As you have probably noticed and might have experienced first-hand, online dating has gradually become more socially acceptable over the past decade. While it was once considered a last resort for people who struggled to get a date in the real world, that’s no longer the case.
Technology has advanced, enabling nearly all of our interactions and tasks to be done online. We shop, socialize, bank, work, and much more from our devices. It’s now pretty normal to try and find romance online, too.
As more people turn to technology to look for love, dating apps have grown and are trending to continue growing. Like the majority of apps, most are free but use various monetization techniques to bring in revenue. However, many of the popular business models are becoming obsolete.
Let’s take a look at the evolving industry, the revenue of dating apps, and how new and creative advertising techniques can boost revenue while increasing customer satisfaction.
Online dating app usage in the U.S.
In 2017, 46% of the people surveyed had used a dating app at some point in their lives. Further, maiotaku quizzes 19% of American internet users were currently using online dating websites or apps (up from 15% in 2015 and 11% in 2013).
With the increase in use, it’s no surprise that the amount of people who think dating apps are a good way to meet people has increased while the amount of people who think they are for desperate people has decreased.
- of dating app users said they were looking for a romantic relationship
- 43% were looking for friendly contact
- 24% were looking for sexual encounters of U.S. singles used online dating to expand their dating pool
There are various motivations for using dating apps, and there seems to be an app that caters to each of them. For instance, Tinder is used more for hookups while Match is more relationship-oriented.
Most popular online dating apps
- Tinder with 8.2 million users
- Plenty of Fish with 6.7 million users
- Match and OkCupid with 5.1 million users each
- Grindr with 1.9 million users
- Bumble with 1.4 million users
Ogury performed a Dating App Study on a sample of more than 6 million mobile user profiles in the US, UK, France, Italy, and Spain between . The findings included that Tinder is in the top five favorite dating apps for men and women in all five of the countries interviewed.
There’s no question, Tinder is a leader the dating app industry both in the U.S. and abroad. Now, let’s take a closer look at how these apps are making virtual dating profitable.
Revenue generation from online dating apps
- Advertising: Third parties display ads in the app and the app owner earns from clicks, impressions, and transactions.
In 2018, worldwide revenue in the online dating segment amounted to $1,383 million, and i t’s expected to reach $1,610 million by 2022.
A survey performed in found that 53% of U.S. users of dating apps and websites reported having an experience that was neutral, somewhat negative, or very negative.
Further, market research company Forrester found that nearly 60% of U.S. smartphone owners find in-app ads disruptive and 80% say they are usually irrelevant.
Additionally, the upgrade-based subscription model is the most popular app monetization tactic but is also the most hated . It lets users download and use the app for free but pay if they want access to more features and/or benefits. In a 2017 study, only 14% of mobile publishers found the paid subscription model to be the most effective.