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High Subscription Prices Keeping Away New Subscribers to Online Dating Services

( - February 8, 2006) The high price of subscribing to major online dating services is keeping the industry's subscription base from growing, according to new research by JupiterResearch.

"Although online dating revenues continue to grow, rising prices have kept a large number of users from converting to paid subscribers," said Nate Elliott, JupiterResearch Analyst. "Thirty seven percent of visitors who don't convert say dating sites cost too much, making it their leading complaint."

According to Elliot, "only one-third of Internet users who went to dating sites in the last year became paying subscribers."

That percentage is challenged by Online Dating Magazine, a publication covering the online dating industry.

"We see quite a bit fewer than one-third of Internet users, who visit an online dating service, becoming paying customers," says Joe Tracy, publisher of Online Dating Magazine. "JupiterResearch is suggesting that one out of three people - 33% - who visit online dating services end up becoming paying consumers. We find that number to be extreme and feel, based on trackable advertising campaigns, that the number is closer to 4-12%, not 33%."

That issue aside, Tracy says he's not surprised at the stagnant growth of paid subscribers.

"It's not just the price that is scaring people off," says Tracy, "but it is also bad customer service and the experience. The growth of the professional online dater is making it more difficult for people wanting a serious relationship to find that."

Tracy says that if the online dating industry wants to see growth, it must enhance the overall user experience, starting with customer service.

"When a customer pays $59.99 a month and has a bad experience then emails a service for help and gets no response, do you think he or she will have good things to say about that service?" asks Tracy. "Services are charging more and offering less. That's a sure way to drive people away and open the door to competitors."

The findings by JupiterResearch are published in its new report titled, "Online Dating in 2006: Pricing Strategies to Drive Subscriber Growth"

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