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Why Match Group Remains A Market Leader In A Volatile Industry

Match.com
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Save traveling to an untouched tribe in the Amazonian rainforest, you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t heard of Match Group.

The company was a pioneer in the industry, becoming the first major dating site to register a domain in 1995. Today Match Group offers dating products in 38 languages across more than 190 countries, and boasts a portfolio of over 45 brands including Match, OkCupid, Tinder, PlentyOfFish and Our Time.

So what keeps Match Group on top, more than two decades later?

It starts with context. The world has embraced online dating with open arms. In our digital age, singles flock to dating services because they offer a larger dating pool, the ability to screen matches for specific characteristics, and high levels of convenience, efficiency, and simplicity.

However, with an industry so fragmented and competitive, context is only a small piece of the puzzle. Match Group also succeeds across factors such as brand recognition, product features, and business model.

Match has secured a strong competitive position with potential to grow over time. Match Group's services successfully generate revenues - through subscription memberships, payments for special features, and paid advertisements - where other dating services have struggled to monetize.

In a Seeking Alpha article, Quinn Foley estimates Match’s market share to be 25.7%, with rival eHarmony coming in at 12%. The remaining 62% of the market is split between competitors like Spark Networks, Zoosk, and Badoo. No competitor comes close to Match’s market share.

Match owns four of the top five dating brands in North America. Tinder is the world’s most downloaded dating app and the number two app overall behind Netflix. Three of the top four online dating properties by unique site visitors are also under the Match Group umbrella. In total, reports Jason Rowland for Seeking Alpha, Match commands 74% of total unique monthly visitors to the top six online dating websites.

All eyes are on Tinder as Match looks towards the future. Experts predict that young singles growing up with Tinder and similar services will soon eliminate any remaining vestiges of online dating stigma, even for older generations, while leading online dating services to an inflection point of wider adoption.

The softening of attitudes towards online dating comes at a time when marriage rates are at record lows. Singles are staying unmarried longer, meaning they will remain in the dating pool longer, thereby increasing demand for Match’s services.

Add all that together with the fact that “Tinder” has now entered the lexicon as verb, indicating a growing consumer mindshare, and Match Group has a solid recipe for success. The business of love is as timeless as any business gets, and for now Match does it better than anyone else.