Goldman’s IAC ( Report

October 2, 2011 by  
Filed under Research

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Edit: Source clarification.

Greg Blatt, the CEO of IAC spoke at Goldman’s Communacopia Conference in September. Below are the dating-related highlights from his presentation published by GIR.

Prior to being appointed CEO in December 2010, Greg Blatt served as the CEO of IAC’s Match segment and was also previously IAC’s EVP and General Counsel from 2003 to 2009.


  • IAC has been very acquisitive in Personals – invested in online dating business in China, completed tender offer for Meetic (largest acquisition done in last 5-6 years), bought OkCupid. It sees synergy from acquisitions on the revenue and not cost side, as best practices in the US (such as higher conversion rates through newer technologies) could be transferred to other geographies.
  • With Meetic, IAC gained exposure to 20 countries; IAC believes the business can be improved meaningfully, with first improvements to be seen in 2012.
  • There’s a wide gap between monetization on a subscription site like core and advertising-based sites like OkCupid, but IAC hopes to narrow that gap through layering of additional features and sales of digital goods, among other initiatives. There is a range of margins across Personals’ properties and margins are forecast to be where they have been or higher but meaningful margin expansion has been counteracted by continued investment.
  • IAC does not share databases across websites, with larger opportunity stemming not from combination but from separate growth. Mr. Blatt mentioned that going forward that approach may change and some bundling may be implemented. Revenue growth in personals will come from user growth and increasing monetization on the non-subscription side.
  • Mr. Blatt mentioned that there is tremendous innovation in the dating space from video to mobile to distribution across social (highlighting that no one has quite tackled social yet). He feels IAC’s Personals does not have many holes left to fill and internal development going forward is more likely; new tech is deployed globally after proving effectiveness in core market.
  • Personals is a periodic consumption business with inherent customer churn. 50% of paying subs previously paid, then stopped and came back.

“Revenue growth in personals will come from user growth.” When you buy 20+ million profiles through acquisitions, I would certainly hope so. I wonder how much of this growth will be on the Match brand itself compared to Meetic, OkC, etc?

It will be interesting to see what kind of stuff they sell on OkCupid. Public company or not, I’d like to hear this sort of communication from PlentyofFish and other top sites as well.

Moving to a monolithic database of profiles, hmm who’s been pushing for this for several years, ahem.

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Related posts:

  1. Match Reports Q2 2011 Results
  2. Announces New CEO
  3. Match CEO Blatt Dismissive of Competition

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