Americansingles Reports 43% drop in subscribers.

Americansingles reports 43% drop in subscribers.
Match.com reported a big drop in US subscribers last week as well.
True.com’s marketshare dropped 75% in the last 3 months,  rumors starting again of impending layoffs/bankruptcy.

Anyone else noticing a trend here?

Canada’s CPC for dating has dropped from  80 cents a few years ago to about 10 cents today,  US is following the same pattern now as the paid dating sites collapse.

15 Responses to “Americansingles Reports 43% drop in subscribers.”

  1. Ted Says:

    I think the real answer is in the myspace et al.

    There are newer ways to meet people online without paying an exorbitant monthly fee.

  2. Adam Hopkinson Says:

    Maybe we can also look at this from another angle: sites like myspace, youtube and facebook have proven that there is value in a site without resorting to the more obvious business models. Paid subscriptions are being replaced by atomised adverts and aquisitions.

  3. Jonathan Frate Says:

    Markus –

    You’re starting to turn into a self rightous wind bag. You continue to blog about the same ‘doom and gloom’ story of how paid dating sites are all dieing around us. But are they really?

    Give credit where it’s due. Read the same filing that you just quoted again. American Singles revenue dropped beacuse they stoped spending money on acquiring users that quarter. That means they either figured it’s not a brand worth supporting, or they figured there are better investment targets for their working capital.

    What would happen to your site if you stopped investing in it’s growth (by way of this pr campaign that you’ve paid for? or for upgrades and bug fixes?).

    If you read their filing, you would see that jdate actually increased in revenue over the quarter. Ironic wouldn’t you say, considering that demographic is supposed to be ‘cheap’… So the same filing you quoted says to me that some paid dating sites are doing well thank you very much.

    Do you have hte numbers on adult friend finder? are they doing well? Are they dieing?

    If you’re going to throw stones, at least make sure you’re not in a glass house. Publish your numbers too – are you in Jdate ranges? or American Singles ranges?

  4. Ross Williams Says:

    We’re mainly in UK and Europe so haven’t seen this yet but it’ll be interesting to know whether it comes true.

    If paid dating sites fall then income to free sites that the pay sites advertise on must be affected in the future as well?

    Therefore if it’s all doom and gloom for paid sites, surely the free sites will see their revenue drop in the next 6-12 months?

    Of course, I don’t think that will happen – most sensible observers must surely see a place for both paid and free sites.

    PlentyofFish has grown massively in the UK but hasn’t affected our income running paid sites.

    I believe that free sites are a great way for people to try online dating who might not have given it a go if they’d had to pay. But when they become serious about it, they visit one of the Adwords sites advertising on the free site and pay (else the pay sites wouldn’t advertise).

    I agree with Jonathan that this needs to be kept in perspective – most industires offer different business models to suit different people. Otherwise they’d all be chasing after the same buck in the same way.

  5. Markus Says:

    Americansingles Match.com and true were the biggest sites a few years ago and now they are struggling to retain subscribers. Raising prices dramtically while losing subscribers left and right isn’t a sustainable business model. For the first time in match.com’s operating history they are reporting negative subscriber growth same with true. That to me screams out warning bells.

    I really could care less about how and why its happening. Though facebook managed to kill all my growth in Canada. This mess is just pushing me to start an office and hire direct sales etc. The entire market is heading for a big time crash. IE its going to 8 cent clicks from 20 cents it is now. 3 years ago it was 80 cents.

    in the UK i think it will slow growth to paid sites, but I can’t see paid sites going negative subscribers any time soon.

  6. Zoltan Says:

    Markus… what are you trying to tell us? Are we going toward a new dotcom crash? Or “subscriber based” business model crash?

  7. Markus Says:

    who knows, People will always pay for stuff, but how they pay for it and what companies they pay it to is what changes.

  8. Is Marketing Like Dating or Dating Like Marketing? It’s all Good When You’re a Geek - 10,000 Marshmallows - Marketing Accountability: How to eat 10,000 Marshmallows Says:

    […] Markus Frind, the CEO of Plentyoffish reported this week: […]

  9. David Evans Says:

    Markus, I’ve been blogging about the AS subscriber dropoff for a long time. This is nothing new.

    if Facebook killed all your traffic in Canada, and Facebook is mainly early 20-somethings, does that mean your market is primarily that same market?

    Jonathan is right, you need to read the financials all the way through. Cherry-picking numbers to support your argument won’t fly.

    Spark and Match are doing well, very healthy companies who have tightened the reigns and are implementing new features to see what will work best for the next few years of growth, Good for them, and good for you for exploiting opportunities that nobody else has been able to capitalize on, yet.

    I displike that any dating service I pay for also has ads. Spark is going ad-crazy these days. Dating site inventory is low-grade filler for the most part, which is disappointing.

    Online Dating sites have obviously figured out that it’s easier to grow through ad impressions than it is to grow overall market share.

    You say, “I really could care less about how and why its happening.” Part of understanding the how and why is to help plan for the future. Hiring a sales team is a tactical move, but what about the strategic planning and analysis that got you to the point where you decided to hire more people?

    You’ll be at tens of people and a much larger burn rate than you are accustomed to in 12 months and then some new guy will come in running an entire dating site off his iPhone and he’ll laugh at all the silly free and paid dating sites because he has 10x more traffic than his nearest competitor. It’s all a cycle and it’s important to learn from the past while you’re blazing your trail for others to follow.

  10. Paid Dating Sites Doing Well » Online Dating Insider Says:

    […] comments and suggestions for stories welcomed. Listening to Markus at Plenty Of Fish spread his doom and gloom message about the paid dating market is depressing. Time to change the channel for a […]

  11. Natmal Says:

    Please Try and emailing me

  12. Ellen Says:

    Personally as a former paid member of American Singles I left there because that site is absolutely swimming with scammers from Nigeria and Ghana. American Singles deals with these individuals on a reactive basis not a proactive one. I reported an average of 2 per day for the five months I was a memeber. I think people just get sick of paying for this kind of thing,

  13. ZoneDate Internet Dating Blog » Blog Archive » Internet Dating Sites going belly up Says:

    […] Americansingles Reports 43% drop in subscribers.August 8th, 2007 by Markus […]

  14. fatima Says:

    im looking for singles

  15. paul fald Says:

    Am a single guy in the UK and am very happy with my dating experience at http://www.maturedatingonline.org and it doesn’t cost a fortune and it’s not a rip off, I would certainly recommend online dating every time !

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