Facts About The Online Dating Industry (Updated For 2020)

Online dating is intertwined in the lives of millions throughout the world. It is human nature to want companionship and online dating websites make it easier to meet people, especially when you have a busy life. Exploring the industry can help you to see just how vast it is and how it works to connect people from all over the world.
facts about the online dating industry

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There Are Approximately 8,000 Online Dating Sites

No matter what type of person you are looking for, there is a dating site that can accommodate your preferences. Many sites are general in nature, allowing you to set your preferences and explore a wide array of people.

There are numerous sites that cater to a niche. For example, soldiers, BBWs, animal lovers and the list goes on. It is estimated that overall, there are almost 8,000 dating websites throughout the world.

Before you dive into the world of online dating, take a little time to figure out the types of people you want to meet. From here, you can do a search for sites that are within that niche.

Joining at least one of the big sites along with niche sites that are focused on your preferences is a good strategy. This will expose you to the most people, increasing your chances of meeting someone who you are compatible with.

There are many sites that are free so that you can explore without making a financial commitment to the site. With the paid sites, you can usually sign up for free and check the site out before you decide to purchase a subscription. It is a good idea to do this because you want to make sure that a site will work for you before you spend money on it.

Online Dating Generates $3 Billion a Year in the US

In the United States alone, online dating generated about $2 billion in revenue as of 2016 statistics. Between 2010 and 2015 alone, the industry expanded by an average of 5% per year in revenue. By 2019, the generated revenue jumped to about $3 billion in the US. Now, the increase is about 11% a year, up 6% from the estimated growth between 2010 and 2015.

The revenue is generated in several ways, from advertisements on online dating platforms to subscription fees. Some sites also have extended features that you can pay for in addition to a subscription price.

The US is not the only country seeing an increase in the revenue generated by online dating sites. At the end of 2016, China released information about the industry in that country. It was estimated that there were about $1.6 billion on revenue.

Despite the high earning potential, the online dating industry does face issues regarding maintaining their stream of revenue. When people meet someone on an online dating app, they eventually stop using it because they met their goal and found someone compatible. Because of this, they need to constantly acquire new members to replace those who find partners or just stop using the app or site for other reasons.

However, while there are challenges, the industry appears to continue growing. Looking at Match Group Inc which has several online dating properties shows that revenue is currently increasing for this company. In addition to Match.com, some of the other major sites and apps owned by this company include OkCupid, Tinder and PlentyOfFish.

This company had an estimated $282.14 million in revenue for the first quarter of 2016. The company of apps and sites continues to expand with new features and their advertising efforts appear to be effective when it comes to attracting new customers.

The majority of the sites under the Match Group Inc name have over one million members. While not all are active, enough people use the sites regularly to ensure that the company continues to see increased revenue.

By the end of 2020, the estimated annual revenue in the online dating industry is estimated to be $3.2 billion. This figure is only for the United States.

Online Dating is Used by Nearly 15% of Americans

Since 2013, the use of dating apps and sites has nearly tripled among young adults (adults ages 18 to 24). It is estimated that of American adults, approximately 15% have used an app or a website to meet someone new as of 2016. This breaks down to about 50 million Americans.

In 2013, this figure was 11%. This shows that more people are starting to use digital means to meet someone who they are compatible with. The experts believe that the number will continue to rise as the popularity of online dating increases. It just makes it easier to vet multiple people at once to save time.

While people ages 18 to 24 are the ones most likely to engage in online dating, adults of all ages are turning to this method to meet compatible people. This includes those who are over age 50.

When it comes to young adults, dating apps are preferred. This is likely due to them leading busy lives and not having time to sit down at a computer every day and explore dating sites. The sites are used more by the middle aged and older crowd.

Men Use Online Dating More Than Women

Looking at statistics generated in January of 2019, about 27% of men said that they have used online dating in the past. This is compared to 22% of women. When looking at current online daters, about 10% are men and 5% are women.

These statistics were generated by a survey and did not distinguish between who was using an app, a website or both. It shows that women do have a slight edge in this industry as there is a little less competition when seeking out a compatible man to date.

Match.com is the Most Popular Online Dating Platform

A survey conducted looked at the most popular dating sites as of January of 2018. It determined that Match.com was the most popular site. This survey did not distinguish between paid and free memberships.

It is estimated that about 7% of online daters at least had an account on Match.com. After Match, the second most popular site was Tinder with an estimated 5% of online daters registered on the platform. PlentyOfFish also had about 5% of those surveyed registered on the site.

Following these three sites, these apps and sites had two to 4% of the surveyed online daters registered:

  • eHarmony
  • OkCupid
  • A dating site focused on specific religious sectors, such as ChristianMingle
  • Coffee Meets Bagel

Online Dating is Responsible for About 37% of Relationships

It is estimated that about 17% of married couples and 20% of couples in a committed relationship got their start on an online dating website. This equals about 37%.

The old days of heading to the bar to meet new people are behind you now. In fact, statistics show that only about 11% of relationships are among those who met each other at a club or a bar.

When you use online dating, it is easier to meet many people in a short span of time. You can more easily vet people before you even take the time to start meeting them in the real world.

About 49% of Online Daters Want to Meet a Long-Term Partner

There are online sites and apps that are focused on hooking up. Millions of people do use online dating for this purpose. However, approximately 49% of online daters actually want to find someone to have a long-term relationship with.

Among this 49% of people, about 51% are female and 47% are male. This shows that both men and women are pretty equal when it comes to what they are looking for when they sign up for an online dating site or app.

Approximately 29% of People Sign Up to Test the Sites

People have a wide variety of reasons for signing up on online dating sites. For about 29% of them, they are there simply to see what an app or a site has to offer.

This is common because a lot of people want to see if a site or app is right for them before they decide to invest money and time into it. You should not let this deter you though. If you are seeking out something long-term, contact everyone who you believe is compatible.

Remember that just because someone is testing the site or app does not mean that they are not also open to meeting someone special. With nearly half of online daters wanting someone long-term, if this is your goal, you have good odds of finding it.

Only 23% of Online Daters Want a Hookup

Some people view online dating as a way to hookup only. However, only about 23% of people on online dating apps and sites are in the industry for this purpose.

When you sign up for an app or website, you can make it clear what you are looking for. There are also sites specifically for hooking up. In most cases, those who are on sites for long-term relationships are actually looking for that type of partnership.

When you are creating your profile, you can make it clear what you are looking for. This will reduce the risk of meeting someone who is not seeking the same type of partnership that you are.

Who is the Average Online Dater?

When it comes to online dating, which type of person are you most likely to meet? After exploring the statistics, some of the most popular demographics include the following:

  • People ages 18 to 24
  • Men
  • Those who follow the Christian religion
  • People with at least some college education
  • Those who earn at least $50,000 a year

This is the average profile of the online dater. However, it is a huge industry with people from all over the world. Because of this, no matter which type of person you are trying to meet, you can be confident that they will be out there in the digital dating universe waiting on a message from you.

Ad Revenue Averages $77 Per User

There is a mixture of paid and free sites in the online dating industry. When you do choose a free membership, you are usually exposed to advertisements as this is how the site can still make money from you. Many of the paid sites actually stop showing ads to paid members as part of their membership perks.

It is estimated that dating sites earn an average of $77 per user as a result of advertisement revenue. When you consider that some sites have millions of members, this is a hefty sum.

$239 is the Average Cost for Online Daters

When looking at a survey of people who paid for memberships on online dating sites, it is estimated that they spend about $239 per year. Compared to the cost of doing all of your dating in person, this is a small price to pay to find love.

Online dating can save money because you can choose to only go on dates with people who you truly have a lot in common with. This prevents you from paying for a night out with someone who you have not even talked to before.


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1. There are about 8,000 online dating sites throughout the world.

2. $3 billion is the average annual revenue for the online dating industry in 2019.

3. An estimated 15% of Americans have tried or are actively using online dating.

4. Online dating is comprised of about 22% women and 27% men in the US.

5. The most popular online dating platform is Match.com, with an estimated 7% of all online daters registered on the site.

6. About 37% of relationships started as a result of online dating.

7. Approximately 49% of online daters are looking for a serious relationship.

8. An estimated 29% of registered online daters sign up to simply explore the sites.

9. Only about 23% of people join online dating sites for a hookup.

10. The average online dater is male, middle class, attended college, Christian and 18 to 24.

11. Ad revenue per person per year on online dating sites is $77.

12. The average annual cost for online daters is $239.

SOURCES:

https://bigthink.com/jazzy-quick/why-the-cost-of-dating-has-gone-up-over-50
https://www.elitedaily.com/
https://www.datingadvice.com/online-dating/why-do-people-online-date
https://www.consumerreports.org/
https://www.toptal.com/finance/business-model-consultants/online-dating-industry
https://blog.marketresearch.com/
https://www.ibisworld.com/
https://www.statista.com/
https://www.statista.com/statistics/310335/us-online-dating-app-site-usage-gender/
https://www.forbes.com/
https://www.pewresearch.org/
https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/02/29/5-facts-about-online-dating/
https://www.nasdaq.com/

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