouse-hunting advice since April 10. Inquiries have risen 10% from a year ago. Tokyo-based Eureka has added a video call feature to its Pairs dating app.
SENSOR TOWER - Dec 16 - The top grossing dating app worldwide for Nov 2019 was Tinder with ~$82M in user spending, which is up 12% YOY. 41% of Tinder's revenue was from the US, followed by 8% from UK and 4% from Germany. Bumble was #2 with ~$18M in gross revenue, up 29% YOY. 77% of Bumble's revenue was from the U.S., followed by 9% from UK. The next top grossing app was Badoo, followed by Pairs and Tantan.
SENSORTOWER - Nov 13 - The top grossing dating app worldwide for Oct 2019 was Tinder with ~$88.7M in user spending, which represented 18% growth from Oct 2018. ~43% of Tinder's revenue was from the U.S., followed by 7% from UK and 5% from Australia. Bumble was #2 with ~$20M in gross revenue, which represented 44% growth YOY. 77% of Bumble's revenue was from the U.S., followed by 9% from UK. The next top grossing app was Tantan, followed by Pairs and Badoo.