Seven months after going public, Match-owned Tinder predicts its paid subscribers will double by the end of the year, reports Ad Age. In the first quarter of 2016, paid member count (PMC) passed the one million mark, and Match (NASDAQ: MTCH) reported that it had strong PMC for Q1 2016 for both Tinder and Plenty of Fish, both dating apps in the Match family. Match acquired Plenty of Fish last summer for $575 million in cash.
Overall, in the first quarter, revenue grew 21 percent, fueled by a 24 percent growth in the Dating category. Average PMC grew 36 percent to 5.1 million (3.2 million in North America and 1.9 internationally), including Tinder. Average PMC for the first quarter of 2015 was 3.7 million. Match Group attributes the growth to Tinder's performance and the acquisition of Plenty of Fish.
“Match Group posted very strong revenue and adjusted EBITDA growth in the first quarter, driven by exceptional growth at Tinder, solid performance of Meetic and Match, and the Plenty of Fish acquisition,” said Match Group chairman and CEO Greg Blatt in a press release. “We expect solid year over year performance throughout the balance of 2016.”
Until March 2015, the Tinder dating app was entirely free, but now there is also a subscription option called Tinder Plus which offers special features:
- Instead of meeting locals near them, subscribers can use the Passport tool to change their location and connect with people anywhere in the world. Subscribers can search by city or “drop a pin” on a map to choose a destination.
- In the dating app, you swipe right to “like” someone and left to dismiss them, but sometimes folks swipe the wrong direction, or maybe change their mind about someone later. Rewind lets subscribers reverse their last swipe.
- Unlimited liking capability. Tinder users can like an unlimited number of potential matches with Tinder Plus.
- An ad-free experience. Nix the ads when you subscribe to Tinder Plus.
We couldn't find the price for Tinder Plus, which can be purchased in app, on the Tinder website or its blog, but Consumer Affairs reported last March the subscription has tiered pricing based on age. Users under 30 pay $9.99 a month and users 30 or older pay $19.99 a month. According to Consumer Affairs, the rationale for the age-based pricing is that younger users have tighter budgets. Subscribers can cancel Tinder Plus at any time by turning off the auto-renewal option.
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If you are interested in dating online, Match Group has options for many different audiences, including Tinder which targets Millennials. With the addition of Tinder's first subscription product, it is experiencing success, adding more than a million users in its first year.
Based on the user experience, we question Tinder's ability to double its paid members in seven months. For example, looking at the website alone, there is no mention of the subscription product, Tinder Plus. If you scroll to the bottom of the home page, you can go to the blog, but unless you know Tinder Plus is mentioned on the blog, you wouldn't know a subscription option exists. From the home page, or any other page for that matter, you can't access the Support page, which is where we found the only mention of Tinder Plus. There was no pricing information on the Support page either.
The website issues alone are not a deal breaker, particularly for a younger crowd who will just download the app and probably never visit the website. We tried the Android app and found similar issues. For example, if you click on the menu, there is an option that says “Get Tinder Plus” followed by a screen with prices, but its description of what you get for a subscription is brief and you can't read the terms of the subscription prior to signing up. We didn't sign up, so we can't confirm that the terms appear after subscribing.
Once we got on the pricing page, it would have been very easy to subscribe without intending to. After a certain time on the screen, the Google Play “subscribe now” button magically appeared. If you don't click out of that screen, you've subscribed.
From a user experience standpoint, we always recommend that subscription companies are transparent and make pricing and other subscription terms easy to find and understand. We don't see that here, but it doesn't seem to be stopping people from downloading Tinder. According to App Annie, on iPhone last week, Tinder is the second most downloaded free app and the top grossing app for in app purchases.