Archive for February, 2007

Eharmony Operational Details.

February 28, 2007

Details about eharmony operations from job postings.

1.   350 million pageviews a month.
2.  1 million emails per day.
3.   140+ servers per datacenter,  eharmony has multipul datacenters
4.  1,000 transactions per second in DB

If you take a look at,  Spark networks and yahoo personals they are all about the same in terms of operational costs.   No one other than plentyoffish can support 350 million pageviews a month for under a million dollars a month.  That only covers the cost of developers, tech people and hardware/hosting!

Many people look at plentyoffish and see the fact that its a site with a ton of traffic as the highlight and major accomplishment.   I see my greatest accomplishment  as developing a way to serve a billion pageviews a month off only a handful of machines at next to no cost.  

At the end of the day, my infrastructure and the fact i have no employees is my greatest competitive advantage.  There are other free sites now,  with 10-20 employees each and 1/20th to 1/30th my traffic.   Even with free/paid hybrid models I can’t see any of these sites generating enough revenue to reach profitability and achieve scale.

Paid Dating sites spent $430 million in the USA from Jan to Nov 2006.

February 28, 2007

Complete press release from nielson is here.. 

Advertising breakdown of the dating industry in the USA.

Media Type                    Jan 2004 –    Jan 2005 –  Jan 2006 –
                                  Nov 2004      Nov 2005    Nov 2006
                                  $ mil         $ mil       $ mil
    Cable TV                      $56.7         $87.8       $130.6
    Internet                      N/A           $88.9       $127.3
    Spot TV                       $43.5         $55.8       $75.1
    Spot Radio                    $9.3          $25.5       $33.1
    Network Radio                 $17.1         $17.0       $18.6
    Network TV                    $4.4          $2.7        $15.1
    National Magazine             $9.8          $19.5       $11.9
    Syndicated TV                 $0.0          $5.6        $8.7
    Local Magazine                $2.3          $2.0        $3.1
    Local Newspaper               $4.3          $3.6        $3.1
    Spanish Language TV           $0.0          $1.5        $2.1
    Outdoor                       $1.0          $0.5        $0.8
    National Newspaper            $0.4          $0.3        $0.4
    National Sunday Supplement    $0.0          $0.2        $0.2
    Grand Total                   $148.8        $310.9      $430.1

    Source: Nielsen Monitor-Plus Aquires large free Online dating site.

February 27, 2007

They also bought a social network in China.

Looks like bought the largest free dating site in europe, and probably #2 in the world with 3 million members.   3rd place in france,  6th in Canada.

Paid dating is dead and many of the major players are looking to reinvent themselves.    Latin america and china will be the first markets to be solely free in my opinion.   There is a lot going on behind the scenes in the industry, and this is just one of many little things before the storm.   Lavalife has recently bought a Advertising network, and a large mobile company.  Aquisitions are coming fast and hard here.

The last few years has been about user generated content, and online dating by another name ie  social networks.      2008 is the year that users start coming back to free dating sites and paid dating declines even faster then it has been.

Lavalife buys major Advertising/Lead Gen Network.

February 25, 2007

I wonder if this effects Neverblues relationships with And Spark Networks.  I’d hate to give a competitor access to all the keywords being bid on and advertising stratagy etc.

Looks like nearly every major dating site has now built out a advertising network.

Founded in 2004 by four partners, Neverblue Media’s services and revenue have grown exponentially since its inception. The company is comprised of five business units, recently introduced a proprietary technology system and currently employs 50 staff. was launched independent of Neverblue Media in December 2005 and currently employs 30 staff at its contact center. Neverblue Media will continue to operate as-is from its current headquarters in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Vertrue currently owns two other subsidiary companies based out of Canada, including the popular online dating services company, Lavalife Inc.

Windows Vista Adoption rate Data from Plentyoffish.

February 22, 2007

96% of users who visit Plentyoffish are windows based 85.17% use internet explorer 11.71% use firefox.   Plentyoffish is about as mainstream as you can get.

I’ve taken data collected via google analytics about how many of my users per day have vista installed and graphed it.   This graph is from Feb 1st to Feb 22nd and is a sample of over 1 million user sessions per day.   On feb 22nd 1.24% of all windows user sessions were vista.


Looking For site representation companies.

February 21, 2007

I am looking for a company to sell advertising on my behalf.     I am looking for companies that are already large and established and have a track record.

I am looking for someone who can handle some of my 1 billion monthly pageviews spread out over UK, USA and Canada.

over 80% of my pageviews come from users that are logged in so I can show ads based on age, gender, location  etc.

You can contact me via the email in the about section.

Writing is on the wall.

February 16, 2007

I have been tracking domain name searches on yahoo for the big paid dating sites.  Domain name searches translates into word of mouth and signal trends in paid membership about 8+ months from now.

I’m comparing Jan 06 to Jan 07 and here are the results.

Eharmony 29% decline
Americansingles 68% decline 71% decline  21% decline 37% decline 78% decline
Lavalife 70%+ decline

Nielson says that traffic declined 20% last year.  I think the hit this year will be a lot bigger and many dating sites won’t be around for 2008.

Most of the free sites are trending negative as well and i’m seeing some reversals in certain demographics.   Hotornot is throwing away 4 million + a year in profits to try and expand beyond what they have in order to make money in the future.    Like hotornot I have to sit down and find a way to make the site appeal to more people and tap into the community/ viral aspects.    Social networks and hotornot are social/viral,  any dating site that says they are a dating site will never really experience super viral growth because the average member quits after 3 months.   Even worse  social networks don’t let free sites advertise,  and no doubt that ban will extend to paid dating sites soon enough.

PlentyofFish Inundated With Marriage Success Stories

February 13, 2007

Plentyoffish has thousands upon thousands of marriages and its getting hard not to find people in your group of friends that haven’t found someone on plentyoffish  at least in Canada.

A few days ago I added a new section to the site that show cases hundreds of the tens of thousands of marriages that are formed as a result of using

According to exit polling when people leave,  Plentyoffish generates more relationships per year than any other dating service and in a couple of years we will have more marriages then any other services.  This is because marriages lag relationships by a few years.

The canadian market is split in 2,  people pay for casual dating on and all the serious daters use   Other then plentyoffish there are no serious dating sites that have marketshare in canada.    In the united states there aren’t a heck of a lot of casual daters using plentyoffish.  The average age of a plentyoffish user in the US is 39,  this is higher then any paid dating service. and IIS 2 million pageviews per hour

February 9, 2007

There are so few performance stats out there for showing what it can scale to so I thought i’d share mine.

Plentyoffish is run off of one web server, at peak the site gets over 2 million pageviews per hour and has close to 50,000 active sessions. All traffic is compressed using GZIP, without GZIP i’d be well into the hundreds of megs/second for just ASPX files.

pages a secondsessions

Barry Diller Speaks,

February 8, 2007

Barry Diller Speaks on Social Networking and

“On social networking: is our play in social networking…a pure social network site–not that they are of value–no one has yet proved it is the easiest advertising medium. Pure social network is an upgrade from the princess telephone teenagers used to talk on for hours and hours. I do think, however, it is a great promotional vehicle. got into trouble because it added social networking, that flirting element and that friend thing. We put all these bells and whistles on the service, and confused our audience…now we have had a turn around. ”

I think that last line will give many in the industry pause. moves away from social networking,  while the rest of the industry tries to find a way to embrace it?


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