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Monetizing Dating Websites and Apps

By Ana Kealy

October 19, 2023

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How can monetizing dating websites and apps be optimized for future revenue growth? The key lies in understanding why ad serving in the dating industry is set to drive substantial financial gains moving forward.

Online dating has transformed the way we meet and connect with potential partners. With over 300 million people navigating their way on dating sites and apps, this is a booming industry. According to Statista, the Online Dating market is projected to surge, with the number of users expected to reach a staggering 438 million by 2027. 

Number of dating service users worldwide from 2017 to 2027, by segment (in millions)

Dating Service Users Worldwide

Source: Statista 2023

However, starting in 2021, the new user adoption rate has slowed down compared to previous years. Thus, online dating websites and apps are evolving, and more industry players are gearing up to explore the potential of monetization. It looks like reaching out to the huge pool of singletons is no longer just a way to connect hearts; it's big business.

How to monetize dating sites and apps?

For dating sites and apps, adding new revenue streams beyond subscription models has become key. This has led many platforms to explore the possibilities of advertising, recognizing it as an opportunity to increase their bottom lines. But getting into the advertising game isn't easy and comes with its challenges. Managing an in-house advertising business demands large investments in technology, time, and resources. Developing proprietary solutions often proves to be costly and time-consuming, potentially diverting the focus away from core functionalities.

An alternative solution comes in the form of hosted white-label ad servers like EXADS. These platforms offer dating sites and apps a streamlined path to monetizing their potential without the headache of developing and maintaining an in-house advertising technology infrastructure.

The Cost-Effective Path to Ad Monetization

Implementing an ad server like EXADS represents an attractive proposition for dating platforms. By leveraging a white-label solution, these platforms gain the benefits of a robust and sophisticated advertising technology without the hassle and expense of building it from scratch. Here's how it works:

  • Full Ownership, Zero Hassle: Dating websites and apps opting for a white-label ad server retain complete ownership of their platform and data. This autonomy is essential, as it ensures the platform's unique identity and keeps the user experience intact.
  • Expert Support and Maintenance: Unlike in-house solutions, hosted ad servers come with a dedicated team of experts who can manage the technology side and are also committed to ensuring that the platform remains up to industry standards. This means continuous updates, maintenance, and improvements without burdening the platform's internal teams.
  • Seamless Integration: White-label ad servers seamlessly integrate with the existing infrastructure of dating platforms. This integration is crucial for a cohesive user experience. Ads blend harmoniously into the platform, maintaining user engagement while generating revenue.
  • Scalability and Flexibility: These solutions are designed to scale with the platform's growth. Whether the user base expands rapidly or gradually, the technology adapts, ensuring a consistent and reliable performance. Moreover, they are flexible, accommodating diverse ad formats and strategies tailored to the platform's unique audience.
  • Data-Driven Monetization: Ad servers like EXADS empower dating platforms with data-driven insights. These platforms offer robust analytics and reporting tools, enabling platforms to understand user behavior, ad performance, and revenue generation. This valuable data informs strategic decisions, optimizing the advertising experience for both users and advertisers.

In essence, partnering with a hosted white-label ad server offers dating sites and apps the best of both worlds: full control over their platform and data, coupled with the support and expertise of a dedicated team. It's the perfect relationship where technology meets tailored solutions, creating a pathway to efficient and profitable ad monetization.

Must-have capabilities for monetizing dating websites and apps

For dating platforms, having the right tools at their disposal is essential. The availability of certain features and functionalities can define the success of their advertising business. So what are the must-have capabilities of monetization platforms that the dating industry should look for? 

1. Comprehensive Management and Monitoring:

A robust ad serving platform must empower dating sites and apps to manage and monitor every aspect from a single dashboard. At EXADS, we understand that the majority of dating publishers have numerous sites and apps to manage and monitor so our all-in-one ad server can simplify their control over their advertising business: 

  • Enable features and permissions for advertisers and internal teams. 
  • Easily create ad zones and select their settings. 
  • Access to accurate, detailed reporting with top-level metrics in a matter of minutes.
  • Real-time insights that enable them to adapt swiftly to market demands, ensuring optimal performance and revenue generation.
  • Ability to implement changes swiftly, from setting up fixed CPM deals to adjusting prices and volumes. 
  • Quick access to scheduling changes whenever required.

As an example, EXADS ad server provides granular and quick reporting for over 50 metrics, 25 dimensions, and filters. This makes it one of the most powerful tools available for publishers who want to delve into the results of their advertising. 

2. Self-Service Capabilities:

Self-service is a must for streamlining sales processes. It enables Publishers to open their platforms to smaller advertisers and allows sales teams to focus on bigger deals. 

  • Easy access and an intuitive interface, simplify the onboarding process for advertisers. 
  • An easy-to-use platform with comprehensive documentation available means that advertisers can quickly create campaigns and activate them.
  • Giving advertisers the ability to set up campaign conversion tracking and access automatic optimizations increases the platform's attractiveness. 

These features not only make the platform user-friendly but also have a positive impact on sales, fostering lasting relationships with advertisers.

3. Utilization of 1st-Party Data for Personalized Experiences:

An effective ad server must enable the dating industry to utilize one of its most valuable assets: first-party data. This capability allows the accurate segmentation and targeting of audiences, using as many relevant criteria as required. The goal of the publisher is to align the ads that are displayed, with user interests and behaviors.

With an ad server like EXADS, publishers can use numerous targeting options and also add any custom targeting option suitable for their Advertisers, including interests, demographics, spending habits, or any other criteria. The personalization of ad experiences through the use of advanced targeting options that leverage first-party data increases the likelihood of user engagement and conversions. 

4. Varied Choice of Ad Formats and Customizable Ad Formats:

An ad server should offer a large variety of ad formats that follow the industry’s standards. EXADS clients have reported that formats like Email Clicks are well suited for the dating industry and generate high-value conversions, also video ads, In-stream, Outstream, and Video Slider, Native ads which are fully responsive and show seamlessly on all devices, Banner ads, and the list can go on.

However, in the dating industry, same as in retail, gaming, or other verticals, the ability to customize ads is key to creating a seamless user experience. By aligning ads to the overall look and feel of their sites and apps, publishers can ensure that they blend seamlessly with their interfaces. Non-intrusive, well-integrated ads enhance user satisfaction and encourage engagement.

5. Frequency Capping: Balancing Visibility and User Experience

Finding the right balance between visibility and user experience is paramount for the dating industry so a feature such as Frequency capping is a must-have. 

Frequency capping enables publishers to set restrictions on how often a particular ad is displayed to a user within a specific timeframe. This prevents users from being bombarded with the same ad repeatedly, safeguarding them from ad fatigue. When users are not overwhelmed by a constant stream of repetitive ads, they are more likely to stay engaged with the platform for extended periods. This in turn increases the chances of users interacting with other aspects of the platform, such as profiles, chats, and matches. Ultimately, it strengthens user retention.

When users encounter ads selectively, these advertisements tend to make a more significant impression. Users are more likely to notice and engage with well-targeted, relevant ads, leading to higher click-through rates and conversions. This focused interaction benefits both users and advertisers.

6. Cross-Site Retargeting and Conversion Goals: Maximizing User Engagement

Companies such as Match Group, who own numerous dating websites and apps, face a unique challenge and opportunity. Managing multiple platforms demands a strategic approach that retains users within each individual site but also maximizes engagement across their entire portfolio. This is where the ability to set conversion goals for cross-site retargeting emerges as a must-have capability. 

Setting conversion goals allows these companies to set up conversion funnels across their properties. Facilitating them to retarget users in an effective manner while providing a smooth user experience and promoting cross-selling initiatives between their properties. 

By using conversion goals, companies can follow how users interact on their websites and apps and what they like. For example, if a user shows interest in activities like exercising on one site, they can receive ads related to exercising on other sites owned by the same company. This smart way of reaching out creates a satisfying user journey and increases the conversion probability.

Why advertise on dating sites and apps?

Online dating sites and apps are attractive and lucrative platforms for brands for several reasons. Here are some of the key benefits provided to advertisers:

  • Valuable Audience Data: One of the most significant advantages of dating sites and apps for advertisers is the access to a vast database of user information. Details such as age, location, gender, and interests provide valuable insights that allow businesses to precisely target their ads. This tailored approach significantly enhances the chances of converting users into customers. Advertisers have a unique opportunity to create interactive and appealing messages that resonate with specific demographic groups.
  • Access to Highly Engaged Audiences: Dating sites and apps boast large user bases, that are highly engaged. With individuals spending an average of over 55 minutes per day on these platforms, advertisers can reach an audience that is actively involved, making it easier to capture their attention and convey their message effectively.
  • Enhanced Brand Awareness and Recognition: By strategically placing ads on dating platforms, businesses can increase their brand exposure and create lasting brand recall. Regular exposure to the brand message helps in building awareness and recognition among the users. The constant presence of the brand in the dating app environment can lead to a stronger connection between the brand and the users, making them more likely to consider the brand in their purchasing decisions.
  • Seamless Integration with User Experience: One of the significant advantages of advertising on dating sites and apps is the seamless integration of ads with the user experience. When ads are presented in a way that feels native to the platform, users are less likely to ignore or block them. By blending seamlessly with the overall user interface and content, ads become more effective in capturing users' attention, leading to higher engagement rates and click-throughs or swipes.
  • Contextual Relevance: Dating site users often share similar mindsets and interests, making it easier for advertisers to contextualize their messages. Understanding the unique mindset of the audience allows brands to create campaigns that resonate with the users on a personal level. By aligning the brand message with the users' experiences and expectations within the dating environment, advertisers can establish a stronger emotional connection, leading to higher receptivity and response rates.


In the dating industry, where user experience and revenue generation are crucial, having a robust ad server is non-negotiable. After exploring the essential capabilities required for ad serving in the dating industry, it's clear that finding the right partner is essential.

Enter EXADS, the ultimate solution for monetizing dating websites and apps. With its comprehensive suite of features, EXADS empowers platforms to strike the perfect balance between revenue generation and user satisfaction. From seamless management and precise targeting to customizable ad formats, EXADS offers it all.

Ready to revolutionize your dating platform's advertising experience? Don't miss out on the opportunity to enhance your user experience and boost revenue. Contact EXADS today and discover how their cutting-edge solutions can transform your dating website or app.

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Ana Kealy