Lessons from iDate: The Rise of Mobile Apps and Offline Services

Last week I attended iDate’s Startup Event, an intimate gathering at the Seaport Boston Hotel. Organized by Marc Lesnick and hosted by Mark Brooks,

Last week I attended iDate’s Startup Event, an intimate gathering at the Seaport Boston Hotel. Organized by Marc Lesnick and hosted by Mark Brooks, the event had a number of dating site marketers and owners sharing their expertise and predictions for the industry.During an informal discussion, many agreed that dating sites gain more revenue from subscriptions than advertising. But Paul Folzone, CEO of elove, added perspective by speaking about how the real dating site dollars can be gained through offline services. By relying on personal matchmakers instead of impersonal algorithms, he has been able to charge more than 100 times the normal subscription rate per month.Yet, offline and online services often work in tandem. Adam Towvim of Jumptap mentioned that 40% of logins for Match.com come through mobile devices. Furthermore, while “good” click-though rates for desktop ads hover around 0.1%, mobile ads are known to range between 0.2% and 1% — a nearly 10-fold increase in some instances. So, while subscription services can drive your revenues in the traditional online environment (especially if you offer additional offline matchmaking), advertising may be your best bet for gaining revenues through your mobile apps.

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