By Dom DiFurio The Dallas Morning News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) While coronavirus has ordered all of us to stay 6 feet apart, plenty of singles are getting up close and personal on dating sites that are booming during the pandemic.
The pandemic has upended American life, left millions without work and is claiming roughly 1,000 U.S. lives a day. But if Dallas-based Match Group's second quarter results are any indication, the online matchmaking business is booming.
The company reported growth Tuesday across its entire portfolio of dating apps, with more users becoming paying subscribers. Its users also were more willing to pay for premium in-app features.
"The increased user activity reinforces that humans need to connect and our products clearly fulfill that need," CEO Shar Dubey said in a letter to shareholders Tuesday.
Tinder, known for swiping to like or dislike other profiles, continues to be the company's key driver of growth, with a 15% spike in direct revenue in the three-month period that ended June 30.
But Match Group's non-Tinder platforms, which include Hinge, Match, PlentyOfFish, OKCupid, also collectively grew direct revenue for the first time in four years, Dubey said. Those brands grew 9% year over year. The company's total revenue rose to $555 million, up 12% from the same period a year ago.
"We saw a steady recovery in business trends through the quarter, with April marking a clear low as a result of the impacts of the pandemic," Dubey said. "We are seeing improving trends and momentum across all major brands in our portfolio."
The company also crossed the 10 million mark in average global subscribers during the first months of the pandemic. That figure includes more than 6 million Tinder subscribers. Subscribers are up more than 15% since February, just before the coronavirus began spreading in the U.S.
Hinge, which emphasizes relationships over hookups with its "designed to be deleted" tagline, has seen its user base increase tenfold since Match Group acquired the dating platform in 2017.
Singles are looking for ways to safely mingle, and Match Group has been launching new features in recent months like video calling to meet the demand. Those new features are seeing "healthy adoption," especially at Plenty of Fish, according to the company.
Dubey said the company also is ramping up hiring in order to strengthen its team, citing reduced competition for talent during the pandemic. The company employs more than 1,500.
Tuesday marked Match Group's first earnings release since splitting off from parent company IAC, a process that included the addition of Hollywood actor Ryan Reynolds to the company board. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.