By The Numbers: Online Dating In 2019 And Beyond

Industry
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Online Dating Statistics as of 2019

With the launch of Match.com in 1995, the search for a partner was irrevocably changed. Technology, business and society have radically transformed the ways we meet, communicate, date, fall in love, get married and break up. The dating industry has experienced tremendous growth as an increasing number of consumers use the internet to seek love and the social stigma for doing so disappears. There are now around 2,000 dating services in North America and an estimated 8,000 around the world.

According to the market research firm IBISWorld, the dating sector grew by 11.9 percent over a five-year period to reach revenue of $3 billion in 2018. In the same timeframe, the number of businesses has grown by 1.0 percent and the number of employees has grown by 5.6 percent. Mobile dating applications now account for nearly a quarter of industry revenue, and their growth has rapidly outpaced that of other dating services.

Match Group - parent to Match.com, Tinder, OkCupid and others - remains a dominant force in the industry. The company brought in $1.7 billion in revenue in 2018. Tinder contributed nearly half of that ($805 million) thanks to the incredible success of its premium subscriptions. As of January 2018, Statista listed Tinder as the most popular dating service for US singles in the coveted 18-29 age range. Plenty of Fish (also owned by Match Group), Match.com, and OkCupid followed.

Match Group’s long-time strategy of acquiring competitors is paying off. The company is likely to continue its market dominance in North America, thanks to a strong competitive advantage and a diverse portfolio of brands that appeal to all interests and age groups. The company has also invested heavily in international expansion, particularly in Asia, to fuel rapid growth abroad. While dating revenue is expected to increase in the United States and Canada, it is forecast to grow more slowly, and larger players in the territory are expected to continue acquiring smaller competitors. Asian markets may hold more promise for expedited growth in the coming years.

Despite slowed growth, the dating industry remains steady in the United States. More than half of Americans who have used dating services said they have a positive view of online dating, according to an Axios/Survey Monkey poll. Seventy-two percent said they think relationships that begin online are just as or more successful than those that begin offline. The Statistic Brain Research Institute reports that more than 49.7 million Americans have tried online dating, a number that’s not far off from the total number of single people in the country: 54.4 million.

What does the future hold for online dating? IBISWorld says today’s higher divorce rate has increased demand for dating services, as has the trend of postponing marriage to spend more time dating and developing a career. In 2017, 39 percent of heterosexual relationships and 65 percent of same-sex relationships in the US began online. By 2040, Axios reports, 70% of people are expected to meet through dating apps.