among boomers among boomers - PAGE ONE DOW JONES REPRINTS How...

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PAGE ONE DOW JONES REPRINTS How Found Love Among Boomers Dating Site Prospers Targeting Older Singles; The Body Art Question By SARA SILVER January 27, 2007; Page A1 FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- One winter evening, Priscilla Williams logged on to her computer and sorted through electronic photographs of men who had checked out her profile on the online dating site An 80-year-old practicing lawyer, a retired professor, and a Floridian who resembled rocker Eric Clapton. "The sheer numbers mean that I might meet someone I'm not afraid to bring home," says the 61-year-old widow. After years of losing subscribers to racier rivals and new social-networking sites geared to young singles, Match has become the largest online dating site in the U.S. by subscriptions, with 1.3 million members. One big reason: older daters like Mrs. Williams. Match has been reaching out to singles over 50 and divorcées, pitching itself as a destination for mainstream daters who want serious relationships. It made its site easier to navigate for people who are not Internet-savvy, helping people find daters who meet their tastes. The site, owned by Barry Diller's IAC/Interactive Corp., features a free magazine with articles on single parenthood and the love life of Baby Boomers. Its TV ads feature a 71-year-old with the user name DanishBeauty22. The success is a bright spot for Mr. Diller, who is trying to wring profits from IAC's stable of Web businesses. His better-known brands include the search engine Ask, the loan exchange Lending Tree, the invitation service eVite, and the local search site CitySearch. Although Match made up less than 5% of IAC's $6.5 billion in sales over the past 12 months, it contributed more than 10% of the company's $464 million in operating profit. In the past two years, Match has boosted the number of paying customers by a third. Match's success in targeting older daters, as well as other overlooked markets such as divorcées and suburbanites, also reflects a maturing Web industry that is expanding beyond its fixation on the very young and tapping other demographics, including the wealthy market of boomers. That's an especially promising strategy for a Web site that depends on fees, not the youth-obsessed ad industry.
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AOL co-founder Steve Case this month launched, a Web site that aims to combine health information and social networking -- particularly appealing to older Americans. Mr. Diller says he is looking at investing in other sites that cater to the over 50s segment online. "There is no question that they are, in size and spending, a very rich vein of opportunity," he said. Older daters "spend more money per month and are more likely to
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This note was uploaded on 01/22/2011 for the course MSOM 303 taught by Professor Philpot during the Winter '10 term at George Mason.

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