online dating

Four ways brands are marketing through dating services

Online dating services might not seem like ideal platforms for marketing.

After all, many are monetized primarily through paid subscriptions, and users, for obvious reasons, are probably more focused on finding a date than clicking on ads. 

But in recent years, brands have found ways to insert themselves into the online dating experience. Here are four examples.

Online dating: can ‘paid’ survive ‘free’?

The global economic meltdown that occurred in 2008, and the ripple
effects that can still be felt today, had a profound impact on internet
business models. The notion that services free to the consumer would
dominate suddenly didn’t look so good anymore. Charging consumers
directly for services was suddently sexy again.

But that isn’t necessarily true across the board. In the market for
online dating services, where millions of consumers have ponied up to
join sites that promise a shot at love, ‘paid‘ has found it difficult
to compete with ‘free‘.

Match.com doesn’t love the competition

One of the most lucrative markets in the consumer internet has been online dating. And one of the most successful players over the years has been Match.com. It’s not difficult to see why: plenty of people are willing to pay for a chance at a date and Match.com has been successfully charging for them for more than a decade.

But business isn’t so easy today. Newer competitors, many of them free, have gained traction, and one, Plentyoffish, is, according to comScore’s numbers, the most popular dating site in the world. Apparently Match.com doesn’t like that.

Plenty of Fish decides to go paid but is its effort half-baked?

Plenty of Fish is one of the most popular dating websites in the world. Despite the fact that it’s visually unappealing, there’s good reason for its popularity. Unlike most of its competitors, Plenty of Fish is totally free.

Its operator, Markus Frind, reportedly makes $10m a year from advertising displayed on Plenty of Fish. On average, it’s said that he puts in about 10 hours a week running the site.