Online Personals Watch Exclusive Interview -'s CEO, Jim Safka - Online Personals Watch: News on the Online Dating Industry and Business

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Fernando Ardenghi

When he said

"We commissioned what's considered to be the most extensive research identifying the relationship needs, attitudes and behaviors of single people in America, and we've gained important insights from the hundreds of thousands of Match success couples."
"2. We believe the customer has all the answers, so we'll keep listening to them. Something that I do and every employee at does is stay close to the customer."

he forget to mention that: It is only for the United States/Canada (English) site!!!

" lets you connect with singles around the globe. Our International sites support local languages and currencies. Please note: Use of international sites requires a separate membership on the International network.

Europe: Austria (German) Belgium (Dutch) Belgium (French) Denmark (Danish) Finland (Finnish) France (French) Germany (German) Italy (Italian) Netherlands (Dutch) Norway (Norwegian) Spain (Spanish European) Sweden (Swedish) Switzerland (French) Switzerland (German) United Kingdom (English)

Africa: South Africa (English)

Americas: Brazil (Portuguese) Mexico (Spanish Latino) Latin America (Spanish Latino) United States (Spanish Latino)

Asia: China (Simplified Chinese) Hong Kong (Traditional Chinese) India (English) Indonesia (English) Japan (Japanese) Korea (Korean) Malaysia (English) Pakistan (English) Philippines (English) Singapore (English) Taiwan (Traditional Chinese) Thailand (English) Vietnam (English)

Pacific: Australia (English) New Zealand (English)

International (English)"

Are the other sites only decorative satellites?

In a previous interview Yahoo Personals General Manager, Lorna Borenstein said:
"...just as we say at the site, we’re deeply focused on helping people have better first dates and more second dates."

She said at the SITE! Which one?

"Yahoo! Personals Current International Sites
Americas: US - Brazil - Canada
Europe: UK & Ireland - France - Germany
Asia Pacific: Australia & New Zealand - China - Hong Kong - Taiwan"

She forget to mention that the Premier is ONLY for US.
The Yahoo! Personals Premier Relationship Test
Personality & Love Style Test
are in English for the United States and WORKS for that market only.

How big is the ONLINE DATING MARKET? United States/Canada USD600million (English), then Europe USD600million? (different languages), Asia USD500Million? (mostly Chinese and Japanese), Australia and New Zealand USD150million?(English) and LatinAmerica USD100million?(Spanish)

A global market as big as USD1950million???

It seems there is a common thinking-way between Ms. Lorna Borenstein and Mr. James Safka.
They are only worried/focused at the United States market!!!

600/1950 == 31% of the global market.


Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]

Sam Moorcroft,


The reality is that the US market is THE market which pays and pays big. Other 1st World countries like Canada, the UK, those in W. Europe, Australia, etc. also pay, although in smaller per capita rates.

3rd World countries hardly pay at all (they cannot afford it, and the consumer "spend spend spend" mentality is not present).

Consequently, it makes eminent business sense for dating sites (and other ecommerce businesses) to concentrate heavily on the US market.

We're based in Canada, but the US is our focus and makes up around 75% of our business.

The so-called "global market" (outside the 1st World) just doesn't cut it, when it comes to Internet dating.

Fernando Ardenghi

Dear Mr. Moorcroft:

As per your previous comment,

Many persons do not pay or do not pay enough because many online dating sites do not have reliability/quality/precision
many online dating sites do not have reliability/quality/precision because many persons do not want to pay or do not pay as much as at the United States.

(Please do not mistake the “United States of America” with “America, the Continent”, as Mr. James Safka seems to do)

From now up to 2008: Wouldn't be MORE interesting to DEVELOP the 1ST WORLD ONLINE DATING MARKET instead of concentrating heavily on the US market?

United States/Canada USD600million (English), then Europe USD600million? (different languages), Asia USD500Million? (mostly Chinese and Japanese), Australia and New Zealand USD150million?(English)
A 1ST WORLD global market as big as USD1850million???

United States/Canada USD600million (English)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- == 32.4%
A 1ST WORLD global market as big as USD1850million


Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]

Sam Moorcroft,


Actually, people outside N. America (defined as the US & Canada), including the other 1st World countries don't have the same consumer "spend spend spend" mentality as is present here (I should have clarified this in my previous post to include other 1st World countries, as well as the 3rd World).

I dispute your contention that "many persons do not pay or do not pay enough because many online dating sites do not have reliability/quality/precision". I would wager that the reason is that they are not as into new things as N. Americans are, and keep their wallets in their back pockets.

Certainly there is a market for singles in places like W. Europe (witness Meetic's recent IPO), but the success there will not be as great as that in N. America.

A clarification: Australia/New Zealand's population is not 150M. It is more like 20M.

As for Asia, e.g. China and Japan - they have completely different cultures from N. America or Europe (as well as from each other). Western style dating is not widespread there. So, any dating sites there will have to figure out how to best serve their needs as their respective cultures define it. Otherwise, they will only be reaching those who are into Western ways.

Fernando Ardenghi

Dear Mr. Moorcroft:

When I write USD means United States Dollars. Of course, I added different portions of the global market in the SAME currency.
When I wrote Australia and New Zealand USD150million? (English) means:
Would the Australia and New Zealand Online Dating Market be as big as USD 150 million? (i.e. 500,000 persons paying USD300 per year, new & renewal subscribers)

The population of Australia and New Zealand are nearly 24,000,000 persons

About the United States market:
Many analysts had said this market entered into saturation. Perhaps it is true as many online dating sites cannot increase conversion rate nor retention time.

According to Census 2000 figures, there are nearly 89.3 million persons singles at the US. If you add net paying subscribers of all U.S. dating sites, perhaps the total is less that 10 million.
There are at least 79.3 million persons waiting for quality at affordable cost. (Perhaps USD 300 first year membership. Note that Offline Chains charges USD1,500 minimum)

Also interesting to read this PPT presentation about how the "U.S. market opportunity remains enormous" said former CEO Tim Sullivan on November 2003. (page 6) at
(Select Personals)

You said "spend, spend, spend mentality".
I think it should be better to promote "invest, invest and invest time and effort building a new personal/romantic relationship with future in mind"
to DEVELOP the 1ST WORLD ONLINE DATING MARKET instead of concentrating heavily on the US market.

About Chinese Dating Market:
Different from other countries, where women population are nearly 1.15 times the men population (there is always more women than men) Chinese Population will be severe unbalanced until next / for to 20 years. (until 2025) There will be nearly 40 million men more than women!!!!


Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]


There are at least 79.3 million persons waiting for quality at affordable cost.


Its called Plentyoffish and its 100% free.

The 89 million singles in the USA is a totally BS number and is only good for investor pr proposes.

That 89 million includes.

1. people currently in relationships.

2. People who can't afford or don't have access to a computer.

3. 4 million single men over fifty-five and 14 million single women (

Take all that into account and you have a potential market of maybe 20 to 30 million not 89 million.

The idea of people paying $300/year on a dating site is a joke, in the future i doubt that paid dating sites will be very large, if they even exist.

In less then a year plentyoffish has gone from next to no marketshare in canada to replacing market leader lavalife. You can view their death spiral here.

Fernando Ardenghi

The MUST HAVE marketing theory: Any prospective client must have almost ONE VALID reason to buy a product or pay for a service subscription.

Applying this concept to Online Dating Industry:

Reason #1: PRECIOUS TIME more valuable than MONEY. Nothing is real free!!!
Many persons speak/write about or promote the FREE condition of a dating site; they are only CHEAP CHANNELS for deliver ADS, i.e. infomercial-advertainment companies on the web. When you post your profile to a "FREE dating site" or when you search for compatible real persons, you are spending precious time. TIME that you are paying with your LIFE. If you "quantify" the time you spent in a "FREE dating site", suppose USD5.00/hour x 45 hours (1/2 hour x 3 months) == USD 225.00, USD 75/month!!! It is worth than many SERIOUS dating site's subscription fee!!!!

A client will pay a fee to create a barrier which will avoid free users, who could hurt other clients' feelings. "If any person does not pay for the service or does not want to pay for the service, he or she is not interested in serious dating, or is not interested in investing time and effort in building a new relationship with future in mind"

FREE sites / CHEAP sites will disappear soon because most probably Legislation will kill them. Also "free users" will realize/understand that spending time and effort searching low-reliable profiles in "free or cheap dating sites" (a lot of hours contacting persons with low success rate, with low satisfaction index) is more expensive THAN paying a fee (USD300-USD800 ? per year) to a quality contacts provider!

I can smell that by 2008: Quality Norms ISO 9001:2000, Legislation, confidential treatment of information provided (profiles), privacy, code of ethics and background checks (professionalism) will be expected for SERIOUS dating sites.


Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]

Fernando Ardenghi

Dear Markus:

Most probably the Lavalife's members were saturated/tired and with less interest/energy to search in the database of that site; and most of those tired members decided to migrate fast to a new/fresh free one; like PlentyOfFish. That site received an HERITAGE, but perhaps in less than one year (NOV 2006) the actual PlentyOfFish's members could become saturated/tired and with less interest/energy to search in the database
if a new/fresh/promissory online dating site appears, they could AGAIN decide to suddenly migrate to it. !!??

Also Lavalife's traffic seems to had a suddenly oscillating drop, NOT a "death spiral" because it was not a plane nor a butterfly!!!


Fernando Ardenghi.
Buenos Aires.
[email protected]

Emil Sarnogoev, LoveCompass Personals

Fernando, I think you are wrong. Free dating sites do not mean cheapskating at all. It's just that people treat free dating sites differently. Some people expect quality dating and matchmaking services and find it ok to pay for contacting others, some people believe it's just faces that matter and try to muddle through all that free dating sites put along (ads and inevitable scam).

People don't get *tired* of dating sites, but they can get disappointed with them. Also, normally daters tend to register on several sites at once.

As for serving a dating site's mission for people, if you are able to find interesting people on a dating site with new ones coming in constantly, if you are able to get a couple of quality dates from there and if you are NOT ultimately pissed off with technical problems, *features* and scam/spam, you will stay there while you are interested in online dating at all.

And I don't think there can be some legislation to kill free dating sites, it sounds ridiculous at least.

Elke Wilkerson

I am a very happy member of My profile can be found under xxGreatCatch4Uxx

I am affiliated with a company that has greated the latest and highest technology in LIVE communication worldwide. I would very much appreciate an opportunity to talk a decision maker in the marketing department asap please. I will then share my concept with you. It is brilliant as well as powerfull and will give the cutting edge over any other dating site.

You can reach me at 248-668-1682 or my cell 248-939-1842 or of course my e-mailL [email protected]


Elke Wilkerson


i will make sure i get a good wife for my self.


All the girls that have fat boobs can send an email to me.i am a guy that like hot girls.when i mean hot girls,i mean babes that like to play games.If you want to know more about me you can email to me at
[email protected] will be expecting your messages(HOT GIRLS)

[email protected]


Even though I pointed out to that one of their members is a convicted stalker, and sent them the case number and court site where they can check the information, they have so far done nothing about it and this member is still online. Would some lawyer like to look into that?

Mark Brooks

Perhaps stalkers deserve a second chance.

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