Much of the gains in marketshare i’ve made over the past 2 years have come because the dating industry has shrank 40% over the last 2 years.

At the same time the social networking industry has grown 450%

Check out the unbelievable spike in traffic that social networks have been seeing the last 3 days.   That huge spike normally goes to dating sites…    The recession has been really bad for most of the paid sites,  and they have lost a lot of traffic in the last 3 months.      2009 will be a blood bath!

15 Responses to “”

  1. Massimo Moruzzi Says:

    do you think there is (are) any dating site(s) that will do well anyway in 2009?

  2. Ben Says:

    Google Insights is an interesting tool I have not played with until now. I thought this was interesting ( the countries that most search for dating related keywords are the countries most related to scam Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria.

  3. German Romance Says:

    The future for the ‘free dating sites’ could perhaps be a mixture of social networking/free dating site. I’m in the process of building my own dating site, should I go for a 100% free dating site, or a mixture of free dating & social networking site instead? Thanks for any comment’s or advice🙂.

  4. Ross Williams Says:

    Markus it’s good insight but I think you’re mistaken about paid dating sites.

    We’ve seen revenues grow by about 10% per month over the last year on our partner sites – October and November were very good and December is okay (a slow start but making up for it now).

    I think some dating sites have lost traffic, but that’s because customers are moving to other niche dating sites. The recession definitely has not hit paid dating sites and I suspect that sites which rely on advertising will suffer more than sites which rely on subscription revenue. Eg:

    Of all sites, I suspect that casual and niche dating sites will do better in 2009 than general dating sites and this is backed up by the growth across our network.


  5. Sam Moorcroft Says:


    You are directly contradicting the evidence. Check these articles on Mark Brook’s blog in Dec 2008:

    No Recession For Online Dating Sites
    Dec 28, 2008

    Christian Dating Service Flourishing In Down Economy
    Dec 23, 2008

    Lonely Log On To Find Love In A Cold Climate
    Dec 14
    The Independent

    Falling Stock Markets Spur Searches For Love Online
    Dec 08
    REUTERS Experiences Strongest November In Seven Years
    Dec 05
    Market Watch

    Is love Tied To The Economy?
    Dec 01

    In These Tight Times, Lovelorn Go Online
    Dec 01
    Media Life Magazine

    Shall I continue?;-)

  6. Sam Moorcroft Says:


  7. Markus Says:

    1. Users among paid dating sites are trying different paid sites. Ie instead of going right to they are shopping around. shows a decrease everyone else gets a boost.

    2. Most of the stats quoted are world wide stats not US only. reports shrinking US subscriber base every single quarter this year. Are we to believe US revenues jumped 30%+ last quarter? Eharmony as well they just expanded around the world, as did etc etc.

    3. Quaterly reports for and Americansingles and meetic all show major trouble…

  8. kimbjo Says:

    Wait. Quarterly statements? Or page view statements? If you set your win condition properly, any site can be painted as a success… even POF.

  9. TS Says:

    Sam Moorcroft:

    Sorry for being nasty toward you, but you are completely and utterly an idiot. Why do you think that linking 7 articles from is proof that Markus is contradicting evidence? I mean, the singularity of your obviously biased source isn’t statistically significant by definition. So no, you shall not continue. Obviously you don’t understand negative psychology. If you were a public company right now, I would short the shitt out of you right now.

  10. Mattea Says:

    Congrats on the top 13 spot ! Very Impressive . Blood bath for 2009? I think that for your free model you will not suffer . The paid sites like Match etc… will . Congrats on your success.

  11. Ross Williams - Says:

    It’s not fair to compare paid sites and free sites in terms of success by visitor numbers or page views.

    The largest free dating sites in the world still generates less in terms of revenues than medium level paid dating sites.

    I think page views are a good measurement for comparing free dating sites and this should be encouraged as no doubt the free online dating sector will see consolidation next year.

    But it’s impossible to compare free and paid online dating businesses unless we bring revenue into it – as a business, revenue generation is what counts and that’s really the only metric that can be compared between free and paid sites – they are businesses, which is about making money and therefore as a business let’s compare it via revenue.

    Would be great to see some more disclosure from free dating sites about the revenue they generate.


  12. Sam Moorcroft Says:

    Amen, Ross!

    Besides POF, I don’t think “free” dating sites make much of anything (profit, that is – the ultimate measurement – revenue is meaningless without profit).

  13. Xavier Flynn Says:

    I think dating sites are a great way to make money AFF makes me a huge amount of it.

  14. Sam Moorcroft Says:

    My dear Anonymous-TS-who-refuses-to-reveal-himself-for-who-knows-what-reason-other-than-hiding-while-making-negative-comments,
    I stand corrected as being “completely and utterly an idiot”. I had no idea! I am so glad someone as esteemed (albeit anonymous) as yourself has pointed that out.

    Might I correct you, now, my anonymous twit-friend? Merely quoting articles from the same source that compiled them doesn’t mean anything (negative or positive). If you actually bothered to read any of the articles, you would have seen they were from different media sources, e.g. the LA Times (that’s a city in the US), the Independent (that’s in the UK, assuming you know where that is), Reuters (that’s a centralized news agency), Media Life Magazine (that’s – oh, never mind), etc.

    I wish we were a public company, just so you could lose by shorting my shares! (not sure what shorting stocks has anything to do with our actual business, but apparently you know something I don’t!

    Fortunately, we are private company, so don’t have to put up with annoying public shareholders.

    P.S. Happy New Year, Mr. Anonymous

  15. Richard Says:

    Everytime i come back here I’m reminded why I added your site to my favourites:)

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