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Dating Services in Canada Statistics

Canada
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A new "Dating Services in Canada Market Research Report" has been released in January 2015 by IBSWorld. The report requires payment to read the entire thing (no less than $725 US) but they did release a few interesting statistics for promotion that are worth mentioning.

According to IBSWorld the dating industry in Canada grew 6% from 2010 to 2015. They feel this rate is low due to the recent recession but the rate of growth is expected to increase in the next 5 years.

In Canada there are 255 businesses in the dating industry that employee 523 people. On average this means every dating business employees 2 people. In my experience the case more likely is that most of the businesses employee 1 person (the owner), a few probably employ 2 to 5 employees, and the very few employ 5 or more. The reason for such a low number of employees and high number of businesses is the relative ease and extreme low cost required to get into the dating industry. Free dating site software can be found online and web hosting can be found as cheap as $5 a month.

The report also mentions that revenue generated by the dating industry for the year in Canada is $153 million. This seems rather good especially with 255 businesses which would suggest that on average each generated $600,000 in revenue. This is not the case either. Most of these dating businesses probably either make virtually no money or only generate a few thousand a year in ad revenue. A few probably generate 10's of thousands, and even less generate hundreds of thousands or even a few million. I believe the majority of this revenue is made up of one dating site, Plenty of Fish. POF is located in the province of British Columbia, Canada. All of the other popular dating services are based in the United States. POF is a private company and no revenue numbers have ever been officially released. That being said they are one of the most successful dating sites in the world so I am sure their revenue for a year is probably 10's of millions of dollars. For comparison just take a look at the Match.com dating site. They are a public company owned by IAC and they reported the Match Group earned in the fourth quarter of 2014, $241.5 million US. That is only for 3 months so in a year they generate around 1 billion dollars. Now the Match Group is made up mostly of paid dating sites while POF is a free service which generates revenue from ads as well as paid upgraded memberships. I don’t expect POF to earn hundreds of millions every year but as I said, with their traffic I do see them earning 10’s of millions.

Is this latest IBSWorld report worth getting? It definitely would be an interesting read but the thing with the dating industry is that it is global. If you are opening a dating service you usually don’t just target one country. You would target continents as a whole like North America or Europe. If you are considering purchasing the document I would probably hold off and wait for the US version to come. The US is 10 times the size in population of Canada which is a much bigger customer base.