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‘. 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 It’s not difficult to see why: plenty of people are willing to pay for a chance at a date and 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 doesn’t like that.