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Online Dating - UK - April 2019

Covered in this report

The report covers the online dating industry, including websites and apps. However, it does not focus on ‘adult’ sites (such as adultfriendfinder.com), which promote themselves as helping people meet for sex and often have explicit sexual imagery.

“Many apps are moving away from the gamified swiping feature that drove Tinder’s popularity and helped bring online dating into the mainstream. Instead, focus is returning to helping make meaningful personality-based connections, with the aid of increasingly sophisticated artificial intelligence”.

– Rebecca McGrath, Senior Media Analyst

This report examines the following issues:

  • Increasingly sophisticated AI opens door for better matches and personalised advice
  • Dating services should focus on regulating current interactions before adding video

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Products covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Match completes full acquisition of Hinge
              • Bumble and Match butt heads ahead of potential IPO
                • Dating apps come under fire over child protection
                  • Launch activity and innovation
                    • Facebook launches dating service
                      • Grindr launches initiative to challenge discrimination
                        • Manchester City partners with Tinder
                          • The consumer
                            • One in 10 used a free dating website/app in the last 12 months
                              • Figure 1: Use of free dating websites/apps, February 2019
                              • Figure 2: Use of paid dating websites/apps, February 2019
                            • Many are using multiple online dating sites/apps
                              • Figure 3: Number of free dating websites/apps used in the last 12 months, February 2019
                              • Figure 4: Number of paid dating websites/apps used in last 12 months, February 2019
                            • More than a third of online daters have never met someone
                              • Figure 5: Met new partners or dates via free dating websites/apps, February 2019
                              • Figure 6: Met new partners or dates via paid dating websites/apps, February 2019
                            • Preference for meeting in person biggest roadblock for online dating
                              • Figure 7: Reasons for not using dating websites/apps, February 2019
                            • Most are looking for long-term relationships
                              • Figure 8: Length of relationships looking for on dating websites/apps, February 2019
                            • Dating websites/apps need to be responsive to evolving views on gender identity
                              • Figure 9: Gender looking for on dating websites/apps, February 2019
                            • Family/friend recommendations are the most important factor encouraging dating site selection
                              • Figure 10: Reasons for choosing dating websites/apps, February 2019
                            • Stricter banning policies is main desire from users
                              • Figure 11: Features interested in dating websites/apps offering, rankings, February 2019
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                              • Increasingly sophisticated AI opens door for better matches and personalised advice
                                • The facts
                                  • The implications
                                    • Dating services should focus on regulating current interactions before adding video
                                      • The facts
                                        • The implications
                                        • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                          • Match completes full acquisition of Hinge
                                            • Bumble and Match butt heads ahead of potential IPO
                                              • Dating apps come under fire over child protection
                                                • App stores put pressure on dating services over suggestive imagery
                                                  • White Label Dating offers new revenue deal to attract partners
                                                    • More collaborative efforts made to protect online daters
                                                    • Market Drivers

                                                      • Match completes full acquisition of Hinge
                                                        • Bumble and Match butt heads ahead of potential IPO
                                                          • Are online daters moving on from gamified swiping?
                                                            • New app Crown leans into gamification
                                                              • Dating apps come under fire over child protection
                                                                • App stores put pressure on dating services over suggestive imagery
                                                                  • Ashley Madison’s survival shows the brand strength of a valued online dating service
                                                                    • White Label Dating offers new revenue deal to attract partners
                                                                      • More collaborative efforts made to protect online daters
                                                                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                                                                        • Facebook launches dating service
                                                                          • Tinder changes ranking algorithm
                                                                            • Grindr launches initiative to challenge discrimination
                                                                              • Manchester City partners with Tinder
                                                                                • Bumble lets users pay to boost their profile
                                                                                • Launch Activity and Innovation

                                                                                  • Facebook launches dating service
                                                                                    • Tinder changes ranking algorithm
                                                                                      • Grindr launches initiative to challenge racism
                                                                                        • Manchester City partners with Tinder as more brands look to utilise advertising potential of online dating
                                                                                          • Bumble lets users pay to boost their profile
                                                                                          • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                            • One in 10 used a free dating website/app in the last 12 months
                                                                                              • Many are using multiple online dating sites/apps
                                                                                                • Preference for meeting in person biggest roadblock for online dating
                                                                                                  • Most are looking for long-term relationships
                                                                                                    • Family/friend recommendations are the most important factor encouraging dating site selection
                                                                                                      • Stricter banning policies is main desire from users
                                                                                                      • Use of Dating Website/apps

                                                                                                        • One in ten used a free dating website/app in the last 12 months
                                                                                                          • Figure 12: Use of free dating websites/apps, February 2019
                                                                                                          • Figure 13: Use of paid dating websites/apps, February 2019
                                                                                                          • Figure 14: Use of dating websites/apps (NET), February 2019
                                                                                                        • Facebook has potential to boost number of online daters …
                                                                                                          • … but it has to overcome its negative perceptions
                                                                                                            • Encouraging more people to pay
                                                                                                            • Number of Dating Websites/Apps Use

                                                                                                              • Many are using multiple online dating sites/apps
                                                                                                                • Figure 15: Number of free dating websites/apps used in the last 12 months, February 2019
                                                                                                                • Figure 16: Number of paid dating websites/apps used in last 12 months, February 2019
                                                                                                              • More than a third of online daters have never met someone
                                                                                                                • Figure 17: Met new partners or dates via free dating websites/apps, February 2019
                                                                                                                • Figure 18: Met new partners or dates via paid dating websites/apps, February 2019
                                                                                                            • Reasons for Not Using Dating Websites/Apps

                                                                                                              • One in 10 not using online dating despite wanting to find a partner
                                                                                                                • Figure 19: Interest in meeting new dates/partners, February 2019
                                                                                                              • Preference for meeting in person biggest roadblock for online dating
                                                                                                                • Events help cater towards those who want to meet in person
                                                                                                                  • Figure 20: Reasons for not using dating websites/apps, February 2019
                                                                                                                • Fears of negative experiences are holding a lot of people back
                                                                                                                  • Social media fulfilling the role of dating sites
                                                                                                                  • Type of Relationships Sought on Dating Websites/Apps

                                                                                                                    • Most are looking for long-term relationships
                                                                                                                      • Tinder embraces its ‘hook-up’ role and more specifically targets students
                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: Length of relationships looking for on dating websites/apps, February 2019
                                                                                                                        • Figure 22: Length of relationships looking for on dating websites/apps, by gender, February 2019
                                                                                                                      • Dating websites/apps need to be responsive to evolving views on gender identity
                                                                                                                          • Figure 23: Gender looking for on dating websites/apps, February 2019
                                                                                                                          • Figure 24: Gender looking for on dating websites/apps, by gender, February 2019
                                                                                                                      • Reasons for Choosing Dating Websites/Apps

                                                                                                                        • Family/friend recommendations are the most important factor encouraging dating site selection
                                                                                                                          • Figure 25: Reasons for choosing dating websites/apps, February 2019
                                                                                                                          • Figure 26: Reasons for choosing dating websites/apps, by gender, February 2019
                                                                                                                          • Figure 27: Reasons for choosing dating websites/apps, by age, February 2019
                                                                                                                        • Use of demographic data to make matches is a delicate balance for dating services
                                                                                                                          • One in five chose an interest-based dating service
                                                                                                                          • Dating Website/App Features

                                                                                                                            • Stricter banning policies is main desire from users
                                                                                                                              • Figure 28: Features interested in dating websites/apps offering, February 2019
                                                                                                                            • Better personality-based matches are the main priority for one in five
                                                                                                                              • Voice-operated AI could be used as match-maker
                                                                                                                                • Sites/apps should be careful about being able to buy more prominence
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 29: Features interested in dating websites/apps offering, rankings, February 2019
                                                                                                                                • Video features are not a silver bullet
                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations, and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                      • Consumer research methodology

                                                                                                                                      Online Dating - UK - April 2019

                                                                                                                                      £1,995.00 (Excl.Tax)