Jan
22

FOR LOVE OR MONEY… NOW YOU CAN HAVE BOTH

Author ATS    Category News     Tags , ,

Newspaper classified managers certainly remember those glory days when singles flocked to the newspaper to read the personals section, then phoned in to the newspaper-sponsored IVR dating system via a 900 number or automated credit card program.

Then, the internet came along and newspapers lost its stranglehold on the personals business just like it lost its exclusives on real estate, autos, and jobs. Today, no major daily newspapers in the USA still use the old IVR-based voice personals service. What was once a $375 million per year industry for newspapers is now almost non-existent.

It’s certainly no surprise that the personals business moved from the newspaper to the internet. After all, the internet with its photos, videos and more extensive profiles and matching criteria had a distinct advantage over print. Today, buoyed by an ever-increasing divorce rate and greater acceptability, the online dating juggernaut has not slowed down.

 

Consider the following online dating statistics:

  • Last year, 17% of all marriages were between couples that first met online.
  • From 2009 to 2010, nationwide use of online dating increased by 15% while overall internet use increased by just 9%.
  • Over 40 million Americans used an online dating solution last year.
  • Match.com alone has 15 million members. o On average, the online dating customer spent $239 per year on internet dating services.
  • Online dating was a $4 billion industry in 2010 with over $1.049 billion coming from the USA.

How did the newspaper industry let this lucrative personals market slip away to the eHarmony’s and Match.com’s of the world? And, how can it get some of it back?

While the newspaper industry continues to lose circulation in most markets, newspaper web sites are seeing its unique visitors and overall traffic show consistent gains. Time to get back into the personals industry, but this time it’s the online personals industry.

Advanced Telecom Services has been a long-time provider of voice personals to newspapers. Today, its MatchLink online personals service provides a custom internet dating solution for newspapers with the power of the largest singles database in the world. The company will be presenting its MatchLink internet dating solution for newspapers at NAA mediaXchange in Dallas from March 25-28, 2011.

 

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