Match Group advertising & marketing assignments

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Match Group was until recently the biggest single division of digital services group IAC. It is the world's leading dating services supplier, operating a variety of separate websites and apps across the globe. As of 4Q 2020, the group had an average of 10.9m subscribers worldwide to its various properties, slightly more than half of them outside North America. The twin core businesses are Match.com and Meetic, the leading subscription-based online personals services in the US and Europe respectively. However, these have been eclipsed in recent years by Tinder, which the group developed inhouse with considerable success. It is now the single most successful property within the group, with more than 6m subscribers. Match also operates a network of affiliated sites in more than 40 other countries around the world, as well as various premium or added value sub-stands of its own including UK-based OurTime and Chemistry and Pairs in Asia. The business has been assembled through steady consolidation of formerly independent rivals. In one key move in 2009, the US-centred Match sold control of its existing European subsidiaries to local market leader Meetic in return for a minority stake in the enlarged company, and then took control of the business in 2011. US competitors OKCupid and Singlesnet were also acquired that year. In 2013 the group launched dating app Tinder, which it had developed inhouse, to phenomenal success. In 2015, it acquired PlentyOfFish.com and its associated sites for $575m, and Hinge in 2018. Also in 2015, IAC issued an IPO of around 14% of the equity in Match Group, but still controls almost all voting rights. It eventually spun off the remaining shares during 2020 to establish Match as a separate standalone entity. Match Group reported revenues of $2.4bn in 2020, up 17% year-on-year. Tinder alone accounted for more than half that total. Reported group net income slumped to $187m as a result of a large adjustment relating to its separation from IAC. Net earnings from continuing operations were $587m. Mandy Ginsberg stepped down as CEO in 2020 for personal reasons, and was replaced by Shar Dubey, previously COO of Tinder.

Capsule checked 23rd January 2020

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Marketer Moves 11th Sep 2021: New CEO at Tinder. See Marketer Moves (members only).

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Adbrands Daily Update 10th Feb 2021: Dating giant Match Group made its biggest ever acquisition to expand its footprint in Asia. It agreed to pay around $1.7bn for South Korean company Hyperconnect, not a dating site as such but the technology firm behind video chat and streaming apps Azar and Hakuna Live. CEO Shar Dubey said the deal will enhance Match Group's push into non-dating services such as "social discovery", in which it is already active with video app Ablo. "As more of our lives move online," said Dubey, "people are looking for richer and deeper experiences. Hyperconnect's live video and audio engagement technology is a powerful tool that enables users to connect with new people and cultures on a global basis." 

Adbrands Daily Update 3rd Dec 2020: "Match Made In Hell". Ryan Reynolds is really getting into the multi-hyphenate business: Aviation Gin, Mint Mobile, Wrexham FC... and of course creative agency Maximum Effort. Though that company was originally set up to make films for his own projects, it is increasingly establishing itself as an agency for hire by third party clients. This film for dating service Match.com is just wonderful, although admittedly it's more of a branded satire in the style of Funny Or Die than a real commercial. But the concept and execution is great and so compeletely appropriate to the year we're still enduring. Let us hope things get better quickly in 2021.

Adbrands Social Media 7th Jan 2019: "Start Something Real". All the dials are turned up to 11 in Marcel's latest campaign for dating site Match (or Meetic as it is known in mainland Europe). The first 20 seconds are positively hyperactive in a rapid-fire debunking of all the different fakeries of modern life; followed by an even more startling change of pace and tone for the main sales message. Yet the pitch here is no less ramped-up. Judging by her enraptured gaze, our blonde protagonist is clearly in dire need of something rather more stimulating than a cup of coffee. Steady on, girls, this is a public place!

Adbrands Weekly Update 3rd May 2018: The biggest news from Facebook's first F8 developer conference was the revelation that the social media giant is to launch a new dating service aimed at the 200m or so users who currently identify themselves as "single" on their profiles. "This is for building real long-term relationships, not just hookups," said CEO Mark Zuckerberg. It's certainly an unexpected development considering Facebook's current issues with privacy. "We're surprised at the timing, given the amount of personal and sensitive data that comes with this territory,"said Mandy Ginsberg, CEO of leading dating site operator Match.com, which also owns Tinder and OKcupid. "We understand this category better than anyone. Facebook's entry will only be invigorating to all of us," said her boss Joey Levin, CEO of parent group IAC. "Their product could be great for US-Russia relationships," he added in a dig at the allegations that Russian agents used Facebook to spread electoral discord during the recent Presidential election. Yet jokes aside, the news sent a chill wind through Match.com and IAC investors. Match.com's shares plunged by 22% in the wake of Facebook's announcement, and IAC was down 17%.

Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Jan 2018: Ads of the Week "The Invention of Together". Yes, even Tinder has an ad campaign to launch the New Year. Here's an adorable film from animation house Buck which aims to illustrate the history of dating all the way from prehistory to yesterday afternoon. It's a charming little tale, aimed at repositioning the widely used app as a tool for romance and long-term relationships instead of just hook-ups and one-off dates. 


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