Why The Online Dating Industry Should Be Your Next Big Thing

The online dating industry is going from strength to strength and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. A quick look at some key metrics of industry analysis reveals just how significant it is with the top three markets accounting for over $3 billion, yes that’s billion, dollars in 2021 alone. 

Infographic courtesy of Finances Online 

With numbers like these, it’s time for every serious affiliate marketer to sit up and take note. According to the folks at Verified Market Research, this trend is set to continue. Revenues are predicted to rise from $7.35 billion in 2020 to a staggering $10.87 billion by 2028. 

Here at Candyoffers, we tend to think even this is a conservative estimate. As the paradigm for dating shifts online and becomes increasingly more sophisticated, the rise of virtual online dating worlds and artificial intelligence machine learning algorithms will continue to make the experience more seamless each year.

Before you go ahead and jump right in with a landing page and affiliate offer (we love your motivation though), here are some baseline questions to give you a solid understanding of what the world of affiliate marketing for online dating is.

Is online dating an industry?

The word industry brings to mind steel plants and automobiles rolling off assembly lines. In today’s world, however, the digital age has changed all this. Where billions of dollars are at stake you can be sure the sharpest minds in the business world are paying attention and what was once a cottage industry has exploded financially. 

In the early days of online dating, the model was fairly rudimentary. Today the largest players in the game invest hundreds of millions into research and development to ensure that the end-user experience is as effective and frictionless as possible. 

This kind of approach requires software engineers, brilliant marketing strategists, and constant learning to stay ahead of the competition. 

The good news for you as an affiliate marketer is that all of that costly research and software design is at your disposal. Your marketing campaigns will be sleek, professional and something you can truly be proud of.

Gone are the days when rough graphics and clunky ad copy made you cringe before hitting the publish button on your website. Today’s marketing is every bit as sophisticated as the audience that will be actively seeking out your offers. 

What is the dating market?

This might seem like an obvious question, but in reality, things are a little more complicated. The dating market has gone global and is more diverse than ever. The three biggest markets are the US, China, and India. One size no longer fits all. If you are going to be successful as a marketer you need to niche down. 

The online dating market is far too broad to be your single niche. For example, there are entirely separate markets for casual online dating, versus long-term commitment. Are you targeting an audience with predominantly Christian values? Or maybe your market is mostly Hindu? Cultural values make for huge differences in your approach. 

Before you take any action as a marketer you must get to know your audience. Then seek out the affiliate online dating program that works best for them. Keep refining and niching down until you have a well-defined group whose needs you thoroughly understand.  

Which country uses online dating the most?

The biggest market by far is still the United States, both in terms of gross revenue and market penetration. In 2021 the number of people dating online was estimated to be 18.4% of total. Next in line was the United Kingdom at 16.9%. If the English-speaking market is your target audience then you are in luck. 

It stands to reason that the countries where the internet first took hold are the furthest ahead in terms of use, but this may not be the case for long. As emerging markets like China and India catch up, the potential for growth globally is almost unlimited. 

Culturally the UK, the USA, Australia, and Canada are all relatively similar, at least  when it comes to online dating! This is good news for dating affiliate marketers because although your niche might be quite specific, it is not necessarily limited to one geographic area. 

What works for cat-loving, cycling enthusiasts in Toronto will likely work for them in New York and London as well.

What is the target market for dating apps?

Here is where your market analysis to define your niche comes into play. If we look at the top three players in the online dating app scene in 2020 according to their percentage of paying customers this is what we find:

  • Tinder with 51% 
  • Bumble with 32% 
  • Match with 31%. 

They may look much the same on the surface, but in reality, these are three very distinct markets. 

Let’s take a closer look. 


Tinder is the OG of dating apps. The idea of swiping to express interest or disinterest was a big hit with the younger generation and those looking to hook up for casual relationships that might lead to something more. 


Bumble is similar to Tinder, but quickly gained the nickname of the “feminist Tinder”. After a match is made nothing can happen until the woman decides to message or respond. This gives much more control to women in Bumble than in its nearest rival. 

Additionally, Bumble has both friendship and business modes which Tinder doesn’t have. These are all selling points that help to differentiate an audience.  


If Tinder is the OG of dating apps, Match is the big old granddaddy of them all. The style is more traditional and allows users to add far more content to their profiles in a throwback to traditional dating sites. 

This style of online dating appeals to a more mature audience with longer-term goals in mind. 

As you can see, the overall target market is people looking for people, but in reality market segmentation happens very quickly. As soon as you begin to zoom in and single out the market that you want to focus on, the differences become very evident. 

How big is the online dating market?

And how much is the online dating industry worth?

In the United States alone Statista estimated total revenues for 2020 at $1.43 billion, and the UK at $232 million. But that’s not all. Verified Market Research estimated total 2021 revenues globally at $7.35 billion with projected growth of 5.11% through to a staggering $10.87 billion by 2028. 

Infographic courtesy of Verified Market Research

Can these numbers really be correct? 

Other independent sources seem to confirm these trends. According to the prestigious Pew Research Center online dating app usage tripled in the age group 18 to 24 between the years 2013 and 2018. Meanwhile, in the age group 55 to 64 usage doubled during the same time period. 

The equally prestigious Nielson audience measurement research center estimates that one in ten Americans spends more than an entire hour each day browsing a dating app. 

It is fair to say that this market is substantial, to say the least. If you can tap into it as an affiliate marketer, the potential for commissions is excellent. 

Is online dating growing?

We’ve already seen the numbers, but what about the reasons behind this incredible growth in what is a largely hidden industry. Online dating, believe it or not, has been around since the early days of the internet in the 1990s, so why hasn’t it topped out yet?

Initially, there was a taboo associated with online dating. Add to that the fear of meeting strangers through your computer and of course online dating got off to a rocky start. 

In the intervening years, however, new generations of users have come online who don’t share either the taboos or fears their parents and older siblings had. At the same time, the older generation has also become far more sophisticated in terms of internet usage. 

The era of working at home, lockdowns, and “the great resignation” has added further impetus with a generation of people deprived of the opportunity to meet people face to face for nearly two years. 

For better or worse the years 2020 to 2021 made all of us more internet savvy and comfortable with conducting large portions of our day-to-day interactions online. 

Despite the lifting of lockdown protocols, the effects on online dating industry growth appear to be persistent and will continue to increase for many years to come according to all predictions.  

What to do next?

There has never been a better time to become involved in the online dating niche as an affiliate marketer.  At CandyOffers we have all of the very best affiliate programs in the online dating niche and we are committed to making all of our affiliates succeed. 
Sign up to become a partner today and take advantage of this huge opportunity with the support of one of the most trusted names in the business. We can’t wait to have you on board.