The US Dating market.

Looks like a massive slowdown in the US market,  compete is showing all the major dating sites have big declines.  Plentyoffish showed a small increase for Sept,  but that is mostly because of the massive momentum we built over the summer.    Like everyone else we saw a massive drop in momentum and signups in September.   Several people have mentioned that Plentyoffish now has the top spot in the US according to hitwise.

It looks like during a recession people don’t flood to free sites,   A dating site only costs the same as a cheap date.    People aren’t going to use a free site  or spend  $20.00 on a paid one when they have to worry about spending  $500+  on dates  or dating someone.

On the plus side,  depending on how you look at it,  the Canadian dollar has gone from 1 to 1  with the US  to 83 cents verse $1.00 USD in the last few weeks.  The dollar had the biggest fall in history today going down nearly 5.4% for the day.

I wonder how many dating sites will fold,  and how many free sites will give up as advertising revenue vanishes.

34 Responses to “The US Dating market.”

  1. Tom Says:

    I’ve noticed the same thing, especially this week. No real change in SERPS but overall traffic is lower. We are also receiving less clicks from Adwords as well with no real change to our account.

    The dollar is the only thing that has been good news lately.

  2. Ross Williams Says:

    We saw a poor September but things are looking a lot better in October – in fact, Thursday and Friday were our best days ever which is saying something!!

    We’re still predominantly in the UK though (although that is beginning to change).

    I think other businesses will suffer much more than dating companies – although you are correct about free advertising-supported sites, there’s not many ad dollars around nowadays and those that are will go to the big players like PoF.


  3. Sam Moorcroft Says:

    Marcus, re: your comment about sites folding – the weak ones will (hopefully) die out during any slowdown (if it actually does slow). The stronger ones will just hunker down and come out stronger.

    Re: our CAD dropping – that works for me:-) Let’s say we had a 5-10% drop in memberships (assuming my theory about romance being recession proof is slightly off), we’ll more than make that up in CAD due to our dollar’s drop…

  4. John Says:

    What about the small ad supported sites? I think there will always be some ad revenue and if a site can keep its costs down (ie plentyoffish or my site) it will always be able to ride out hard times. For example, I just started my free dating site,, in my spare time and my costs are very low. We are slowly getting more members but I will keep my day job and reinvest every dime of profit until (if ever) the site is huge. My point is that if a site can keep costs down and is smart about reinvesting profits, it should be able to ride out any bad times. Just my 2 cents.

  5. Markus Says:

    I’m thinking of sites like okcupid with 20 some employees and barely enough money to break even. Sites with no employees and some guy doing it in his spare time is never going to go broke. The pain comes when sites have a lot of fixed costs.

  6. Martin Bysh Says: (primarily UK) had it’s biggest month for ad revenue last month, so we’re not currently experiencing any slowdown. Whether this is because companies that still need to buy ads are buying them online rather in print/radio/TV, or because the UK market just hasn’t come to terms with the state of the economy I couldn’t say (naturally I’m hoping it’s the former).


  7. Peter North Says:

    “…to 83 cents verse $1.00 USD in the…”

    is supposed to be “…to 83 (US)cents verse $1.00 CAD in the…”
    if I am not mistaken(?)

  8. Andrey Malygin Says:

    We have not recorded any significant decrease in browsing activity, on both networks. All within the error range and normal traffic fluctuations. People are still browsing dating sites all right..

  9. The Effect of a Recession on Online Dating | Says:

    […] at Pl­enty­O­­fFish­ say­s th­at p­e­o­p­l­e­ are­ g­o­in­g­ t­o­ st… b­ecau­se dating is go­­ing to­­ get to­­o­­ […]

  10. Sam Moorcroft Says:

    Marcus, I got a cool $1.2509 CAD on a USD trade today. Gotta love being Cdn, eh?

  11. Julian Says:


    I have been on your site for about a year. Proud to see a fellow Canuck as the owner, even cooler to read and find out that you are doing this out of your apartment. I was just curious how you handle the huge Bandwith requirements, even on a free site, do you outsource this to Telus, Bell Canada, Rogers, Cogent? Anyway, congrats on the site, and for staying humble.


  12. spanky Says:

    Free Adult Friend Finder Gold Membership

  13. Datingfacts Says:

    Hoe groot is de datingmarkt in Europa?…

    Ik krijg regelmatig vragen over de grootte van de datingmarkt. Dat het aantal gebruikers van datingsites nog steeds groeit, is een feit. Maar hoeveel mensen zitten er op datingsites? En wat is de totale omzet van datingsites? Voor keiharde cijfers…

  14. Lynne Green Says:

    Online Dating and dating in general are going to go down when the DOW goes down. If people aren’t spending in restaurants and cutting back on shopping at even places like Walmart, dating is first to go. Also, folks are working extra hours to keep a job so don’t have time for even free sites.

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  19. Technology news - Techvibes Blog Says:

    […] online dating market has been tracking the economy and has seen a major slowdown in traffic over the past couple months. Although, Vancouver-based has been enjoying a US/CDN […]

  20. Social King Says:

    There is nothing in this world I enjoy more then making friends. I’m always looking for new social networks!

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  23. reg Says:

    Hi just started a new free dating site called seems slow on signups and traffic considering there is no cost to users,maybe in time things will increase

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  26. Online Dating Says:

    Great post, i have tried online dating and had much more success than meeting guys in bars and clubs.If you chat to the guy first online you already know them a bit before you meet them.Online dating is gonna be the way forward for me form now on.

  27. Nolan Vasque Says:

    I discovered this blog because lately I’ve been exploring ways to get more successful with women. Recently I four and I’m a bit nervous about returning to the whole “singles scene”. Unfortunately my “skills” with talking to girls are rusty, to say the least!

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  30. Fish Killer Says:

    Hey Marcus what are you doing about the serial killer on your fish site that has been killing women. How is it that its not all over the place yet. Your system sucks and it can not stay free forever. You will be forced to charge a fee to stop these maniacs from killing again. I recommend a paid service. Marcus is only init for the money the ads provide for him. I have met marcus in person years back and he really needs to do something before he finds himself in a bad place.

  31. Shawn Says:

    This is a time to capture Chinese and Indian markets.

  32. Hoe groot is de datingmarkt in Europa? | Datinginsider Says:

    […] Aantal gebruikers groeit snel in Europa Volgens Jupitergroeit het gebruik van datingsites onder Europese consumentengeleidelijk sinds 2003. In 2006 gebruikte 6 procent van deinternetgebruikers in Europa een datingsite. Dat komt neer op totaal 2,8 miljoen betalende gebruikers. Naar verwachting stijgt dit tot 6,0 miljoen in 2011. Overigens groeit het aantal gebruikers in de VS eenstuk langzamer. Amerikanen ‘ontdekten’ internet dating eerder dan deEuropeanen en de markt is daar bijna verzadigd. […]

  33. datinglijnen Says:

    dating has been really going strong lately, especially in the 21st century of the digital revolution. Hopefully this takes a step into a new way of living aswell

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