Match.com Aquires large free Online dating site.

They also bought a social network in China.

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

http://www.smh.com.au/news/Technology/Matchcom-makes-2-acquisitions-in-foreign-expansion/2007/02/27/1172338612693.html

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.

77 Responses to “Match.com Aquires large free Online dating site.”

  1. Neil Says:

    Hmm….biggest free dating site in Europe? 4 million members?? I don’t think so….so you hate Alexa, but even so, at 22,000 this site is full of dead profiles, I estimate about 200,000 active users in total, which no doubt match will try to convert into paid profiles. I would expect them to sue this site as a feeder, and no doubt socialnetworkicize it (new word?) to get the address biook spam booster in place.

  2. G Says:

    There is something called QQ which is used by most of online users in China.
    That IM platform got everything, e.g. IM, Blog, Personal Home page, games etc. The IM created a good ambient of conversation or love factors. A couple of my friends found thier wives by that IM community. QQ’s social networking platform dominant China. I have seen and I am in. And People need to pay money to buy some cool features in those services.

  3. Markus Says:

    Alexa is useless outside of english speaking world. Also they are huge in mobile last I heard. Comscore and nielson definately rank them high, and they were owned by the trader network. That is an absolutely massive company.

  4. Sam Moorcroft, ChristianCafe.com Says:

    Marcus, as I said over at OPW:

    So, Match.com’s revenue was up 25% in 2006 over 2005 to $311,000,000, yet Marcus is convinced paid dating is dead or dying?

    Would someone please tell Match’s subscribers this? Because, apparently, they are unaware;-)

  5. James Says:

    Hey Markus… would you like to buy my web site? 🙂 I’ll sell it if you want it…

  6. Markus Says:

    Hiking prices and claiming growth can’t last forever. 20% decline in traffic in one year is a big deal. Most of matches growth in subscribers comes from europe.

    You will also note that match.com is publically stating they are losing subscribers to myspace and others.

  7. Sam Moorcroft, ChristianCafe.com Says:

    A 25% increase in revenue and a whopping $311,000,000 is hardly peanuts, my friend, nor an indication of a company in dire straits. What – this year it’ll only be an increase to $345,000,000?;-)

  8. Neal Says:

    They aquired two sites: eBobob (china) and NetClub (EU). NetClub does not appear to be free….they’re just using the same deceptive copy every paid site uses these days such as “sign up for free” … but they also say “try for free”. 😉

  9. Markus Says:

    looks like they converted netclub already. Match sure works fast.

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  13. Mike Says:

    I have to agree with Markus. Free is the only way to go….it is not expensive to host a web site these days and with advertising options such as Google and Yahoo’s advertising programs along with any advertising you may pick up on your own you can make a nice income from your site. We run ezdate123 on a small budget with a pay as you go business plan. We have been growing steadly each month except for a small mistake that was made by our programmer at the time which caused us to be booted off Google. ( which we quickly fixed). I do believe that more and more singles will migrate to the free dating sites over time. The bottom line is no matter if you pay or use a free site you still have to put forth the effort to contact other members to be successful with dating…So why not save your hard earned cash and sign up with a good quality free site and have some fun…..its not rocket science, it just takes a little elbow grease and patience…. I wish the best to all the singles and hope to see you at ezdate123…….Michael

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  19. simonmelbourne Says:

    All this talk of free sites vs. paid, I’d have to say I disagree with Marcus about paid sites being the way of the past – business is about the bottom line, right? I’m not sure what your making these days Marcus (I know at one point you were on radio saying 10K a day), even its double that now, how can you compare that to 300 Mil plus for match.com, not to mention all the others (like AFF for example), in terms of a business model you only need a tiny percentage of the members on a paid site to equal the $’s you would pick up on a free site (even one as good as plenty etc) – besides having members pay can act as a filter against those that arent serious about connecting, if Marcus takes advice he should try converting his members to paid members, he’d probably end up better off, would like to know what everyone thinks

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  29. Mike Says:

    Well, I agree with Markus. I believe most people want to spend the least amount as possible. My site is a niche site for the automotive world. I hardly have any members but I know in time that will change. My main focus will be to focus on what the users want and not how much money I can get out of their pockets.
    Wealth when seeked directly will never be achieved. It is a by product of a usful service…..
    My money will be made from advertising on the site and special future features I have for the users who really want them.

    Nobody can guess the success of one’s vision,but with alot of hard work and endless devotion. One can achieve anything.
    Peace to ALL

  30. Lover Says:

    With the popularity of free social networking sites like MySpace and FaceBook, those paid online dating sites are bound to be on the decline.

  31. sibirya Says:

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  34. cktruth Says:

    Markus. Try not banning quite so many people (me) and you might get a better membership in the UK. Banning arbitrarily is your thang. Oh the power …………..NOT. Small man Markus. Small man……

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