With Valentine's Day come roses, chocolates, and a spotlight on the fierce competition among dating websites.
There's plenty of money in the love industry, but these businesses face a conundrum--once their customers find a soulmate, their services are no longer needed. Now companies such as HowAboutWe and Match.com think they have found a solution: to go after couples.
Dallas-based Match.com got into the couples game last October with its Delightful website, adding a companion app last month. The site has a network of date planners, Bloomberg Businessweek reports, including tour guides, hotel concierges, and restaurateurs, who help lock down last-minute rooms, dinners, and adventures for $12 a month.
New York's HowAboutWe says that since launching its couples service last year, it has offered discounted activities that have helped steady lovebirds clock more than 56,000 hours of "quality time together," according to Businessweek.
Expanding to couples potentially has a big prize: HowAboutWe tells Businessweek that couples spent $70 billion last year on date nights at restaurants, BYOB painting classes, and other relationship-centered activities. Offering activities now pits these sites in closer competition with daily-deals businesses like Groupon.
But perhaps the real genius of the move is that many times, Match Group CEO Sam Yagan tells Businessweek, true love doesn't last. Which means HowAboutWe's and Match.com's singles dating services will be there to sweep up the brokenhearted and find them another new love.
Check out the video interview with HowAboutWe co-founder Aaron Schildkrout, who talks about the launch of the dating site in 2010: