The Dog Eat Dog World of Online Dating

July 30, 2014
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“You go on a dating service and end up paying $50 a month to talk to somebody no one else wants!”

Consider this: At least 96 million people in the U.S. have no spouse. 43 percent of all Americans over the age of 18 are single, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Just so it’s clearly defined, ’single’ means an adult who has either never been married or is divorced or widowed. 61 percent of these singles have never been wed, 24 percent are divorced and 15 percent are widowed. Thus there are at least 31 million people living alone, making up 27 percent of all households, up from 17 percent in 1970. 46 percent of all households nationwide are maintained by a single person. That’s 52 million singles. Nothing clarifies and parallels this better than the boom in gags at comedy clubs. So I thought I’d do some juxtaposing.

“I saw this one girl on who was so large that she had to post two profiles.”

Now, parallel those statistics from the census with the slightly more abstracted notion that Americans are busier than ever. Time is tight and leisure becomes more and more of a precious commodity. Consequently, with up to 52 million singles out there, the smell of Benjamins is strong. You may not have heard of IAC/InterActiveCorp, but, one thing is for sure, they are determined to be the rulers of the digital dating market.

The Dog Eat Dog World of Online Dating

IAC controls more than 150 media brands and associated products. Its leading light is the Match Group, companies formed or co-opted with a focus on matchmaking online. Still not heard of them? How about these brands:, OkCupid, and the gossipy mobile app Tinder?  Now we’re talking.

“Don’t wear your glasses on a computer date. You’ll look better, and he will too!”

Well, as of Tuesday, July 15, 2014 the IAC monopoly has grown even larger.  Match Group has now acquired a Brooklyn-based start-up, How About We. Representatives for both companies happily confirmed the deal although they refused to disclose the price, which was thought to be around $38 million according to a report in

“I saw this one girl on who was so large that she had to post two profiles!”

Not bad at all for a company founded in 2010 by two former Boston public school substitute teachers, Aaron Schildkrout and Brian Schechter, HowAboutWe is the host for a number of niche online romance sites.  Very successful in the densely populated New Haven-Boston-Providence corridor, HowAboutWe Dating is a matchmaking service for singles, and HowAboutWe Couples, a date-suggestion service. Attractive to consumers because its services are free, How About We also offer a subscription-based upgraded service starting at $8 a month which checks out dating applicants more thoroughly.

They say, ‘I want a guy who judges me for what’s inside” and then, later, “must be at least 5’10”!”

“Having added yet another service to IAC’s huge dating site stable. Match Group expects to double up on the $205 million it earned in dating revenues over just the first quarter of 2014. HowAboutWe, which had previously raised around $23 million from investors like RRE Ventures, Founder Collective and Khosla Ventures, according to, may have gone too far out on a limb when it purchased A women’s magazine and a small distribution publisher of books focusing on sexual matters with a small niche following, is in need of a massive cash transfusion if it is to survive in the shrinking old-fashioned publishing market and make the necessary expensive adjustments to a younger online market.

Women say stuff like, “I want a guy who’s close to his family.” So why get mad if you live with your mom.”

Facing ruthless competition with IAC’s five separate dating properties, Schildkrout and Schechter seem to have made themselves an excellent deal, allowing most of their current staff to keep their jobs and keep their own head office in Boston.

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