The OPW/iDate Weekly News Summary.
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:~ TOP ONLINE PERSONALS WATCH NEWS ~:
Spark Networks Closes Its $258M Acquisition of Zoosk
TECH CRUNCH - July 2 - Berlin-based Spark Networks, the owner of Christian Mingle, Jdate, LDSsingles, Silver Singles, JSwipe and others, has acquired Zoosk for a combination of cash and stock. The deal values Zoosk at ~$258M. Spark says it will issue 12,980,000 American Depositary Shares (ADS) to former Zoosk shareholders valued at $153M based on the closing price of Spark ADS of $11.78 on June 28, 2019. Zoosk has for a long time struggled to compete against Tinder. A few years ago, the company laid off a third of its staff and even had to call off its IPO. According to data from Sensor Tower, Zoosk has generated worldwide in-app revenue of $250M and has seen 38M downloads since January 2014. In Q1 2019, Zoosk revenue was flat at $13M, the firm also says. Tinder revenue, by comparison, grew 43%. Zoosk's current CEO Steven McArthur is departing Zoosk following the deal, but will join Spark's board of directors.
App Revenue Tops $39B in H1 2019, up 15% YOY
TECH CRUNCH - July 4 - According to a new report from Sensor Tower, the iOS App Store and Google Play combined brought in $39.7B in worldwide app revenue in the first half of 2019, up 15.4% over the $34.4B seen during the H1 2018. However, at that time, the $34.4B was a 27.8% YOY increase. Apple's App Store continues to massively outpace Google Play on consumer spending, the report also found. In H1 2019, global consumers spent $25.5B on the iOS App Store, up 13.2% YOY. It is 80% higher than Google Play. #1 App Tinder pulled in ~$497M across the iOS App Store and Google Play, combined. That's up 32% YOY.
The Meet Group Joins the Online Dating Association
BUSINESS WIRE - July 1 - The Meet Group, a leading provider of interactive livestreaming solutions, has joined the Online Dating Association (ODA), an international nonprofit organization dedicated to safety and standardizing best practices in the online connection space. "The ODA is a pioneer in standardizing best practices in online dating and we are proud to be joining forces with their team," said Geoff Cook, CEO of The Meet Group. The Meet Group is also an active member of the Family Online Safety Institute.
Not All Companies Are Cracking Down on Office Dating
MARKETWATCH - July 2 - Tinder introduced a dating policy for its employees this year that doesn't prohibit relationships between employees and their direct higher-ups. "We're a company focused on helping people make connections," said a Tinder spokeswoman. "We don't prohibit workplace dating, but there are restrictions when the relationship is between a manager and subordinate."
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Matrimony.com to Dial Down on Wedding Services
CNBC TV - July 3 - Aside from its core business of online match-making, Matrimony.com runs wedding services like MatrimonyMandap, MatrimonyPhotography and MatrimonyBazaar among others. The company expects its Wedding Services vertical to register 50% - 100% growth in FY20. Matrimony.com's non-core businesses contribute just 5% to the company's annual revenues, which stood at Rs 335 crore ($49M) in FY19.
10 Years of LGBT Love: What's Really Changed?
BBC - July 5 - The London Pride parade will take place on Saturday 6 July in central London, followed by Black Pride on Sunday 7 July in Hackney. While plenty of people head to Pride to celebrate, recent news events, including the attacks on a lesbian couple on a London bus, show why Pride is still so important for the community. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots - the ceremonial beginning of the LGBT rights movement - and the 10-year anniversary of Grindr. "Online dating and hook-up apps have been an absolute win for the LGBT community," says relationship expert Dr Darcy Sterling. One recent US study suggests that two-thirds of LGBT couples meet online. Another important shift has been the demise of gay bars and LGBT spaces. In just over a decade, from 2006 to 2017, the number of bars, clubs and pubs for LGBT people in London dropped from 125 to 53. Racism within the LGBT community is another issue
that is starting to be talked about more openly. Last year, Grindr launched a campaign, Kindr, encouraging its users to be nicer to each other. The legalisation of same-sex marriage in England, Wales and Scotland in 2014 - along with ~20 other countries between 2009 and 2019 - has seen tens of thousands of same-sex couples getting hitched.
Chinese Dating App Tantan Returns to Android App Stores
THAT'S - July 3 - Dating app Tantan has been relaunched on Chinese Android app stores after going through a 'rehabilitation period' since the end of April. The app is still not available via the Chinese version of the Apple App Store. Tantan previously stated that the app had been taken off because of violations of regulations and that they would be taking a period of time to undergo "self-examination and self-correction."
Fortune 500 Executive Joins Event-Based Dating App Startup Swoonbox
PR NEWSWIRE - July 3 - Swoonbox, a new event-based dating app that integrates ticketing, is gearing up for their August 2nd App Store and Play Store launch. Users can pre-order the app for free through the App Store here. The startup has added Rita Capek to their team as VP of Growth. Rita brings years of consumer insights and product experience as the former COO of News America Marketing. After the launch, Swoonbox has plans to expand more broadly in Canada and Mexico. It is also experimenting with VR/AR.
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