eHarmony’s Future as Part of ProSeiben’s Parship Dating Service

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Online dating company eHarmony, who built its reputation for more serious daters, was recently acquired by German media company ProSeibenSat.1. The media company are the producers behind “Married at First Sight,” and have already expanded beyond television with the acquisition of Parship Elite Group, an online dating platform for long-term relationships similar to eHarmony.

It left many wondering what future plans were for eHarmony, which has seen competition lately from apps like Tinder and OkCupid, and how Parship fits into the mix.

Online Personals Watch recently interviewed Tim Schiffers, the CEO of Parship Elite Group about the acquisitions and Parship’s future plans. Schiffers said Parship plans to bring eHarmony to its platform instead of offering competing services. “We have invested a lot into our technical setup over the past few years and are happy to harness synergies in that area.”

The migration could take as long as a year to complete. In the meantime, they are developing some branding and marketing initiatives to assist people with the transition that include media, online marketing and CRM.

Schiffers said eHarmony will still focus on serious daters, and is aligned with Parship’s overall mission, which is appealing to those seeking long-term relationships. He also argued that the popularity of apps like Tinder were actually helpful in driving more serious customers to their platforms.

Schiffers said: “When we look at the market for online dating, we see three main segments: dating, casual dating and matchmaking.” He goes on to say: “We think ‘serious dating’ is a very good position in the market that cannot be attacked so easily. Classical dating services have come under pressure from apps such as Tinder and Badoo. This did not happen with Parship – it even helped us.”

He noted eHarmony’s success in the English-speaking market, thanks to its scientific research and development of its algorithm as well as twenty years’ experience in the online dating industry. He wants to keep this reputation strong. He also said that he felt eHarmony had lost relevance in the past few years due to changing technology, namely that daters have migrated to swiping on their phones rather than filling out time-consuming online profiles. He also noted the company’s antiquated approach to media and online marketing.

Facebook Dating could prove to be a big competitor, but right now Schiffers welcomes them into the fold. He said that Facebook offers a broad approach, and it could be tricky being a service provider for online daters while simultaneously offering itself as a platform for advertisers. He sees Tinder as a competitor, but they aren’t necessarily targeting the same demographic.

“Tinder is…not in the very serious segment of the market,” he said. “They have brought online dating onto the agenda for more people, which is helpful. This could happen with Facebook dating, too.”

For more on this dating service you can read our review of eHarmony.