Half of Americans Know Someone Who Has Dated a Person They Met Online, According to New Study from People Media

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That's Nearly Double the Total from Just Three Years Ago; One-Third of Those Age 65+ Know Someone Who Has Dated Online

Do you know anyone who has dated someone they met online?

Nearly half of all Americans - 49 percent - say they know at least one person who has dated someone they met online, and the majority of that group actually know more than one person who has dated someone they met online.

The pervasiveness of online dating cuts across demographic lines, even reaching the oldest Internet users - with nearly one-third (31 percent) of Americans age 65+ saying they know someone who has dated a person they met online. Thirty-eight percent of retirees know someone.

These are the principal findings of a new nationwide survey conducted July 20-22 by People Media, Inc. (http://www.PeopleMedia.com), the No. 1 provider of targeted online dating communities. In association with Chicago market researcher Synovate, People Media, Inc. asked 1,000 consumers: "Do you know anyone who has dated someone they met online?"
Here's the high-level breakdown of total respondents who said they know:

1 person: 20.6 percent
2-3 people: 20.7 percent
4-5 people: 4 percent
More than 5 people: 3.4 percent
Don't know anyone: 51.3 percent

The survey marks a significant increase in online dating over the past few years: in 2006, 26 percent of Americans said they knew someone who had gone on a date with a person they met through a dating site, according to a Pew Internet & American Life survey.

"People are comfortable today having an online profile of some kind, and with the practice of getting to know someone in writing first," said Josh Meyers, People Media, Inc. CEO. "In fact, it's a pretty powerful experience. Members have told us they've been more transparent and authentic online than they ever were in a bar or at a gathering offline. Plus, traditional dating takes time and money, and most of us are short on both. Online communities offer a wider selection of potential partners than anyone could find in their own neighborhoods or workplaces. Our own sites have seen a 55 percent year-over-year increase in unique visitors. It's clear that online dating today is accepted as a valuable and legitimate way to meet someone special."

Among the survey's major findings:

  • Respondents in the Midwest and the South were slightly more likely than their counterparts in the Northeast and the West to know someone.
  • Those in the Midwest were twice as likely as those in the Northeast to know at least 4 people who have dated someone they met online (10 percent versus 5 percent).
  • Respondents with higher incomes and more education were most likely to know people who have dated someone they met online.
  • More than half (51 percent) of those at the highest income level ($75k+) know someone, compared with 46 percent of those who earn under $25k, and 48 percent of those in both the $25k-$50k and $50k-$75k groups.
  • More than half (53 percent) of respondents with college degrees or post-grad degrees know someone, while just 35 percent of those with high school education or less agreed.
  • Singles are more likely than their married counterparts to know someone who has dated someone they met online (55 percent and 45 percent, respectively).
  • White respondents were more likely than non-white respondents to know someone (51 percent versus 40 percent).

The People Media/Synovate survey has a margin of error of +/- 3 percent. For a full copy of the survey results and a graphic presentation of top-line data, email info (at) edgecommunicationsinc (dot) com.

About People Media, Inc.
People Media (http://www.PeopleMedia.com) is the No. 1 provider of targeted online dating communities for attractive singles seeking meaningful relationships. The company operates 27 individual web properties - including http://www.BlackPeopleMeet.com and http://www.SeniorPeopleMeet.com - reaching nearly 4 million unique users per month. Its portfolio includes six of the Top 50-ranked personals websites, as reported by comScore Media Metrix - more than any other company. People Media has partnered with the Steve Harvey Morning Show and exclusively powers multiple AOL Personals communities. People Media is a rapidly growing innovator in the online personals space, which is expected to reach $1.2 billion in worldwide revenues by 2009 (Jupiter Research). People Media is based in Hollywood, Calif., and is a unit of Match.com, an operating business of IAC (Nasdaq: IACI).

About Match.com
Match.com pioneered online personals when it launched on the Web in 1995 and continues to lead this exciting and evolving category after more than a decade. Throughout its 14-year history, Match.com has helped redefine the way people meet and fall in love. Match.com provides a rich tapestry of ethnicities, interests, goals, ambitions, quirks, looks and personalities from which to choose. Match.com operates some of the leading subscription-based online dating sites in 24 countries, in 8 languages and spanning five continents, as well as oversees its ongoing investment in Meetic. Match.com also powers online dating on MSN across Asia, Australia, the United States and Latin America. Match.com is an operating business of IAC (NASDAQ:IACI).

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KENNETH GREENBERG
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