Where would singles be without online dating? More than 1.8 million subscribers pay to use IAC/Interactive’s (IACI) core dating sites—Match.com and OkCupid. In fact, its online dating division sales grew 12% to $203.9 million in fourth-quarter 2013 from a year ago.
The best numbers may be yet to come for the $5.4 billion company based in New York. Data from Google Analytics, The Nielsen Company, and Experian Simmons suggests that online dating traffic doesn’t go up on Valentine’s Day, but actually peaks several days after. For instance, Match.com sees a 25%-30% uptick in membership during its peak season, Dec. 25 through Feb. 14, each year, which sells its most popular six-month package for around $20 per month.
Unfortunately, online-dating gains for fourth-quarter 2013 were offset by declining revenue in the company’s other major divisions. Revenue from IAC’s search business, which includes Ask.com, About.com and Dictionary.com, fell 8% to $373 million.
IAC expects its online dating business to continue to grow as the “stigma against online dating continues to decline.” The company now offers singles’ events through its dating websites, as well as mobile dating apps such as Tinder.