Online dating service industry

When it comes to finding love, “there’s a lid for every pot,” as the saying goes.These days, online dating makes it easier than ever to find your “lid.” While dominated by big name, mass audience sites, like and e Harmony, a growing number of niche sites are finding success targeting singles looking for something very specific.And by 2018, more than 80 percent of the population will own a smartphone up from 46 percent in 2012, according to IBISWorld.Langston says that for e Harmony, that’s meant users are checking in more often—six to twelve times a day instead of two or three.

To survive, they’ll need a novel marketing strategy and a focus on untapped potential daters—sites targeting niche markets have higher rates of membership growth, according to the report.In the last few weeks, e Harmony has launched a personal matching feature called eh that Langston says will combine the company’s huge database with a real-live matchmaker--for 00 a pop.And in May 2012, IAC launched Stir, which holds about 1,600 singles events per year nationwide.The biggest web dating companies have a huge lead over the competition—two control more than 40 percent of the market.Leader Inter Active Corp (IAC) owns at least 30 sites, including and OKCupid, followed by e Harmony.com, which targets a slightly older demographic. Of 19,000 couples married between 20, more than a third met through an online dating site, according to a study in last May’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

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Offering geo-dating apps, which allow smartphone users to locate potential dates nearby--has become almost a prerequisite for keeping up in mobile.

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