SocalTech reports that Gannett has hooked-up eHarmony; all Gannett properties, including “USA TODAY”, will feature eHarmony’s personals.
Some quick thoughts here:
1) Expect Knight Ridder and Tribune to follow suit. Newspaper’s are (surprise) late to the game in the dating space and are replacing existing dysfunctional partnerships, instead of building their own service.
2) eHarmony (despite repositioning by its competitors) still enjoys a competitive advantage with substantially better conversion and retention rates than its competitors, allowing it to pay substantially more to partners who drive sign-ups. This creates a virtuous cycle, enabling eHarmony to grab more and more market share from its competitors over time.
3) eHarmony’s unique brand position (as a ‘marrying’ vs. ‘dating’ site) is both sustainable (near term) and extensible (near/medium-term). I expect to see eHarmony move forward and/or backward in the datingmarryingmarrieddivorced “mating lifecycle” through extensions to their existing service and/or the introduction of new services.
4) As I and plenty of others have noted before, these services will eventually bifurcate as persistent online profiles become (more) common place; “introductions/meeting” will be fully commoditized… “matching” (and ancillary services) will be the source of value creation.