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An Army of Swipers: Dating in the Modern Age

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Widespread cultural shifts from generation to generation are nothing new.

The digital era has helped fuel a surge in mobile and online dating among younger, tech-savvy generations. In fact, almost half of Americans today between the ages of 18 and 29 years old report having used a dating site or app to find a partner.

online dating demographics

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For the millions of people around the world diving into the world of digital dating, there are dozens of online dating platforms to choose from. Increasingly though, many of these brands are controlled by a single company.

A Match Made In Heaven

Forget traditional face-to-face interactions—online dating has emerged as the most popular way couples are meeting today. Though the volume of users is increasingly large, the number of companies in the space continues to narrow.

The largest in this space, Match Group, has gone all-in on online dating, acquiring some 20 companies throughout its brief history. As a result, Match Group now has an impressive 45 dating services in its growing roster.

match group timeline

Taking a familiar page out of the Big Tech playbook, Match Group’s big bet has so far paid off.

They’ve managed to execute on an asset-light, software-based subscription model that results in plenty of recurring revenue. This strategy has also led to operating margins that rival those of Big Tech companies like Facebook or Microsoft.

tech vs match operating margins

The result? Since their 2015 IPO, Match Group’s stock is up 600%, reaching a market capitalization of $25 billion, eclipsing many other well-known household names.

Wall Street Swipes Right

While Match Group does frequently boast about its diverse set of dating platforms, much of the success boils down to a few moving parts. One big part in particular, is Tinder and its impressive userbase of 59 million people.

Tinder’s “army of swipers” continues to grow. If the app’s userbase were a country, it would rank 25th in the world. Alternatively, imagine if every citizen of Canada, Jamaica, Ireland, Sweden, and Albania combined decided to pop open their app store and download Tinder at the same time.

tinder userbase compared with countries

Tinder now has upwards of 6 million paid subscribers, charging a subscription fee around $20 per month. These revenues continue to form a large piece of the overall equation.

How important is Tinder for Match? In their investor presentations, they provide separate data on Tinder while labeling all other apps under the “All Other Brands” category.

tinder match revenue

In recent times, Match Group has commented that they see “traditional dating” as their biggest competitor. Socio-cultural, demographic, and tech trends seem to suggest mobile online dating is not just a fad, but a concrete and dominant means through which people connect.

User growth figures have not shown weakness either. Both Millennials and Gen Z make up the bulk of Match Group’s userbase—and both generations are comfortable with digitalization as well as delaying life milestones such as marriage. This may suggest their layover in the so-called “dating period” will be lengthy—good news for giants like Match Group.

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