Content of the study:
The dating market - UK

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1.1 Definition and scope of study

A dating site is an online site designed to allow individuals to meet new people, usually for the purpose of establishing a romantic or non-romantic relationship. Online dating usually takes place through online websites or applications.

Today, there are several versions of online dating sites, depending on the customs and traditions of the location in which they develop. Indeed, the function and purpose of dating sites vary considerably from one country to another. However, administrative procedures remain relatively homogenous, involving the creation of a profile, where personal and private information is added, often serving as the “personal pitch” on which discussions are started. Most services offer digital messaging, while others offer additional services such as webcasting, online chat, telephone chat (VOIP) and forums.

The global market has been expanding rapidly in the last years. This can be explained by the rise in number of single people around the globe, especially in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Moreover, the surge in Internet penetration has been beneficial to the industry.

Similar to the world market, the United Kingdom has seen a large upswing in the number of users of online dating platforms. In 2019, Sky reported that one out of three relationships started online. This growth is driven by several factors including a larger number of single people, the increase of internet penetration, and product innovation.

In 2020, the most used application was Tinder (47%), followed by Badoo (32%) and EHarmony (27%). In other words, Tinder has almost half of the market share for online dating. It should also be noted that usage of online dating application is not mutually exclusive; in other words, users often have accounts in different applications.

1.2 A growing global market

The global market for online dating services is experiencing strong growth with an estimated CAGR of *.*% between **** and ****. It is expected to grow from $*.* billion to $*.* billion.

Global Marketplace for Online Dating Services World, ****-****, in billions of US dollars Source: ****

The global market is driven by the increase in the ...

1.3 A dynamic national market

Market size of online dating United Kingdom, ****-****, in millions GBP Source: ****

The UK market for matchmaking services grew at a rapid rate of *.*% per annum between **** and ****. The most dynamic segment of the market is online dating sites and applications, which now accounts for **% of the industry's turnover. The online ...

1.4 Positive impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the dating market

Increase in online dating services activity

The restriction of British people's outings in the midst of the epidemic has led to a boom in home entertainment, particularly online entertainment such as dating applications. Tinder, for example, said that since the pandemic, discussions about its application have lasted on average **% longer (***). [***]

Improving ...


2.1 Typical user behaviour and profile

Devices used to access dating app or website United-Kingdom, ****, in % Source: ****

The British overwhelmingly use their mobile phones to access opt-out sites and applications (***).

Gender distribution among mobile users of online dating apps United Kingdom, ****, in Source: ****

Men account for **% of users of dating applications. However, this proportion varies greatly from ...

2.2 Drivers of demand for online dating services

Smartphone penetration United Kingdom, ****-****, in Source: ****

There is a strong link between the massive spread of smartphones in the UK population and the growth of the online dating market. Indeed, the main players in the sector are above all mobile applications created with the aim of offering an optimal user ...

2.3 Online dating plays a key role in the formation of British couples

How did you meet your current or most recent partner? United Kingdom, ****, in Source: ****

**% of Britons met via an online dating platform, *% via a website or *% via a dating application. While this figure is high, it remains well behind meeting at work (***). However, online dating is ahead of dating during ...

2.4 A prominent place in the UK's favourite applications

Leading iPhone non-gaming apps, by revenue Great Britain, February ****, in thousands of USD Source: ****

Tinder largely dominates the iPhone application landscape with revenues of $*.* million in February ****, more than three times more than its main competitor Netflix. However,'s brand is not the only dating app to make a name ...


3.1 Many players but a market dominated by a few dominant companies

There are *** different companies in the UK online dating market. The size of the market is estimated at £*** million, which represents an average annual income of £***,*** per business. On the other hand, the industry employs *,*** people, which makes an average of *.* employees per company. These figures highlight the fact that the ...

3.2 Presence of a variety of business models on the market

The Huffington Post has made a large study in the UK dating market and drew various conclusions about the success of companies in the sector.


Most companies generate revenue through a "freemium" model in which registration is free but the user pays for additional services and features. A minority of ...

3.3 The particularities of the London online dating market

London in relation to the rest of the United Kingdom

Londoners are the main users of dating applications and sites across the UK. In fact, **% of Londoners have used such a service in the last ** months, which is significantly higher than in other parts of the country.

Londoners also differ from ...

3.4 A future dependent on the sector's ability to meet the challenge of insecurity

The main criticisms of dating applications concern the insecurity associated with their use:

Many users, especially young women, are victims of inappropriate behaviour and harassment. False profiles are legion and pose the problem of regulation on the part of companies in the sector. Dating people you meet online is widely considered ...


4.1 Main offers in the United Kingdom

Il existe une offre pléthorique de sites et applications de rencontre au Royaume-Uni. Ces différents acteurs se différencient en se positionnant sur un segment particulier ou en adoptant des modèles tarifaires innovants.

Source: ****

4.2 Current trends and upcoming innovations in the online dating market

Increase in the number of sites offering a tailor-made product

Niche applications represent a growing part of the online dating offer. The main examples in the UK are :

JDate (***) Asian* (***) Muslim Veggie Romance (***)

These applications surf on the tendency of humans to look for a partner who looks as much like ...


5.1 A regulation in full adaptation

The main regulatory issue for dating platforms is the protection of users' data, governed by the DPMR which applies to all EU Member States. The regulations on this subject are available at Europa Lex . Some applications such as Tinder and Grindr have been pointed at the sale of certain intimate data. ...


6.1 Segmentation of players in the UK dating sites and applications industry

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Reviews (2)

Reviews (2)

The dating market - France

Publicado en 25/01/2022 by Jean-Gabriel Théberge - Ambicio

A complete study with all the elements I needed. I saved a lot of time researching and reading compared to what it would have taken me to consult another long 250+ page study. Very pleased!

Businesscoot Response:

Hello Jean-Gabriel, Thank you for your rating of our study. :)

The dating market - France

Publicado en 20/01/2022 by Melanie Suspene

I am currently reading this study, which seems to me to be complete and updated (especially the influence of Covid on the said market).

Businesscoot Response:

Hello Melanie, We thank you for your very positive opinion and hope that you will trust us again in the future.

Customer cases and references

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