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The U.S. Dating Services Industry

The U.S. Dating Services Industry

This is the ONLY in-depth business analysis that covers ALL segments of this industry, since the market has no trade association performing market research. This newly updated 7th edition study is a fascinating analysis of one of the oldest professions—matchmaking.

This market is a now a $2.5 billion business in the U.S., with online dating services soaring in popularity since 2001 and representing 70% of the market’s value. The Internet has revolutionized this business and has brought affordable and convenient matchmaking to America’s 124 million singles, via Match.com, Plenty of Fish, eHarmony, and other popular services. Mobile dating apps are exploding. Dating website revenues are expected to grow only moderately this year as the U.S. market is saturated with 1,500+ sites and everyone is chasing the same traffic. Most dating sites don’t make a profit. Venture capital funding continues, as new start-ups still believe they can make it big.

The nation’s 1,600 matchmakers and 400 dating coaches are posting moderate growth, but off-line chains and radio datelines continue to slide. Speed dating continues to be popular but is a tiny market. Phone chat lines are still around, with two large competitors dominating. Online firms are still struggling to bridge the divide with lucrative off-line services, but it continues to be challenging.

Industry consolidation continues and Match.com had an IPO. The firm also bought POF for $575 million. Several unscrupulous brick & mortar chains (Great Expectations, Together/The Right One) went out of business. Problems persist: fake online profiles, fraudulent traffic, database breaches, background checks, and privacy safeguards to protect personal information of users.

The study examines: market size/forecasts and segments from 1994 to 2020 Forecast. Separate in-depth chapters cover the markets for: Online Dating (Websites & Apps), Independent Matchmakers, Dating Coaches, Radio Datelines, Phone Chat Lines, Singles Organizations, Speed Dating, and franchises. Also: how dating services operate—typical models/revenues/fees/profits.

Competitor profiles for: Match.com, eHarmony, Spark Networks, Snap Interactive, Tinder, Meetic, It’s Just Lunch, Plenty of Fish, Teligence, Quest Personals, The Matchmaking Institute, Pre-Dating, Hurry Date, 8 Minute Dating, 10 top matchmakers, 11 top dating coaches, more.


  • INTRODUCTION - STUDY SCOPE & INFORMATION SOURCES USED
    • Study Scope
    • Sources Used
      • Original Marketdata Research
      • Company Product Literature and Brochures
      • Government Reports & Agencies
      • Industry Experts, Analysts
      • Financial & Other Sources
      • General Media-Newspapers & Periodicals, Article Authors
      • Business Databases & Online Services
      • Other Sources
      • Trade Associations
    • FORECASTING METHODOLOGY
  • Executive Overview of Major Findings
    • Summary & Market Definition
      • Market Status Report
      • Why Dating Services May be Almost Recession-Proof
    • Market Size and Major Segments
      • Table Total Market: Estimated Historical, Current & Forecast Market Size
      • Table Value of Industry Segments ($ millions)
  • Market Segment Status Reports & Forecasts
    • Dating Websites
      • Summary
      • Market Status
        • Table Top U.S. Dating Websites
        • Table Mobile Dating Rankings - U.S.
      • Market Size
        • Table Estimated Size of the U.S. Online Dating Market ($ millions)
    • Off-Line Dating Services
      • Table Off-Line Dating Services
      • Typical Operating Ratios of Off-line Dating Services
    • Independent Matchmakers and Dating Coaches
      • How Matchmakers Operate
    • Market Structure
      • Market Size & Growth
      • Operating Ratios & Income
      • Matchmakers' annual gross revenues in 2015
    • Estimated Income & Expense Statement
      • Table Estimated Income & Expense Statement
    • Dating Coaches
      • Market Size
    • Speed Dating Market
      • Market Size
    • The Print Personal Ads & Radio Datelines Market
      • Market Size
      • Market Outlook
    • Singles Phone Chat Lines
    • Dating Services - Industry Operating Ratios
      • Table Snapshot of the Industry: 1997 - 2012
  • Industry Size & Growth, Market Segments
    • Historical Size and Growth of The Industry
    • Market Summary
      • Historical Estimates
      • Market Performance
        • Table Total Market: Estimated Historical, Current & Forecast Market Size
        • Table Value of Industry Segments ($ millions)
    • 2009-2010 Performance - The Great Recession
      • 2012 - 2015 Performance
      • Independent Matchmakers and Dating Coaches
      • Singles Phone Chat Lines
      • The Major Off-Line "Brick & Mortar" Dating Services
        • Table The Major Off-Line "Brick & Mortar" Dating Services
        • Table Historical Market Estimates (number of providers, no. of offices for 1997 shown in parentheses)
  • Online Dating Services: Websites & Apps
    • Market Status Report… Some Facts
      • Major Market Developments
      • Positives
      • Negatives
        • Table Top U.S. Dating Websites
        • Table Mobile Dating Rankings - U.S.
    • Nature & Evolution of the Online Dating Market
    • Limitations & Problems Related to Online Dating
    • Industry Trade Associations
      • IdeaOasis
      • The International Association of Dating Websites (IADW)
    • Lack of Uniform Industry Measurements
    • Market Size & Growth
      • Performance during the "Great Recession"
        • Table U.S. Online Dating Revenues, 2007-2012
      • Historical Market Size
        • Table Actual and estimated revenues of the five largest U.S.-based competitors, from 2004-2015
        • Table Estimated Size of the U.S. Online Dating Market ($ millions)
      • 2014-2015 Performance
      • 2020 Forecast
    • Niche Dating Websites
      • Adult Dating Sites
  • Major Competitor Profiles
    • Internet Dating Rankings - U.S.A.
    • Match.com
      • Headquarters
      • Company Summary
      • Recent Company Developments
      • Services
    • MatchMobile
    • Chemistry.com
      • Strategic Alliances; Sales and Marketing
      • Financial Summary
        • Table Financial Summary - IAC - Match.com
    • PlentyofFish.com (part of The Match Group)
    • Spark Networks
      • Offices
      • Company Summary
      • Services
      • Financial Results
        • Table Segment Results from Operations
        • Table Average paying subscribers
      • Revenue
    • eHarmony.com
      • Summary
      • Recent Developments
      • How eHarmony Works
      • Services
      • Other Facts
      • Revenues
    • Tinder
    • Snap Interactive (STVI stock symbol)
      • Table Financial Summary
    • Meetic (large European dating company, part of The Match Group)
      • Services
        • Table Subscriptions (Numbers in U.S. Dollars)
      • European Markets
        • Table Revenues year over year: (Numbers in Millions of Euros)
      • FriendFinder Networks
    • Top Reporters Covering Online Dating
  • The Matchmakers Market
    • Matchmakers - Nature of the Profession
    • Market Structure
    • Status Report of The Market
      • More Technology
    • Operating Ratios
      • 2016 Matchmaking Institute Survey - Major Findings
      • 2009 Matchmakers Survey - by the Matchmaking Institute
      • Estimated Income & Expense Statement
        • Table Estimated Income & Expense Statement
    • Some Major Market Trends
      • The Matchmaking Institute
    • Size of The Matchmaking & Dating Coaches Market
      • 2012 - 2015 Estimates & Forecasts
      • 2020 Forecast
    • A Matchmaking Trade Association?
    • Profiles of Some of The Top U.S. Matchmakers
      • Leora Hoffmann Associates LLC (Washington, DC)
      • Marketdata Interview
      • Kailen Rosenberg Matchmaking
      • Process, representation and fees
      • Zelda Fischer - Gentle People Ltd. (Boston)
      • Barbie Adler - Selective Search Inc. (Chicago)
      • Irene Valenti, Valenti International
      • Marketing
      • How The Valenti Service Works
      • Lisa Ronis - Lisa Ronis Personal Matchmaking - New York, NY
      • Her Services
      • Kelleher & Associates
      • Dianne Bennett
      • Other Prominent Matchmakers
      • Patti Stanger
      • Bonnie Wills
  • The Date Coaching Market
    • Dating Coaches - How They Operate
      • Market structure - how many coaches?
      • Market Size
    • Top Dating Coaches Profiles
      • Evan Marc Katz (Los Angeles)
      • Susan Rabin (New York, NY)
      • Susan Bradley (west coast)
      • Annie Gleason (San Francisco)
      • Jeannine Kaiser (San Francisco)
      • Nancy Slotnick - New York City
      • Janice D. Bennett, PhD (New York, NY)
      • Elizabeth Macinnis (Alberta, Canada)
      • David Wygant
      • Lisa Shield
      • Patti Feinstein
      • Matt Titus
      • Lauren Francis
      • Other Prominent Dating Coaches
      • Gay Date Coaching & Matchmaking Services
  • The Personal Ads, Radio Datelines and Phone Chat Lines Market
    • Summary - Market Characteristics
    • How Print Personals Operate
    • Potential Size of The Market
      • Historical Estimates & Basis
      • Current Marketdata Estimates
    • Radio Station Datelines
      • Status Report
      • Spark Network Services - Company Profile
      • Other Competitors
    • Singles Phone Chat Lines
      • Nature of the Market
      • Chat lines
      • Party Lines
      • What Happened to Those 900 Number Services?
      • Rise of The Internet
      • A Growing Number of Scams and Chargebacks
      • The Companies Got Greedy
      • Major Players Pulled Out
      • Status Report
      • Teligence
      • Some of Teligence's Chat Lines
  • Other Off-line Dating Services: Speed Dating, Singles Events, Franchises
    • Summary & Status Report
    • Market Size
      • Singles Organizations & Events
      • Match.com "Stir" Events
      • It's Just Lunch
      • Other Offline Companies
      • 8 Minute Dating… (8minutedating.com)
    • Profiles of Some Past Brick & Mortar Chains - Case Studies in How NOT to run a dating business
      • Great Expectations
      • eLove.com (formerly: Together & The Right One)
  • Dating Services Industry Economic Structure & Operating Ratios
    • Summary
      • Table Industry Structure Snapshot of the Industry: 1997 - 2012
    • Legal Form of Organization of Firms
    • INDUSTRY CONCENTRATION LEVELS (Share of Market)
    • SINGLE VS. MULTI-UNIT OPERATIONS
    • OPERATING PERFORMANCE RATIOS - BY RECEIPTS SIZE OF FIRMS
    • OPERATING PERFORMANCE - BY RECEIPTS SIZE OF ESTABLISHMENT
      • Table Legal Form of Organization of Companies - 2007
      • Table Legal Form of Organization of Companies - 2002
      • The Dating Services Industry
        • Table Legal Form of Organization of Companies - 1997
        • Table Concentration by Largest Firms - 2007 Market Share
        • Table Concentration by Largest Firms - 2002 Market Share
        • Table Concentration by Largest Firms - 1997 Market Share
        • Table Operating Ratios, By Single & Multi-Unit Firms - Statistics by Size of Firms - 2007
        • Table Operating Ratios, By Single & Multi-Unit Firms - Statistics by Size of Firms - 2002
        • Table Operating Ratios, By Single & Multi-Unit Firms - Statistics by Size of Firms - 1997
        • Table Receipts by Size of Firm: 2007
        • Table Receipts by Size of Firm: 2002
        • Table Receipts by Size of Firm: 1997
        • Table Receipts by Size of Establishments - 2007
        • Table Receipts by Size of Establishments - 2002
        • Table Receipts by Size of Establishments - 1997
      • Geographic Analysis
        • Table 2012 Census Data
        • Table 2007 Census Data
        • Table 2002 Census data
  • Reference Directory of Industry Information Sources
    • Government Surveys
      • U.S. Census of Service Industries
    • Industry Trade Associations
      • Ideaoasis (Internet Dating Executive Alliance/Online Association for Social Industry Standards)
      • International Assn. of Dating Websites (IADW)
    • Other Associations & Information Sources
      • comScore Networks (ComScore Media Metrix)
      • Jupiter Research
      • Forrester Research
      • Experian Hitwise
    • Trade Journals & Magazines
      • Online Personals Watch (online version only)
      • Online Dating Magazine (electronic only, not print, accepts ads)
    • Conferences & Conventions
    • Consultants, Industry Experts and Their Published Articles & Reports
      • Marketdata Enterprises, Inc.
    • Stock Brokerage Analysts
      • Cross Asset Research (European research firm, France)
      • IAC Analyst Coverage (Interactive Corp., former owner of Match.com until Nov. 2015)

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