Indo makes moves on online dating market

8 Feb 2008

There’s a one in three chance that the average Irish single person is logging onto the internet to find love rather than seek it in their local pub.

That’s according to Parship, Europe’s largest online matchmaking service, which has launched a new Irish online dating service with Independent News & Media.

Research from Parship found there are currently 1.2 million single people in Ireland. In 2007, 456,000 Irish singles used some form of online dating to find romance, compared with 648,000 who relied on their local pub.

The Independent News & Media newspaper group has concluded a deal with Parship that will see a new website be marketed and promoted under a revenue share agreement.

It follows a successful integration of the Parship service with the Irish Independent‘s sister newspaper in the UK, the Independent.

The new site will be an online dating service with a difference – it will include Parship’s psychometric technology, which uses a proven rigorous personality-profiling test to determine compatibility.

“Over the past 12 months, online revenues at Independent News & Media have increased significantly,” explained Gerry Drumm, enterprise manager.

“We believe that premium services such as Independent Singles will deliver sustainable online traffic and revenues.

“Serious online dating services are growing three times more quickly than casual dating sites. However, until now, Ireland has done little to develop a service targeting this demographic, even though 57pc of Irish singles are actively looking for a long-term relationship.”

Drumm said that over the coming months Independent News & Media plan to rollout the new dating service across its regional titles and sell-in the service to other online brands with a major presence in Ireland.

“Irish singles, particularly those between 30 and 50 are the fastest-growing group of online daters,” said Tony Blin Stoyle, Parship’s director for Ireland and the UK.

“They recognise that as they get older and their social networks become smaller, they need to maximise their opportunities in order to meet a partner,” he said.

By John Kennedy