In Online Dating, Size Doesn't Matter

Even with large competition, niche dating is still a good business to be in.

Love or online dating concept heart shape symbol on laptop keyboard, and Geek 2 Geek are all examples of niche dating sites.

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The matchmaking business has seen strong growth in recent years—even during the recession, online dating revenues never went negative, with revenue growth averaging around 4.5 percent from 2007 to 2012, according to IBISWorld. This year, online dating revenues are expected to hit $1.2 billion. Those revenues often come from subscription costs or, in the case of free services, ad sales.

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However, the boom years may soon be over.

"I think that the market is going to become saturated," says Caitlin Moldvay, a senior analyst at IBISWorld—there are only so many singles and so many demographics to chase, after all. In addition, she points to one other slowly growing trend: large companies getting into the niche business.

"[OkCupid owner] IAC has diversified the number of dating websites that they have in order to target these niche markets," she says. IAC now owns sites that target seniors, Republicans, Catholics, and little people.

The company doesn't yet list a site for geeks, but if it does, it may mean that people like Spencer Koppel will have to work a little harder at helping nerds find love.

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