“The book of love is long and boring; no one can lift the damn thing. It’s full of charts and facts and figures and instructions for dancing.” – The Book of Love by Magnetic Fields
I’m not the most romantic of guys much to my wife’s chagrin, so I thought I’d put a romantic quote of sorts at the beginning of this post. A fantastic love song, beautifully written without being too slushy, but best sung by Peter Gabriel.
The people in the Dating Industry who throw out the sound bites about being in the “Love Business” do amuse me though. I suppose indirectly we are, we provide a platform for people to connect and develop whatever kind of relationship they are looking for.
More importantly we provide a platform that allows many people to make a very good living and some others to supplement their main income with a nice predictable revenue stream.
I’m often asked “has the market reached saturation point”. Intuitively when you look at the number of dating sites particularly in the UK or the US the rational answer would be yes. However dating sites and in particular adult dating sites, seem to have a never ending appeal to huge sections of the population. This appeal can probably only be compared to peoples constant need for a new mobile phone. Even though we all have one or two perfectly good ones that still function very well, we can’t help but want a new one.
I’m in the middle of setting up a co operation agreement with one of the major Casual dating brands in Europe and we were comparing our monthly new registrations in Italy. On our Adult Dating sites we had 65,000 new registrations in Italy last month, our co operation partner in the region of 35,000. We of course are not the only two companies in this market; there is Easy Flirt who is at least as big as we are as well as the usual suspects Adult Friend Finder, Sex Search etal. Add that all together and we probably come to a number of somewhere in the region of 250,000 (potentially more definitely not less) new registrations on Adult Dating sites in Italy per month. There are about 36 million internet users in Italy and if we assume that half are men approximately 1.5% of them sign up to an adult dating site every month that’s about 18% a year. More importantly there is no end to it; it’s been going on for years, so there are people registering again and again.
I, at this point would like to take the opportunity to apologise on behalf of my gender. In spite of 2,000 years of civilization the vast majority still go back to their basic caveman instincts when confronted with the potential to get their hands, in real time or virtually on a naked woman, particularly one who is potentially willing and doesn’t want to have a relationship with you, doesn’t expect you to stay awake and talk and cuddle with her after sex.
This basic instinct is what continues to drive the Adult dating sites and also many of the paying members on the romantic dating sites. This instinct is much more demanding than the drive to continually upgrade your mobile phone and it has survived all of society’s attempts to repress it. So ultimately the answer to the question is the market saturated is yes, much as the mobile phone market is saturated; however the demand for renewal s and sign ups by the same people is endless. What they need is a constant stream of new sites and experiences to feed that good old caveman instinct. That of course requires a constant stream of new and interesting sites and niches to explore.
This is where the Dating Factory model fits into the picture, as people will and are tiring of Match or Meetic in the romantic dating market and they are tiring of Adult Friend Finder in the Adult market they are now really starting to explore and search for the more niche experience. People will always sign up for dating and hook-up sites, all they need, just like the mobile phone users is a new shiny one to sign up to.