The dating market has grown tremendously during the last decade and is here to continue increasing its influence. For you to realize how big of a deal it has become, we have conducted some of the statistic data and predictions concerning future trends.
- World market volume and investments
According to Mark Kelly, an analyst at Nomura Instinet, a Japanese holding company, the global online dating market will grow to $ 12 billion by 2020. “About half of Internet users are single, and we assume that by 2020, 20% of them will be ready to use the global or Russian dating websites, which is 310 million people all over the world, excluding China, ”Kelly said.
According to Oleg Dronov, director of investment company AdFirst.VC, $ 12 billion for the online dating industry is a realistic figure, but small, “compared to the volume of the e-commerce market, which in Russia alone reached 1.4 trillion rubles in 2018, or even with the Russian market for computer games – 101.3 billion rubles. “
The revenue of the Match Group holding, which includes Tinder, in 2018 reached almost $ 2 billion, which is at least a quarter of the entire market. The market is growing at about 10% per year. Thus, it can be assumed that the total market by 2020 will be $ 10-12 billion.
A couple of years ago, quite detailed studies were conducted, which were published by Match.com, while the American online dating market was estimated at $ 3 billion. Moreover, the entire US market is approximately 40% of the world. Therefore, the predicted $ 12 billion is a realistic figure but we would reduce it to $ 10-11 billion.
- What are the typical users of dating services?
According to Teamo statistics, 76% of their users have higher education and the share of such users has increased over the nine years of the service’s existence by 12%. The leaders and owners of their own business account for 32% of the audience.
Online dating is much more popular in the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America. The reason the researchers say that these markets are mobile in nature, in contrast to Europe, where there is greater digital conservatism. The least popular dating services are in the Middle East and Africa.
Today, 32 million people from more than 50 countries are registered on dating sites and apps. On average, users spend 53 minutes a day in the computer version of the dating services and 19.5 minutes in the mobile version.
- The next trends in the industry. Using VR for hints in communication? A fully automated process of matching? How much of the regular dating will depend on the users, what features and what niches will be invented to attract more users and get more money? The future is not only about trends in the interface but ways of seeking more revenue which is useful for the business owners. Quick regard for the few upcoming dating technologies trends.
A popular dating service Mamba works according to the freemium model: it is a shareware product, basic services (those used by more than 80% of customers) are provided for free. it also has paid services. They are bought by loyal users who are already immersed in the product and are confident in its quality.
The paid services are divided into two categories: the first is the promotion of your profile, the second is the expanded functionality of the system, which is sold as a package, it is called “VIP status”.
It includes many different options, for example, sticker packs, return to scrolling profiles in swipe mechanics, advanced search options on any fields of the profile (you can search for free only by geography, gender, age and goals of an acquaintance) – education, height, weight.
Why is it profitable? In the years rich for the advertising market, user monetization made up approximately 80% of the general profit, while advertising monetization was 20%. After 2014, the advertising market is that profitable, and now the share of advertising revenue in Mamba barely reaches 5% and, accordingly, 95% are user payments.
The implementation of a certain hierarchy within the app by dividing users into premium and free is not a new idea. For example, in Mamba users without a premium status can send greetings and birthday greetings, like other users and wait for a match. This approach guarantees the quality of the audience of the service, configured exclusively for serious relationships, and eliminates other users.
Another example of monetization through paid accounts is Tinder. For example, a user accidentally scrolls to the left of the one he likes (to the right they scroll through the profiles they like). Only members of Tinder Plus or Tinder Gold can fix the error.
Dating has always been the most competitive market. There are no unoccupied niches here. Explaining this phenomenon is quite simple: entrepreneurs think that it is easy to create an online dating service where any product is suitable for an audience.
The reality is completely different: users are selective and prefer well-known brands, and advertising is expensive, and not all novice entrepreneurs can afford it. Nevertheless, the chance to catch the wave of trends remains, but it is not very large since the marketing departments of large companies are engaged in the search for such trends. So, the developers have to come up with interesting features and convince people that they urgently need to pay money for them.
Throughout the history of the online dating market, niches applications have never proven to be working but faith in them continues to live. This is, for example, sex dating. People believe in it, they say that everyone loves to have sex, and therefore it will be interesting for them to get acquainted with this.
But in fact, not a single case in this direction was successful (from an economic point of view). The same can be said of all niche dating. The dating service is good because there are a lot of people in it, new ones are constantly coming.
A person’s social graph does not change over time: once he studied at school, then at the institute, then he changes his work with some frequency, and if he did not find a mate among this graph, it means that for him the search is over and he’s going online. There he sees millions of people ready to get to know each other. And niche ratings have one huge drawback: they greatly narrow the audience and do not guarantee the influx of new people. For example, you love dogs and want to meet someone on this basis.
Like you have a beagle and want to meet a girl in your city that has the same dog. How many of them are around you? Two or ten? That obviously narrows the search.
Switching to mobile versions
This is a global trend, so almost all new dating startups do not make a desktop version at all, in particular, because at the start it is very difficult to attract a new audience to it. The differences in the mobile and desktop versions of Mamba can be noticed in the features presented in them. There are several old-school services in the web version that are used by a small percentage of people, for example, the blogging platform.
Such services were not implemented in the mobile version, since they have relatively little coverage, and developers focus on what the majority uses. But they don’t want to close such platforms, because the audience there is loyal, people have been using the same blog service for ten years, and it is dear to them. Therefore, they do not port it to mobile and do not close it.
The last trend is that online dating is becoming safer, more transparent and – it is subjective and very superficial – predictable. New trends are most often the opposite of what is now going in the United States where the common vector is the criminalization of sex.
- Recommendations for new market players
Ratings of dating apps on the market are not as high as of alternatives such as games or social networks, and the audience usually grows very slowly. In recent years, only Tinder and Bumble have truly taken off (they have transformed from being startups into billion-dollar businesses). At the same time, starting developing a dating service with little money will not work – you must immediately attract a critical mass of users. So among investors, this direction has not been in fashion during recent years.
It seems to novice entrepreneurs that if they used the dating service for six months, then they have already become experts in it because everything looks so simple. In fact, making a great app is extremely difficult and you need a lot of specific knowledge.
In this regard, a simple tip – attract professionals with proven successful experience. We also recommend that those who want to establish their dating startup do not do another Tinder clone, “dating in this cafe”, “dating the girl from the subway” and “dating for sex”.
Use Google to get acquainted with existing dating apps. Look through what has been already hyping and come up with something you maybe lacked yourself. And focus on future trends straightaway.