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Do consumers want to find a special someone or just anyone?

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Younger people are more likely to be interested in casual dating and more likely to use mobile devices for dating, the IBISWorld report states. Goldberg, the Peak6 president, sees it, now “there is growing frustration as people tire of swipe-based apps.” He added, “Consumers want companionship and deeper interactions, and the industry will have to adapt.”Some also see a move toward ever more niche sites like Mouse (Disney lovers) and Gluten Free (the name says it all).

But, when you slice the pie ever thinner, “you’re also slicing your membership base,” Mr. Amarnath Thombre, chief strategy officer of the Match Group, disagrees.

There are about 4,500 online dating companies, according to a report by the market research company IBISWorld, but the majority are tiny.

The largest player in the field is the Match Group, with 51 dating sites; over the last few years alone it acquired such high-profile companies as Tinder and Plenty of Fish.“It’s never been cheaper to start a dating site and never been more expensive to grow one,” said Mark Brooks, a consultant for the internet dating industry who also runs Online Personals Watch.

With sites like Tinder, Bumble and Hinge, it is all about who is nearby and available.

Some of the difference, of course, is generational.Spark Networks, of course, already offers niche products, but Lisa Mc Lafferty, Spark’s new chief revenue officer and chief marketing officer at Peak6, says its aim is now to “refresh the brand.”“Over the last few rounds of management, the brand got a little lost,” she said.With JDate, “we’re seeing an evolution away from a marriage focus and religiosity and more to connecting on a cultural-values plane.”With Christian Mingle, the plan is to move in the other direction. Young, the former Spark executive, said he would not be surprised if Match Group acquired Spark in the near future “so they have the No.This comes at a time when an increasing number of Americans are trying to find partners online.According to the Pew Research Center, 15 percent of Americans have used online dating sites or mobile apps, compared with 11 percent in 2013.He does not see one approach growing at the expense of the other.

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