Recession hits paid sites hard….

Rubicon ad network is reporting a 40%  drop in  Dating CPM’s.   

Now that valentines day is over  I’ve seen massive swings in signups and  i’ve been talking to a few adnetworks and they all say paid sites are cutting back even more dramatically and payouts are going way down as people are no longer willing to pay for memberships.

Last quarter every publicly traded paid dating site reported revenue declines.    Because dating sites didn’t spend as much money on marketing last quarter  they have lost a lot of market share.     At the end of last month  Plentyoffish was #2 on hitwise,  in this last week Plentyoffish has been less than 1% way from having more market share than the #2 and #3 players combined in the US.    Plentyoffish hasn’t really grown much this month,  we just haven’t lost traffic like many others.

With so many dating sites for sale either in whole or in part,   one has to wonder what this industry will look like in 6 months.

25 Responses to “Recession hits paid sites hard….”

  1. Marco Says:

    We are a free “dating” site in Italy, our business model is only ads.
    In last months we have seen cutted many adv budget from big dating sites (paid model) as Be2, Meetic, etc. In this moment, they would like to invest only in PPA or very low cpm 0,07 USD. IMHO, at these conditions is better to give up the campagin budget and see what will happen at these sites in the next six months or more. We are in two persons working on the project…we can hold on, breathe deeply, and meditate….they don’t🙂

  2. aMilan Says:

    hello markus…i dont understand how you are making all this money without anyone paying…ive checked out your site and still dont get it. i have asked others and get the “run around” as though im going to “steal” their good forturnes away from them…i would love to hear how you started up….i am interested in starting, well…something…thanks!

  3. Andrew Says:

    You have organic traffic where as your competition has to pay for it to keep their position. The end results are inevitable.

  4. Michael | Esprit riche Says:

    I guess POF is more prepared for a recession than anyone else on earth🙂

  5. Ross Williams - Says:

    It’s not all paid sites – we’re still going from strength to strength, all our partners are growing month on month. December and January were fantastic – February to be honest has shown a slight dip in the last couple of weeks, but rebills will mean a very strong March.

    I believe all we’re seeing is a re-alignment of paid sites where strong businesses with solid foundations will prosper and grow, whereas flawed businesses will die – and that’s how it should be.


  6. casualencountersblog Says:

    We’re sort of dependent on AFF and associated sites for advertising revenue (at least more dependent than is wise), and everyone knows about their difficulties. If they fall over the potential domino effect is worrisome, and not just for us. Then again perhaps it’d be just the shot in the arm that the industry needs.

    We’re pursuing diversification at the moment, will see how it goes. I feel like a calf being weaned too early trying to get off those payouts though. *grip couch*.

  7. blogadman Says:


    Congratulations on your success to date. You run one heck of an effective marketing machine which is a critical success factor in any business model.

    Regarding the recession and the impact on paid sites, doesn’t this mean that free sites will soon be hit just as hard given that most revenue from free sites comes from the advertising by paid sites. With a lower cost basis perhaps the free sites can withstand the down turn better but it seems like free will be taking a hit also.,

    Personally I don’t think the online dating model will ever die. As a business this segment is here to stay. the players and models will cycle and change over time but the fundamental business will always exists.
    Meets a core human need; companionship, and has a low barrier to entry business model; the web.

  8. jell Says:

    Hey Markus,
    If you want to hear my idea then contact me. I’m certain it will be huge and i could use your help. I won’t chase you though because if you miss it, it’s your loss aswell.

  9. Bryan Says:

    Mr Buffet always says “Be fearful when others are greedy, be greedy when others are fearful”.

    I see opportunity.

  10. Recession Hits Paid Sites Hard Says:

    […] PARADIGM SHIFT — Feb 26 — Rubicon ad network is reporting a 40% drop in Dating CPM’s. Now that Valentines day is over  I’ve seen massive swings in signups and paid sites are cutting back even more dramatically and payouts are going way down. In this last week Plentyoffish has been less than 1% way from having more market share than the #2 and #3 players combined in the US.  Plentyoffish hasn’t really grown much this month, we just haven’t lost traffic like many others. FULL ARTICLE @ PARADIGM SHIFT […]

  11. casualencountersblog Says:

    Whatever Gordon said, I’m not sure greed is ever a great idea. It’s way too easy to let it make bad decisions for you.

  12. Terri Says:

    I fully expected to hear that membership had shot up since Valentines… otherwise I find the craziness and sudden popularity I’m currently experiencing after several very dry months odd. LOL. Guess it’s just the love bug, ha, ha. At the moment I’m suffering withdrawal as I wait for the site to come back up so I can see my latest msgs😉

  13. mark Richardson Says:

    “…one has to wonder what this industry will look like in 6 months.”

    My company has created a rather unique, spicy, casual role play video game called The Pickup Club. The game is interactive allowing the player to try their luck at picking up men and women at various clubs around the world. All for fun and prizes, this filmed, live action game is a little bite American Idol meets Sex in the City. Members get to audition to be in the game and vote on favorite characters. Designed as a free web-based game site to be paid for through sponsorships & in-game advertising targeted to a 21 and older demographic, The Pickup Club will include a social networking dating site so the game becomes both entertainment and conversation piece for the members as they meet. Our goal is to partner with an existing dating site, not try to create a new one.

    Might this type of branded entertainment tied into a dating site be a look into the future? The game benefits from the large dating site’s membership and the dating site benefits from the exclusive entertainment which conversely draws new members into the dating site.

    I’d be curious to hear your thoughts.

    username: guest
    password: luminafilms

  14. David Williams Says:

    Very good point, I love this post as it states what I have been saying for a while now. Yes, the recession is bringing problems and economic hardship to a lot of people. However the media and most people like to focus on this aspect and create an atmosphere of gloom & doom. However in the background there are the smart people and businesses seeing the opportunities that this economic climate is providing and taking advantage of them. There are many industries that are suffering but then there are industries and niches that are booming due to the economic situation. Re-aligning your business to make the most of the opportunies while others are sinking is the key. If you can thrive and make money in today’s economic climate then you will be well positioned to capitalise and purchase bargains that other people are selling due to the tough times.

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  18. CD Rates Says:

    Great article, you must have done a fair amount of research for it eh? Well done on it, really.

  19. Nora Saunders Says:

    First I would like to say that I wish there were more women in my field than not. Secondly, great article. I love it when google returns an old search result but the posts are of such good quality that the comments on it are still relevant.I love that

    I am starting my dating site soon and will definitely be going through I have come up with a string of untapped niche sites that I’m gaurding with my life as if it were some invention that I am working on.funny.

    Anyway, I just want to say that online dating is going to get even bigger than it already is. There is no cap…there is no ceiling….the sky is my limit and I hope for others out there the sky is theres as well. Why online dating would suffer in a recession?…not sure. If men especially know whats good for them they will hold on to the easy couple hundred dollars that it takes to go out and wine and dine a lady and “invest” that money in a membership online to a dating site. Filter through the nonsense and ten only meet when it is someone you want to go futher with. Sure we all like to go out for the sake of getting out of the house but thats on the individual. If your going out, looking for love?… your money and find someone on the net. To me, men and women are more prone to lie about their life quicker- face-to-face than on the cpu. Over the computer you have nothing to lose, in person your trying too hard….waayy too hard to impress so the lies come hittin you in the face left and right.

    Oh well, thats my feel on it. Either way, go online dating!!!
    My sister met her husband 10 years ago online and they are still married and that was when online dating was very unpopular…hush hush

    By the way, Ross I have read your story a few times and would like to say thank you. Thank you for providing a platform such as so that entrepreneurs like myself can partake in this online dating industry. Thankyou. I am unemployed, can’t find job in my previous industry, Finance, so I have nothing but time and opportunity to promote my site(s).

    Hopefully I will be at the next iDate so I can really get in where I fit in:)

    Nora B.

  20. 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.

  21. bishnu Says:

    kas la kalli begaro ?
    talla kasli saparo?

  22. Good Looking Dating Says:

    Good Looking Dating…

    […]Recession hits paid sites hard…. « Plenty of fish blog[…]…

  23. chat Says:

    the best.

  24. Chat Says:

    very good🙂

  25. Chat Gratis Says:

    Very good point!

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