Online Dating Summit Recap

It was great to see everyone at Online Dating Summit in Miami! Met a lot of readers from EU and AU as well as key players at top US dating sites. Many people were fried after Affiliate Summit in Vegas.

My keynote presentation is at http://slidesha.re/WUcGU5
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Awesome hotel, ~100 people, CEO and mobile panels alone made it worth the trip. On top of that, the intimate and relaxed setting made it easy to grab someone for a few minutes on the beach. No hard-selling, just networking and learning. No mud wrestling though.

Safecharge and a dozen other payment providers were there. I particularly enjoyed the OneBip presentation. Unbelievable amount of EU-specific mobile payment information. Really got schooled on that one, impressive.

The speed networking events were great, 3 minutes with everyone at the conference. My business card holder runneth over.

Sat with Markus Frind (POF) for a long talk. It’s been interesting to watch the brash and brazen boy-wonder evolve over the years.  Oh and 10 billion monthly pageviews!

Long talks with the Oasis guys (Daniel and Dave) from AU. Proving once again how easygoing and smart those Aussies are. Their Oasis app is amazing. you have never seen a dating app like this, check it out. It’s one thing to demo an app from home, getting a thorough demo from the CTO was great.

Good times with WLD and Dating Factory. The white label market is red-hot.

I can’t post everything from the panels, would take 50 pages. Here’s some of the best bits.

  • Mobile is easier to acquire, harder to convert
  • Optimizing for myriad Android platforms is a pain.
  • Data aggregators like Peekyou, Rapleaf are in trouble.
  • For many sites, seems like average of 85% of joiners don’t subscribe.
  • Global credit card decline, increase e-wallets, PayPal etc.
  • New PayPal flow much improved.
  • Mobile usage on some sites 15% and growing fast.
  • POF mobile usage is 60%!!! Native apps not a great idea in hindsight.
  • POF doesn’t monetize mobile.
  • eHarmony gets mobile users who then sign up on website.
  • Mobile reinvents itself every 18 months.
  • HTML5 mobile sites easier to monetize.
  • Android first, approved in hours compared to week(s) for iOS.
  • MeetMoi does carrier billing. Almost same cost as iOS cut. Uses mobile affiliates. Significant portion of revenue.
  • US smartphone penetration 50%, lower elsewhere. Early days.
  • Tablet market is enormous.
  • 100 million Windows phones by end of 2013. Nobody seems to be focusing on this.
  • Lot’s of really honest talk from top mobile sites, can’t mention it here but eye-opening.
  • Social discovery = cheap user acquisition.
  • Social discovery differs by country (look at Badoo in the US).
  • More sites like HowAboutWe and Grouper monetizing the physical experience of dating.
  • Cliff from Are You Interested, like me, is incredibly bullish on Facebook’s Graph Search (more on this in upcoming post).
  • Embrace Graph search, great for the dating industry as a whole, will drive more users.
  • I mentioned the stats that 35 million people try online dating every month and was smacked down, more like ~15%. Where did that 35 M number come from?
  • FB app traffic should be part of Comscore.
  • Comscore is measuring home page hits, stats way out of alignment with reality.
  • AdSense pays 4x AdMob.
  • Massive consolidation continues.
  • Social discovery evolves into mobile dating.
  • Lots of cross-selling going on between sites.
  • Background checks are not good. Varies by country. Expensive. Creates false safety expectations.
  • Industry must adapt to changes in how society evolves
  • In UK, people like to see recommendations, not told what to do. Germans like to see the data.

Please consider:

  • I would love to come to your office to do a presentation similar to my keynote, with additional focus on some of the points above.
  • Hire me for a consulting engagement.
  • Promote your brand on my blog & newsletter with an ad.
  • Put me on your press list.

Now go take all of this information and rock it!