The OPW/iDate Industry Insider is the weekly news summary for the dating industry
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:~ TOP ONLINE PERSONALS WATCH NEWS ITEMS ~:
Plentyoffish Fires Darts At eHarmony, Match.com On Valentine's Day
IT BUSINESS - Feb 14 - Plentyoffish has released a white paper indicating that its social media dating formula may be more effective at hooking you up than the matchmaking algorithms employed by other dating sites. “Traditional online dating sites provide a very linear and singular experience,” said Mark Brooks, principal analyst of Courtland Brooks, a media relations and marketing company that does work with POF. Brooks released a whitepaper titled What is Social Dating? Courtland Brooks released a graph showing that feature-for-feature it outguns both Match.com and eHarmony. Brooks said the process of making users browse through numerous profiles based on specific criteria with the intent of finding a potential date or partner is too time consuming and requires “significant commitment.” With most online dating systems, he said, users have to create profiles to “sell” themselves to others. “This leads to misleading information or a frustrating experience.” On the other hand the social networking focus such as that employed by POF offers a “more relaxed environment,” Brooks said.” Social networking is very much centered around activities and interest, which give excellent representation of who a person really is.” Brooks also pointed to as study authored by Dr. Eli Finkel, associate professor of social psychology at Northwestern University, in New York, who pointed to several “pitfalls” of online dating. “To date, there is no compelling evidence that any online dating matching algorithm actually works,” Finkel said in statement. “Our report concludes that that it is unlikely that algorithms can work, even in principle, given the limitations of matching procedures that these sites use.”http://www.onlinepersonalswatch.com/new ... s-day.html
Sites That Cater To 'Discreet' Encounters Thriving
USA TODAY - Feb 14 - For Noel Biderman and others who have founded dating websites for married people, it's a lucrative business. "The day after Valentine's Day is one of our biggest days of the year," says Biderman, founder and CEO of AshleyMadison (AM). Some of the sites are based in Europe and increasingly have become international, with their eye on the USA. "American people are really hypocrites about infidelity," says Teddy Truchot, co-founder of Gleeden, which launched in Europe in 2009, moved into Australia and entered the U.S. market last fall. "Everything from the U.S. which comes to Europe is about infidelity," says Truchot. "You see cheating all over TV and in real life." Data from 2010 from the General Social Survey shows that 19% of men and 14% of women reported ever having had an extramarital partner. AM earns well over $60M a year, suggests online dating industry analyst Mark Brooks. Biderman says that estimate is "on target," but he's expecting greater revenue this year ($100M). Industry tracker Brooks counts well over 30 cheating websites. He is quick to disclose that he has been a paid consultant for many online dating services, including those he calls "philanderer sites." "The philandering sites are specific to people who are wanting to be discreet," he says. "As much as I abhor these sites, they do actually do something good for the industry. People can be who they are on the philanderer sites," he says, rather than have married people claiming to be single, which happens on singles dating sites, he says. Biderman says it took five years to get the first 1M anonymous members. Currently, ~2.3M are registered and considered active by logging in or taking an action within the past 30 days. Brooks says he's surprised that in 10 years, Biderman's site hasn't had a lot of direct competition. Part of it, he says, is that "people don't like to start that kind of business." But Gleeden is ready to take that on.http://www.onlinepersonalswatch.com/new ... iving.html
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Looking For Love On LinkedIn
FINANCIAL POST - Feb 14 - A new dating site called Hitch.me turns your LinkedIn network into a search for a soulmate. Although Hitch.me only launched about a month ago, some 2K people have already signed on. And so far, it’s somewhat of a ladies market with more men using it. The site was built by Toronto resident Naveed Nadir. “This idea came to me last year after LinkedIn launched their API." Hitch.me does not search through your whole LinkedIn network looking for suitable mates, only those who join Hitch.me. But it does allow you to see the full profiles of people it matches to you.http://www.onlinepersonalswatch.com/new ... kedin.html
Cupid In Dating Brands Lease Deal With Brightsolid
BBC.CO.UK - Feb 14 - Cupid is to take on several brands under a leasing deal with Dundee-based Friends Reunited owner Brightsolid. Under the 10-year deal, Cupid will operate Friends Reunited Dating, Friends Over Fifty and Swoon. Brightsolid will retain ownership of their domain names, trade marks and intellectual property rights. Brightsolid CEO Chris van der Kuyl said: "Our acquisition of Friends Reunited in April 2010 helped the company to achieve significant growth last year, with overall sales up by 75%. "However, it is clear that Cupid has real strengths in the online dating sector, so it makes absolute sense to enter this agreement with them for our dating business.http://www.onlinepersonalswatch.com/new ... olid-.html
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Dating Website Fraud Is Running Rampant
BUSINESS INSIDER - Feb 13 - According to the fraud protection firm Iovation, instances of fraud on dating sites has jumped more than 150% in the past year. In 2010, 1.4% of the online dating site transactions Iovation processed using its ReputationManager 360 program were found to be fraudulent; that number jumped to 3.8% in 2011. "Those bad actors can cause millions of dollars in lost revenue and damaged reputation to online dating sites, not to mention a loss of innocence for its users," Mark Brooks, said editor of OnlinePersonalsWatch.com.http://www.onlinepersonalswatch.com/new ... mpant.html
SNAP Interactive Reports Q4 Results
PR NEWSWIRE - Feb 14 - Quarterly revenue increased 98% to $5.5M YOY. Annual revenue increased 188% to $19.2M YOY. Net loss for the quarter increased to $1.4M YOY while net loss for the year was $3.5M compared to a net loss of $1.2M for 2010. "At the outset of 2011, we identified two clear goals for SNAP: continued revenue growth and the build-out of the organization so that we could properly sustain our growth and build for the future," said SNAP's President and CEO, Clifford Lerner.http://www.onlinepersonalswatch.com/new ... sults.html
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Million Pound Cupid: We Meet Match.com's Karl Gregory
LONDON LOVE BUSINESS - Feb 14 - According to Match.com, ~37M dates take place each year, adding a whopping L3.4bn to the economy. “January and the start of February is incredibly busy,” says Karl Gregory, MD of Match.com UK. Last February, coming up to the 14th, an impressive 6M people visited Match.com - and the team expect no fewer this time around. So what does the MD of the country’s most powerful dating site think of the niche sites that seem to multiply like rabbits? “Niche dating sites are a quite romantic notion but the number and the logic doesn’t add up,” he says. “Daters want to access a pool of individuals that are looking for the same thing, but as soon as you start narrowing it down the pool gets smaller. We find most people don’t want to travel further than 23 miles, narrowing your choice makes it harder to find someone. The area of mobile dating is one area Gregory believes will grow as Match.com develops its apps. Match.com has also upped the ante when it comes to intelligent matching. The site now offers users “the daily six”, this being “six people we think might appeal to you that you might not have necessarily searched for.”http://www.onlinepersonalswatch.com/new ... egory.html
Online Dating Spend Grows By 60% On Last Year
THE NEXT WEB - Feb 11 - New data suggests that there has been a 57% increase in online dating revenues in the past year. Digital marketing and billing manager Vindicia has been tracking the global activity for its online dating clients. Social networking, and in particular Facebook, is contributing to the growth. Vindicia’s online dating clients attracted L3.4 million (US$5.4 million) in revenues in January alone this year, compared to the L2.2M (US$3.5M) spent in January 2011. Sales have increased steadily over the weekends leading up to Valentine’s Day too – with dating companies seeing individual spikes of up to 40%, and a combined global spike of 23% last weekend (February 3rd) against the previous weekend’s spend (January 27th). These figures are global, and are taken from across all of Vindicia’s online dating clients, which include SNAPInteractive, SpeedDate.com, Online Buddies and AvidLife. Online dating spend grows by 60% on last year, and the industry can only get biggerhttp://www.onlinepersonalswatch.com/new ... -year.html
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