The online dating industry is a $2.1 billion business, with niche dating sites claiming more and more of that market share.
We talked to the men and women behind niche dating websites to find out what makes their crazy ideas so successful.
From simple revenue models to familiarity with their customers, niche dating site creators believe they have a handle on their specific market.
We also asked online daters what drove them to join the super-tailored sites and whether they have found love in the digital world.
Noel Biderman, CEO
Ashley Madison, the website for people looking to have affairs, has the honor of being the largest niche dating site in the world, Biderman said.
He got the idea for the site in 2001 after reading a news story that claimed about 30 percent of people on dating websites weren’t actually single.
Since 2001, the site has grown to 13.2 million members worldwide, nearly 8 million of whom live in the United States. The adultery website raked in more than $50 million in 2011 and predicts profits upwards of $80 million in 2012.
Registration for the site is free and members purchase Ashley Madison credits that can then be used to contact other members. Members can also purchase virtual gifts like virtual champagne or virtual roses.
The site might be thriving, but it isn’t without its enemies. In 2008 the Archdiocese of Massachusetts decried the site’s ads.
But, his site is serving a purpose, Biderman said. Continue reading