IDG SERVICE -- Sep 23 -- Owners and companies running dating Web sites are meeting Monday and Tuesday at the Internet Dating Conference in London to discuss challenges in their industry. The top dating sites in the U.K. for June were PlentyofFish, followed by Meetic, Match.com, Gaydar.co.uk and GirlsDateForFree, according to comScore. In North America, the top sites in June were PlentyofFish, Singlesnet, eHarmony, Match.com and Yahoo Personals. The number of page views for dating sites are falling, and people are spending less time but revenues are growing. The main revenue model is subscription. Other dating sites are offering premium services used by traditional matchmaking companies. A site in China, Zhenai, charges $200 a year for access to its online site and team of match matchers who work with singles over the phone. That's far less than fees charged by traditional matchmakers, which can cost $5,000 or more a year, said Mark Brooks, who runs a consultancy focusing on social networks and dating sites. FreeDating.co.uk is free, and makes money by showing ads. It's the same model used by PlentyofFish, a relatively simple site that debuted in 2003 and has surged to the top spot in the U.S. and U.K. markets. FULL ARTICLE @ PC WORLD
See all posts on PlentyofFish See all posts on Singlesnet
See all posts on Meetic See all posts on eHarmony
See all posts on Match.com See all posts on Yahoo Personals
See all posts on Gaydar See all posts on Zhenai
See all posts on GirlsDateForFree
OPW -- Sep 16 -- We have updated Nielsen Online U.S.A. internet dating rankings. Yahoo! Personals, Match.com and Singlesnet maintained their 1st, 3rd and 4th position respectively. TRUE ousts MSN Dating from it's 5th position. PlentyofFish jumped from #9 to #7. AOL Personals went down to #8 from #7. Mate1 and MSN Dating slide off the top 10.
NY TIMES -- Apr 27 -- A growing number of people have found love on dating sites that pair members based on a specific shared interest or background, like Nerdsatheart.com, DateMyPet.com, STDmatch.net and Veggielove.com. "Singles are increasingly eager to narrow the audience and really target their needs," said Mark Brooks, a consultant who keeps his own blog, OnlinePersonalsWatch.com. "It's the same reason why Procter&Gamble makes so many detergents. We are all drawn to things that cater to our very specific desires." According to Hitwise there are now 1,378 U.S. dating sites, up from 876 three years ago. Mr. Brooks estimates that 44% of those sites in the U.S. are niche sites, up from 35% in 2006. Large companies like Match.com, eHarmony, Yahoo Personals and SinglesNet.com have the general market cornered, Mr. Brooks said, "the only real entrepreneurial opportunities left in the online dating world lie in the niche market." FarmersOnly.com has attracted 90,000 members so far, 50,000 in the last year alone. One month's membership costs $15.95. Mr. Brooks said the most successful niche sites pair people by race, sexual orientation or religion. The 20 most popular dating sites this year as ranked by Hitwise include JDate, Christian Mingle and ChristianCafe.com, Manhunt, Love From India, Amigos, Asian People Meet, and Shaadi. "A few years ago, a company called Spark Networks was putting major funding into its general dating site, American Singles," Mr. Brooks said. "But when executives saw that the Jewish market was huge and relatively untouched, they switched gears and ratcheted up JDate." FULL ARTICLE @ NY TIMES. Also in THE LEDGER
TECH CRUNCH -- Apr 24 -- In the internet dating space, bigger is not always best. According to the latest U.S. numbers from Hitwise, the top niche dating sites are steadily gaining market share while their big mainstream counterparts stagnate. In March 2008, the top 5 overall sites held 7% less market share than they did in 2007 (Plentyoffish and Singlesnet were the only sites to buck this trend individually). Meanwhile, the top sites (Adam4Adam, Manhunt, Gay.com, BlackPeopleMeet, BlackSingles, BlackChristianPeopleMeet, ChristianMingle, JDate, and ChristianCafe.com) from the top five major niche dating categories made considerable gains. The biggest niche in terms of total traffic is casual dating, which consists of sites like Fling, AdultFriendFinder, and SexSearch. While the top 10 mainstream dating sites gained only 0.01% of total Internet traffic over the past year, the top three casual adult sites gained 0.07%. That's a hefty 56% increase in the traffic. (Authored by Mark Brooks)
FULL ARTICLE @ TECH CRUNCH
CNET NEWS -- Feb 14 -- Visits to dating sites were up 26% in the week ending February 9 in comparison with the equivalent week in 2007, according to Hitwise. At the top of the rankings was SinglesNet.com, followed by PlentyOfFish.com. Rounding out the top five were eHarmony, True, and Yahoo Personals.
The full article was originally published at CNet News, but is no longer available.
OPW -- June 25 -- I've been reviewing a number of dating sites recently. I thought it would be interesting to see how many real messages a 28 year old woman in Tampa would get on the various dating sites. The test was run from April 24th to May 22nd, from Tampa, Florida. The subject did not send any outgoing winks or messages during the test. The excel spreadsheet lists the number of winks and messages received from other members. Also listed is a breakout of the messages that were sent as automated messages from the system. Messages that were clearly automated messages were not included in the number for 'Messages From Members.' TRUE and Singlesnet had a high number of automated messages, and a low number of real messages. PlentyofFish had the most real messages initiating contact. Here's screen captures of the profiles that were used - PlentyofFish, Lavalife, TRUE, Singlesnet, Match, LoveAccess, YahooPersonals and Engage. Download dating sites responsiveness test spreadsheet.