The dating industry

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The biggest web dating companies have a huge lead over the competition—two control more than 40 percent of the market.

Leader Inter Active Corp (IAC) owns at least 30 sites, including and OKCupid, followed by e Harmony.com, which targets a slightly older demographic. Of 19,000 couples married between 20, more than a third met through an online dating site, according to a study in last May’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Plus, more people are getting online all the time—70 percent American adults had broadband access as of last May, up from 42 percent in 2006.

The biggest players also are adding cross-over lines of business.Last December, more than 1 in 10 American adults visited dating sites, spending more than an hour a day there on average, according to Market research company Nielsen.(The 1.8 million visitors to OKCupid topped the field for time spent, at 3 hours a day.) Changing demographics are a big part of what’s inflating the industry.Target marketing, changing demographics, and decreasing stigma about online dating are continually bringing new users to fore.That growth is already beginning to attract investors.

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