announced plans for entry into the dating space in May last year, panicked investors sent market leaders
Stocks fall on the worst decline ever.
A year later, they are not so worried anymore.
The main competition risk for match business seems to be waning. Facebook (Ticker: FB) has not yet launched a dating product in the US In markets where there are Facebook dating services, Match (MTCH) has found no impact.
The decreasing threat of the social media giants has become a tailwind for match. The company's stock has already risen this year, reaching an all-time high last week following a strong earnings report. The company announced that it has added 384,000 subscribers to its Tinder dating app, which now has 4.7 million paying subscribers.
Match has performed a rare feat in the social networking world: persuading people to actually pay for the service. Match has found that people are willing to spend on finding the right person, and that they may be resisting a technology giant ̵
With its free dating product, Facebook is doubling its existing social networks. Users of a new Secret Crush tool can add friends to a private list. When two friends appear in the other's "Crush" list, Facebook notifies them about the game. It is a kind of notification about steroids.
The problem is that Facebook has to convince its users to provide the company with the most personal information. A data breach becomes even more worrisome when it reveals the deepest secrets of a person. A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on Facebook Dating security policies. "I think people need to feel very comfortable trusting Facebook with the nine people in their group of friends they have a crush on," Match CEO Mandy Ginsberg told Barrons .
She adds that Match has watched Facebook's moves in markets like Canada, Colombia, and Thailand "like a hawk," in which the company offers a dating service that displays volunteers outside of a user's group of friends. Match indicates that Facebook's listing in these regions has no noticeable impact. "The privacy issue plays an important role in dating," argues Jefferies analyst Brent Thill, who says Facebook has shown "more bark than bite" with its dating ambitions. He adds that even if it eventually gains ground, Facebook's success could ease the stigma of online dating in Asia, where Match's Tinder is also trying to gain ground.
A win for Facebook would not necessarily be a defeat for match, Thill said. The idea is that data providers want to improve their chances by sitting on multiple apps at the same time, even if they all contain the same candidates.
Match sees a big opportunity in Asia, where around 300 million singles can be found in the company's addressable market. In context, only 8.6 million people worldwide pay for a Match property, including the Tinder powerhouse, which introduced the concept of wiping faces to find matches.
The company is particularly keen to breed Tinder in South Korea. Japan and India. These countries helped Tinder accelerate subscriber growth in the last quarter of Match. Tinder's "gold members" pay different amounts, but the app offered me a $ 15 monthly plan this week. Gold allows users to see in part who they already liked in the app. Tinder also has a free version, but Match hopes that improvements to his algorithm will encourage more users to pay.
Wall Street analysts first asked how many people would pay for Tinder, but the audience continues to grow. Tinder had more subscribers in the last quarter than in the same period last year, and the company expects an even stronger increase for the June quarter.
Wall Street posted a solid uptrend for Tinder, but the company's recent performance continued to push positive results Wednesday 12% higher. The stock more than compensated for last year's losses from Facebook and recently hit $ 67.27. Jefferies & # 39; Thill sees more room for maneuver when the Tinder engine clicks overseas and matches match emerging brands like Hinge who focus more on long-term relationships than Tinder.
Match generated $ 465 million in adjusted sales Ebitda (Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization) increased 14%, or 13%, to $ 155 million in the first quarter.
These winnings could be increased significantly if match against Big Tech was another victory
(TogetL) Google appeals to app developers by raising app store fees.
Outside of gaming, Match may be the largest single-payer of the so-called App Store tax, Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter says 30% less than Apple and Google on in-app purchases.
Gary Swidler, Match's Chief Financial Officer, said at the February Earnings Call that the company was "incredibly focused" on App Store fees. "As long as there are tools we can use, whether they are new businesses or something else, to reduce the total 30%, we will certainly concentrate and try to profit from it," he said he continues.
Apple's charges have also caught the attention of European regulators, who are reportedly considering a formal investigation into whether the company's business practices in the App Store create an anticompetitive landscape for competitors
(SPOT) According to the Financial Times. Macquarie & # 39; s Schachter is "quite optimistic" that the App Store charges will be sinking in the face of "regulatory, legal and competitive pressures" at some point.
Write to Emily Bary at [email protected]