Love Knows No Borders

Couple_parisMEDIA POST -- Feb 19 -- France has the highest proportion of Internet users visiting online personals sites. ComScore Networks recently reported that 22% of French Internet users, age 15+, visited online personals sites in December 2006, followed by the British with 20%, and the Americans with 13%. Interestingly, usage of dating sites seems to peak in the summer months in each country; July in the U.K. and U.S. and September in France.


Top Personals Sites in the U.K. (Visitors Age 15+ December 2006 Home and Work Locations)
Total Web Users in U.K. (Age 15+):  29,788,000
Personals Category Total:  5,836,000
DatingDirect - 1,427,000
LoopyLove - 960,000
GirlsDateForFree - 618,000
Match.com Sites -  510,000
Interrodate.co.uk - 452,000

Top Personals Sites in France (Visitors Age 15+ December 2006 Home and Work Locations)
Total Web Users in France (Age 15+):  24,409,000
Personals Category Total:  5,317,000
Meetic -  2,258,000
Easyrencontre -  724,000
CapFriends.fr - 369,000
2Become1-fr.com - 337,000
MSN Dating & Personals -  299,000

Top Personals Sites in the U.S. (Visitors Age 15+ December 2006 Home and Work Locations)
Total Web Users in the U.S. (Age 15+):  152,350,000
Personals Category Total:  20,555,000
Yahoo! Personals -  4,153,000
Match.com Sites** -  3,970,000
TRUE - 3,086,000
Spark Networks -  2,504,000
Singlesnet - 2,173,000

FULL ARTICLE @ CENTER FOR MEDIA RESEARCH

Comscore's Canadian Internet Dating Rankings

Comscore_3 OPW -- Sep 28 -- The Canadian internet dating rankings are now in. Both Lavalife and PlentyofFish edge out further against their competition. Canoe ReseauContact and Mate1 move one spot to #3 and #4 as Spark reduces it's traffic and relegates to the #5 spot.  NETCLUB.FR and Yahoo Personals move up one spot in a similar fashion. LoveHappens reduces it's traffic and relegates itself down from #6 to #9. Match grows a little stronger and moves up into 10th spot. 

Web Publishers Question Accuracy of Metrics Firms

MetricsMARKETING VOX -- Sep 26 -- The Interactive Advertising Bureau is pressuring the third-party metrics firms to improve the accuracy of traffic data reports. Major websites such as MSNBC.com claim the traffic data it collects varies by as much as 30% from the data reported by metric firms. Several top publishers are reporting that the gap is widening between internal traffic data and Nielsen//NetRatings and comScore Media Metrix data. These complaints are intensifying just as both firms prepare to undergo long-awaited Media Rating Council-led audits. Some favor a combination of third-party and self-reporting from sites, with which Nielsen is already experimenting. FULL ARTICLE @ MARKETING VOX

Mark Brooks: In 2003 I compared FriendFinder September 2003 uniques as reported by comScore and Nielsen//NetRatings. They were nearly an order of magnitude apart. The numbers and panel sizes have improved very significantly. Hopefully Nielsen's parity checking system will help. So, which internet dating sites will step up to the mark and share their internal numbers first? It would be great to report more accurate industry numbers. Fyi, I list Nielsen//Netratings, comScore Mediamatrix and Hitwise online personals site rankings in the left bar each month (by special courtesy).

August Comscore Rankings

Comscore_2OPW -- Sep 20 -- The Comscore rankings for August are in. TRUE maintains it's 3rd place ranking, but is close to overtaking Match. eHarmony and Zencon move up one spot to #6 and #7, bumping Singlesnet to #8.  PerfectMatch jostles up one spot to #9. This weeks big mover is PlentyofFish which enters the top 15 at #12. - Mark Brooks

Comscore's Canadian Internet Dating Rankings

ComscoreOPW -- Sep 6 -- The July Comscore rankings for internet dating sites is in. Lavalife and PlentyofFish hold on to their #1 and #2 spots, while Spark Networks, Tickle's LoveHappens and TRUE each bounce up two places to #3, #5 and #9. Yahoo Personals moves up one spot to #8 and Match moves down one spot to #11. - Mark Brooks

SkaDate Dating Software

Skadate_1PR WEB -- Aug 25 -- SkaDate SuccessPoint includes all of our 5 years of experience in the dating software business. Our specialists took special care to improve usability for site members and moderators alike. All of this is packed into the robustness of a new platform which is insured by our 30 days money back guarantee. Live demo can be found at SkaDate dating site software demo

Mark Brooks: You can judge a company by the condition it keeps its toilets. Also, by the level of English in its press releases. Emil, please, please, get a native English speaker to review your press releases.  They do not do your company justice, or perhaps they do?  You can find someone on Elance. Shark Dating had a similar release back in May which I felt compelled to critique.  And it goes on...

SkaDate SuccessPoint has shown that with the usual features of a dating web site there's plenty of room to improve the things millions of people have to deal with every day.  Also, there are new features like profile tags, multimedia upload, friends networking and video chat which are more popular in the social networking industry but also get more and more recognition on dating sites. Unlike in other products, it is unbelievable how many things can be done through the administration panel without resorting to software code modification. SkaDate Managed Solution is what makes the difference for the small business entities. FULL ARTICLE @ PR WEB

MySpace.com Surpasses 50 Million U.S. Visitors in May

Myspace_19PR NEWSWIRE -- June 15 -- The social networking phenomenon continued its stratospheric ascent.  MySpace.com reached 50 million visitors in May and YouTube.com nearly doubled its traffic from April, reaching 12.6 million visitors. "The popularity of social networking is not expected to wane in the near future," said Peter Daboll, president and CEO of comScore Media Metrix. "This is a phenomenon we're seeing not only in the U.S., but also around the world. The challenge for social networking sites will now be monetization and how advertisers will respond to the global marketing potential of these sites." FULL ARTICLE @ SYS-CON

Online Dating Grows 30% Within Three Months

Datingdirect_5NET IMPERATIVE -- Apr 4 -- Online dating has grown by more than 30% since December 2005 with ~ten million users seeking partners online during February 2006 - ComScore, The UK online dating market grew 30% to 9,495,000 uniques in February compared with December. DatingDirect.com was the most visited sites with one million uniques accounting for 11% of the UK industry total. Yahoo! Personals was second, followed by Loopylove.com and Match.comFULL ARTICLE @ NET IMPERATIVE

Mark Brooks: Hitwise graciosuly provide OPW the monthly UK rankings.  See left bar.  You can get to OPW more easily using opw1.com btw. 

DatingDirect.com Enjoys 10,000 Valentine's Day Membership Boost

Datingdirect_4REVOLUTION MAGAZINE -- Mar 31 -- Online dating agency DatingDirect.com notched up 10,000 new members on Valentine's Day alone after recent promotional efforts, according to latest figures. Internet research and analysis firm ComScore Europe figures show that DatingDirect.com also performed well throughout February, a key month for the dating agency sector, signing up 150,000 new members during the month including the Valentine's Day surge. The latest figures rank DatingDirect.com as the most visited online dating site, with 1m unique users a month, accounting for 11% of the sector. A surge in interest for the sector as a whole increased 30% in unique users from 7,254,000 in December to 9,495,000 in February. Meanwhile, DatingDirect.com has announced details of a £1m link-up with Chrysalis Radio to sponsor the evening show across its Heart network. If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum.  FULL ARTICLE @ REVOLUTION MAGAZINE

Facebook's on the Block

The_face_book_4BUSINESS WEEK -- Mar 28 -- Owners of the privately held social-networking site hope to fetch as much as $2 billion. And media giants like Viacom may make a good match. They have turned down a $750 million offer.  www.facebook.com has become the seventh-most heavily trafficked site on the Internet, according to comScore Media Metrix. It racked up 5.5 billion page views in February.  MySpace had 37.3 million unique and logged 23.5 billion page views, making it the second-most trafficked site after Yahoo, which had 30 billion.  MSN had 18 billion.  Sites like MySpace, Facebook, and the video-oriented YouTube, are a primary form of communication for younger people who can spend an hour or more a day at such sites.  FULL ARTICLE @ BUSINESS WEEK

Comscore, Nielsen//Netratings Rankings and new UK Hitwise Rankings for

Hitwise is now also providing UK top 5 online personals rankings to Online
Personals Watch
in addition to USA rankings. 

Comscore Mediametrix: Spark Networks roll up moved up one spot to take 3rd place from Perfect Match which moves down to 7th place.  TRUE moves up from 6th spot to 4th.  Date.com moves up 4 places from 14th to 10th spot. SinglesNet enters the rankings at 13th place.   

Nielsen//Netratings: Yahoo takes #1 spot from Match, Tagworld falls from the chart, eCrush moves from 12th to 8th spot, Netscape Love & Personals enters the charts at 9th place.  Thirty Plus Singles enters the chart at 13th spot.

*Why is Nielsen providing only the top 14 this month?  Here's the official word... 
Our audience measurement service is based on a set of panelists recruited through random digit dial. Based on this projected US online population, we are able to estimate how many people are visiting each of these sites. However, we do maintain a reporting cutoff to ensure that our data is as accurate as possible. If we do not have enough panelists visiting a site, the site runs the risk of increased statistical variability. Therefore, this is the reason why our service is only reporting 14 top personals sites for the month of February 2006.

Social Networks as a Marketing Channel?

Myspace_13EMARKETER -- Mar 8 -- comScore Networks recently highlighted the growth of social networking sites. MySpace.com and Facebook.com remain the leaders among those in the 18-24 age group and attract five million unique visitors a month. Facebook.com uniques increased 14% in December 2005. MySpace.com saw a 34% increase. Social networking sites are characterized by the ad hoc nature of consumers posting text, photos and videos that advertisers and marketers have no control over. Flickr readers can create their own pages with their own stories, for which they collect 90% of associated ad revenues. Eurekster also.  For more on social networking, read eMarketer's recent reports: College Students Online: Social Networks and the Net Generation and Online DatingFULL ARTICLE @ EMARKETER

Online Daters Report Positive Connections

ComscoremediametrixUSA TODAY -- Mar 5 -- An estimated 16 million Americans have used a dating site or other site to meet people, the Pew Research Center reports; 45% of these have never been married. 79% say online dating is a "good way to meet people", 52% say the experience was mostly positive, 29% say it was mostly negative. 24.6 million people visited personals sites in January, comScore Media Metrix says.  FULL ARTICLE @ USA TODAY

Mark Brooks: I've heard it said, there are two kinds of internet daters. Those who met someone and are happy and those that didn't, and are unhappy. Online dating takes a significant investment of time and energy.  Sites such as eHarmony, TRUE, Chemistry and others are popular because they promise more compatible matches...and the promise of saving time. 

Yahoo's Challenge

Yahoocom_3INFORMATION WEEK -- Feb -- Yahoo's chief data officer Fayyad knows if you're about to buy a new car. "When you're on the Yahoo network you're telling a lot more about yourself and your intent...I can turn that into a very powerful ad-matching machine...in many cases, much more powerful than search." Yahoo; $5.26 billion in revenue last year, 47% more than 2004.  Google; $6.1 billion in 2005, a 92% increase. Between November 2004 and November 2005, Yahoo went from handling 32% of Internet searches to 29.5%, according to comScore Media Metrix. Google's market capitalization stood at $106 billion earlier this month, more than double Yahoo's market cap of roughly $46 billion.   Yahoo is more diversified than Google, with 12% of its revenue coming from user fees.  Yahoo has more unique users and they spend 10 times as much time on Yahoo. "If I get 10% more usage from the average consumer, I have suddenly created 10% more inventory for my ads," Fayyad says. Yahoo accomplished something like that last year when it made an effort to improve user retention with Yahoo Mail.  FULL ARTICLE @ OPTIMIZE MAGAZINE

Mark Brooks: Yahoo Personals, complete with premier profiling, is a goldmine for contextual advertising.

U.S. Consumer Spending for Online Content Totals $987 Million in First Half

BUSINESS WIRE -- Oct 31 -- The Online Publishers Association (OPA) today released its Paid Content U.S. Market Spending Report covering Q1 and Q2 of 2005, conducted by comScore Networks.  Consumer spending for online content in the U.S. grew to $987 million in the first half of 2005, an increase of 15.7% over the same period last year. Spurred by growth in online music sales, Entertainment/Lifestyles overtook Personals/Dating to become the leading paid content category, with consumers spending $264.8 million on the category in the first half of 2005. Personals/Dating grew to $245.2 million in the first half of 2005, while Business/Investment content remained in third place with spending at $159.1 million. comScore Networks calculated the results of the study by monitoring its representative panel of more than 1.5 million U.S. online consumers - Full ReportRELEASE @ BUSINESS WIRE

TheDateZone.com Brings Interactive Dating to Mobile Phones

Thedatezone_1BUSINESS WIRE -- Aug 1 -- SmartVideo Technologies today announced that it has entered into a revenue sharing agreement with TheDateZone.com to bring the world of interactive online dating to mobile devices. TheDateZone.com is a Web based dating service that gives men and women the ability to meet and communicate with each other in a safe, controlled environment. Unique to TheDateZone.com is its ability for subscribers to audio and video conference not only from Internet to Internet but from phone to phone and from Internet to phone to anyone, anywhere in the world! ComScore revealed that personals Websites attract 30 million visitors a month in the U.S. alone. Jupiter Research predicts that online dating is expected to grow by 60% by 2008. RELEASE @ YAHOO

Mark Brooks: Mark Thompson, CEO of weAttract.com, said, "jump ahead 10 years, and it will all be video-based."  Webdate.com has the nicest implementation of live video chat in the industry and are coining the term 'webdating' for online video dating.

Virtual Matchmaking; Online Dating Goes Mainstream

MadcitymatchCAPITAL TIMES --July 28 -- Madison entrepreneur Dan Chin launched Madcitymatch.com to provide a local option to the various national services. According to the Pew Internet and American Life Project, 9% of those online use dating services. A report out this spring by comScore Networks cited online personals and dating as the fastest growing category of paid Web content, growing 4.4% to $469.5 million from 2003 to 2004.  Chin began Madcitymatch.com after piloting a site aimed at University of Wisconsin-Madison students, Badgermatch.com. Madcitymatch.com has attracted 550 members so far.  He'll add speed dating to Madcitymatch.com's service and is also thinking about background checks. FULL ARTICLE @CAPITAL TIMES

Mark Brooks: Cupid.com is taking the regional approach also.

Online Dating Sites Break Into the Mainstream

KNIGHT RIDDER NEWSPAPERS -- July 25 -- George, 35, and Erika, 29, provide a pleasant contrast to the ABC show "Hooking Up" (9 p.m. Thursdays) where singles juggle, mislead, evade and dump potential mates they meet online.  A few years ago, George and Erika's relationship might never have happened but internet dating has gone mainstream.  eHarmony knows of at least 12,000 couples married after meeting on its site.  Match.com estimates it has helped hundreds of thousands of singles meet. It receives 200 e-mails or letters each month from couples telling about their engagements or marriages. Both eharmony and Match.com say the prime audience tends to be people in their 30s who have moved beyond their college social network and are still looking for a mate. More than 26 million people, or 16% of U.S. Internet users, visited an online dating site in June, according to comScore. U.S. consumers spent $470 million last year on Internet personals, making it the largest category of paid online content. FULL ARTICLE @ FORT WAYNE

Mark Brooks: In the 90's people said, 'ugh, you're using internet dating. People are now saying, 'I use internet dating and it's OK.'  In the future people will say, 'you're not using internet dating...are you insane!' Everyone will be using internet dating...but it still has a long way to go. Personality profiling, mobile phone based dating, referral/social networking based services, services that bridge the communications gap between email/IM and that first coffee date.  This is the future.

Meetic and AOL Collaberation

Meetic_european_online_datingPRWEB -- June 5 -- AOL and meetic, Europe’s leading singles forum, have joined forces to help lonely hearts on their quest for a soul mate. On June 1, 2005, as part of a long-term strategic collaboration, a personals/matchmaking channel will be launched on AOL.  RELEASE @ YAHOO

Mark Brooks: Match also claims to be largest Euro dating site.  Depends on whose numbers you look at.  Nielsen numbers favors Meetic.  Comscore numbers favor Match.  While I was at FriendFinder I looked at both sets of numbers for FriendFinder.  They were waaaaay different.  Alarmingly so.  At the end of 2003 Comscore was pulling from a 110,000 strong panel whereas Nielsen Netratings was pulling from 55,000.  I bet on Comscore at the time.  Hitwise pulls from a panel of millions (via ISP's) but they don't give extrapolated 'uniques' numbers, just rankings.

16% of Surfers Visit Dating Sites

SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL -- Feb 10 -- From January to June 2004, Web surfers spent $235.3 million on online personals, according to the Online Publishers Association and comScore Networks. That figure is about 10% more than the $214.3 million spent in the first half of 2003. Just think, in the first half of 2001, people spent only $22.6 million on Web Personals. Of America's 161 million Internet users, 16% visited a personals site in December 2004. Top 5 Web dating sites, ranked by Comscore Mediametrix by number of unique visitors in December 2004: 1. Yahoo Personals, 5.7 million, 2. Match.com sites, 4.4 million, 3. MatchNet, 3.89 million, 4. Eharmony.com, 1.9 million, 5. True.com, 1.5 million FULL ARTICLE @ SUN-SENTINEL

Mark Brooks: From $50 million to $500 million in 4 years!

Nielsen/NetRatings Figures Reveal Meetic is Leader of European Online Dating

PR WEB - Jan 8 -- According to the latest data compiled by Nielsen NetRatings* (November 2004) for Western Europe, the online dating website Meetic is #1 in Europe. PR WEB

Mark Brooks: I compared Nielsen numbers and Comscore Mediametrix numbers for FriendFinder in September 2003 and was blown away by the difference. Nielsen used a 55,000 USA user sample, Comscore a 110,000 sample set. Hitwise draws it's numbers from millions of ISP users. Of course, if you don't want to spend a few grand you can always use Alexa's rough numbers.

Silicon Valley VC Firms Invest $110 Million in eHarmony

SAP INFO & MERCURY NEWS -- Dec 22 -- Matchmaking Internet site eHarmony has landed a $110 million investment from two Silicon Valley venture capital firms, Sequoia Capital and Technology Crossover Ventures, scoring one of the biggest funding deals of the year. Analysts said the total market for Internet personals is estimated to be about $450 million a year, making it the largest category of paid online content. But growth rates are slowing. Spending for online personals grew at 4% in Q2 of 2004, compared with 60% in Q2 2003 and 376% in Q2 2002, according to the Online Publishers Association and ComScore Networks. EHarmony said it has almost 5.8 million registered users and is profitable. Its sales in November were up 264% from the same month a year ago. Analysts said eHarmony would likely use a big chunk of its funding to continue its advertising blitz, including regular spots on radio and television. "These guys are spending every penny they can to brand themselves,'' said Nate Elliott, an analyst from Jupiter Research. "It's helped them go from nowhere to near the top of the pile in a short amount of time.'' SAP INFO & SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS

Mark Brooks: This helps validate eHarmonys approach. The future is in helping people find great matches.  "Who to marry," is the most important decision we make in our lifetimes.  Most people get it wrong.  We need help! True and PerfectMatch are the other top online dating companies branding on personality profiling.

3rd Internet Dating Conference to be Held Jan 19-20 in Miami

NEW YORK -- Ticonderoga Ventures, Inc. announces the third Internet Dating Conference, to be held on January 19-20, 2005 in Miami at the Wyndham Miami Beach Resort. Internet personals, which includes both online dating and social networking, continues to be one of the fastest growing online businesses.  The 3rd Conference and expo will focus on management, technology and marketing for the industry. Speakers at this event include executives from: Love.com, America Online, Cupid.com, Friendfinder, MingleMatch, True.com, Weblogs Inc, Userplane, Trilibis, Keynote, Market Data Enterprises, ComScore, Hitwise, Relationship Exchange, DatingRev, Spring Street Networks, One Real World, Online Personals Watch, Look Better Online, Did-It.com, SoHo Digital, Trufina and RevShare. YAHOO FINANCE

Mark Brooks: I'll be presenting on the most notable OnlinePersonalsWatch listed news in 2004.  See you there.

October 2004 Comscore Rankings

Reuters -- In October, eHarmony had 3.2 million uniques and was the fifth most-visited online dating site behind such providers as Yahoo Personals, which had 6.2 million uniques, and the Match.com, which had almost 5.5 million uniques, according to comScore Media Metrix.  YAHOO NEWS