The U.S. online dating market continues to grow, but faces a stagnation in the number of users paying for access, according to a study by JupiterResearch. Meanwhile, European online dating sites are attracting new users and will double revenues from 243 million euros in 2006 to 549 million euros in 2011, according to the JupiterResearch online dating market forecast.
"Over the last several years we’ve seen a steady drop in the percentage of US online users who report browsing online dating sites," said Nate Elliott, Senior Analyst at JupiterResearch and lead author of the report. "Although US dating sites are converting browsers into payers better than ever before, they’ll have to offer additional paid services to existing customers, and tap into new user segments, to reignite significant market growth."
In contrast to the US dating market, European consumer usage of online dating sites has shown consistent growth since 2003. The number of European users who report using online dating sites has grown from four percent in 2005 to six percent in 2006.
"The European online dating market is experiencing real growth right now. The industry will increase from 2.8 million paid users in 2006 to 6.0 million in 2011," said Nate Elliott. "As a result, consumer spending on online personals in Europe will more than double as well."
While revenues are growing in both the US and Europe, the less-mature European market is growing relatively more quickly. In 2003, Europeans spent less than one-quarter as much as US users on online dating sites. In 2006 they spent approximately one half as much, and in 2011 they will spend more than three-quarters as much. However, by 2011 the European market will have largely matured, growing by just nine percent compared to the US market’s six percent growth.