Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Matrimony and dating sites with attitude

The NY Times reports on the market for online dating and marriage sites that have ideas about who should be matched with whom: Better Loving Through Chemistry.

"Now, a handful of dating Web sites are competing to impose some science, or at least some structure, on the quest for love by using different kinds of tests to winnow the selection process. In short, each of these sites is aiming to be the Netflix of love.
Instead of using a proprietary algorithm to recommend movies you might enjoy, based on your past choices, however, these dating sites offer you a list of romantic candidates whose selection is based on proprietary analyses of personality characteristics or biological markers.

Consider ScientificMatch.com, founded about two years ago, which aims to create romantic chemistry via genetic testing. The site, which matches people based on certain genetic markers for the immune system, takes its cue from studies showing that women are more attracted to the smell of men who have very different immune systems from their own. The site charges $1,995.95 for a lifetime membership — the lofty fee includes a cheek swabbing kit, DNA processing, a criminal and bankruptcy background check, as well as verification of age and marital status, the site says.
Then there’s Chemistry.com, started in 2006 by the dating giant Match.com. Helen Fisher, the biological anthropologist who developed Chemistry.com’s questionnaire, says the site is designed to predict compatibility based on traits of temperament like adventurousness, decisiveness or empathy. And it charges a premium for its services: about $50 for a one-month membership, compared with about $35 for Match.com.
But both ScientificMatch.com and Chemistry.com are refinements of an idea originally developed by eHarmony.com. "

..."Online dating is a $976 million annual industry in the United States, according to estimates from Marketdata Enterprises, a research firm. So, to stand out among hundreds of mass-market, open-community sites that attract everyone from people trolling for quick hookups to those headed for holy matrimony, a few services offer more elaborate mate-finding methods.
They build brand identity when they “target people who are looking for relationships rather than just dating,” says John LaRosa, the research director at Marketdata Enterprises. That means matchmaking sites with fewer users can charge more per subscriber than larger sites that list online personals.
Match.com, with an estimated 1.2 million paid subscribers, had revenue of about $365 million in 2008, Mr. LaRosa estimates. EHarmony, meanwhile, with about 656,000 paid members, had estimated revenue of $216 million that year, he says. "

2 comments:

Dating said...

Useful & interesting post, thank you!

Gia said...

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