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August 27, 2014

UK dating sites witness revenue decline

Despite increased user numbers money is harder to generate.

By Ben Sullivan

Despite the number of monthly users for online dating sites and apps in the UK soaring over the past two years to 7.1 million, revenue has actually fallen 9.8m from last year.

The influx of new users can be pinned on mobile apps such as Tinder and BADOO capturing the hearts and minds of the under 20s demographic. "Traditionally, this demographic was rarely active on online dating websites", said Henning Wiechers of the UK’s LeadingDatingSites.

However, total revenue has been decreasing over the past two years, says a new survey from Leadingdatingsites.co.uk, with the finger being pointed at the weak monetisatison of users. Improved consumer protection regulations have further made it difficult for UK sites to turn their increased subscribers into revenue.

In June, Tinder co-founder Jonathan Badeen said that it is considering third party integrations to help monetise the app. Tinder is currently sitting in a"local mobile personals" app industry estimated to be worth $2bn.

Badeen said: "Right now, third-party integrations are not on the immediate timeline, but they would be at some point.

"You’ve got local businesses all trying to get the attention of people who are looking to spend money in the local area. It would only make sense to tie them together."

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