I will be speaking on the final Pannel with Microsofts director of business development and hopefully others at next years conference in Jan.
I hear that match.com, eharmony.com, americansingles.com, true.com etc are afraid to allow any of their execs to speak on the final panel. Given that there will be reporters from the The Wall Street Journal And USA Todayamoung others in attendance its going to be a PR nightmare for Match.com or any other major site to explain how they are going to continue to grow their 300 employee 300 million dollar a year company. You know your business model has serious problems when your biggest competitor in the English speaking world is run by one person out of his apartment.
In the last year the online dating industry has been nothing short of a train wreck, although much of that has been covered up by raising prices.
1. Former number 2 player Yahoo is imploding at light speed selling sites left and right, Do they have any international dating divisions left to sell off?
2. American singles, continues its dramatic decline to oblivion.
3. Lavalife is right behind them. 3 years ago they claimed 10k signups a day, now its only 2800/day
4. True.com spent 60 million in 2 years… Trying to get laws passed to basically shut down their competitors, Forces users to call in during office hours to cancel subscriptions instead of allowing it online. Anyone want to take a guess on if they are profitable?
I think in 2007 the dating industry will be unable to continue feeding the media the fantasy that daters are moving to niche sites and thats why the big sites aren’t growing. I call that wishingful thinking at best.
A couple of minutes of looking at usage data will tell you that plentyoffish has more users then all these niche sites combined, and the users that the paid dating industry isn’t losing to Plentyoffish are going to myspace.
Its going to be a fun conference, when I last went 2 years ago, everyone laughted at me when i said i’d create a site that was in the top 20. This time around everyones probably going to try and avoid mentioning my site ;)