Dating Industry News 9-5-12

Rachel DeAlto

Rachel DeAlto is on a mission. A “flirt and relationship expert“, she is als a practicing trial attorney the Founder and CEO of FlipMe Flirting Cards. DeAlto is positioning herself right in between Laurie Davis and Lori Cheek. I get several press releases every week from women who purport to be dating experts, its a very noisy market with hundreds of women competing for media attention. I probably should have hired a woman years ago to review their books and interview these people.

Are you doing mobile dating stuff, listen up. Clicks on mobile ads are useless. Either you do in-app subs/upgrades/freemium offers or drive ‘em back to you website where its easier to grab some revenue off visitors. The amount of accidental clicks are going down but fraud is still rampant.

Looks like Epic Media has closed its doors. Epic, which worked with a a lot of dating sites, has gone belly up and is not paying its bills. Worse off, the executives seem to have know this was going to happen long in advance. Affiliate marketing is a huge and profitable unregulated business full of charlatans and downright evil people out to take your money. Take your time finding the right networks for your particular dating site. Better yet, do what the pros do and join lots of affiliate sites, thereby spreading your risk around.

Next time you are thinking about sexting your date or boss or wife or whomever. A Facebook App That Aims to Keep Private Photos Private. Also check out Gliph: Use this app to create anonymous disposable email addresses.

Spark Networks has decided that Jewish dating isn’t enough, launches Gospel Media Group to connect Christians. Gospel Media Group will consist of two new faith-based sits, DailyBibleVerse.com and ChristianCards.net, in addition to ChristianMingle.com, the largest and fastest growing online community for Christian singles, and believe.com, a leading content site dedicated to helping Christians deepen their walk with the Lord and engage in fellowship with other believers.

Badger babes with ecards and bible verses so you can “engage in fellowship.” Well that’s one way to put it. How come Spark never offered ecards and related content on JDate? Poor JDate, not so sexy anymore. After all, 80-ish million Christians in the US vs. less than 10 million Jews.

Viximo acquired by Tapjoy. Remember when everyone wanted to believe that people would send virtual gifts to each other on dating sites in the US? Viximo had a strong position in the space for a while, then pivoted all over the place and now has been sold. Hope they had a nice sale, always liked the Viximo folks, who were local in Boston and I used to see them all over the place at networking events and startup incubators.

Dating Factory (11 million active members worldwide), is hitting a ton of events in Europe over the next month. Check out their busy schedule. DF is also launching a new site for Relationship LLC (owners of Relationship.com) .

Zoosk Adds Jeff Epstein to Board of Directors. Epstein’s experience spans multiple roles in the finance and technology industries. Currently, he is an executive-in-residence at Bessemer Venture Partners and is a senior advisor at Oak Hill Capital Partners. Jeff says he is looking forward to helping Zoosk “Create a place where people can create and share their romantic moments.” I don’t get the sharing part. We share on Facebook and other social nets, I don’t imagine a lot of people want to share their relationships on a dating site. Maybe to brag, but as for driving revenue, I just don’t see it clearly. Maybe Zoosk will clue us in.

Poor Brandon Wade. He started a few dating sites focused on basically buying sex and women whoring themselves out, I mean bidding on dates and receiving money from older men, and now Paypal has refused to process their transactions.

Check out Luvia, where emailing someone costs one cent. How they are going to make any money is beyond me.

Coffee Meets Bagel is kind of cute.

Real-life Sleeping Beauties agree to marry whoever wakes them with a kiss. This is beyond strange.

Today’s Niche Site Idea, people in love with balloons.

MeetMoi’s dating community will grow to 3 Million users this month. Check out this week’s New York Times video.

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Comments

  1. Nice update David and interesting to hear the news about Jeff Epstein joining Zoosk’s BOD. The somewhat unclear sharing part seems to tie to the trend of keeping couples more engaged longer in transitioning from the singles to the couples environment.

  2. Its true that many people use facebook to create a relationship. But you have provide a nice informative article about it. Thanks for this post.

  3. Interesting stuff. Is that picture Rachel’s by the way? She’s cute!

  4. Hey Dave,

    Poor JDate ? Yeah, I don’t think so. Check out Spark’s financials. As of Spark’s 2nd quarter earnings, JDate was down to 85,391 or so paid members (they’ve been stuck between 85-95k for years now). Christian Mingle though is up to about 130,963 paid members. That sounds great except for a few things.

    1. In a recent press release they mentioned that Christian Mingle had approximately 7 million total registrations and 2 million within the last year. That means, last quarter, only 7% of its members were paid members using the 2 million number, or 1.9% if you use their total numbers. Now, I have not been on the site, and I don’t know whether there are the same limitations of who can contact who on CM compared to JDate or Match .. but that still doesn’t sound like great odds.

    2. Let’s go back to those financials… Revenue – JDate made $13.0 million in the first half of 2012, with direct marketing costs of $1.4 million. Christian Mingle made $14.4 million but it cost them $19.0 million to get it done. I believe (I could be wrong) that every single quarter since Spark decided to get Christian Mingle going they have had to outspend their earnings each and every quarter. Look, I get it takes time to ramp up — but the issue is, they’re getting members to the site, but not enough people care to convert to paid members. (And by the way, that doesn’t even take into account that there are unallocated marketing expenses of $12.5 million for the quarter, which means that if you were to apply a percentage of those based on the number of users in each part of the company… well, I don’t have to go there, do I.

    I still feel very sorry for the guys up at Great Hill … in spite of the stock price increase, I’m pretty sure their investment is still way under water.

    Oh, and with the poison pill controls in place, it’s not like someone’s going to buy them out of the blue (in case shareholders were hoping for that).

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