The Amazing “Elite Dating” Market
When I last viewed “Fiddler on the Roof,” I thought that Yente the Matchmaker was part of a world long gone. It seems I was wrong.
In the course of doing my “day job” as a marketing consultant who specializes in working with intellectual property attorneys on trademark matters, I happened upon an industry I frankly admit where I had little knowledge – the super-elite dating market.
Perhaps I shouldn’t be surprised because my “dating” career ended so many years ago, but it hasn’t been so long since my children were in that world. Nevertheless, it is a remarkable story from a marketing perspective. I think we all know how the computer has revolutionized the way people meet each other. We see commercials and other forms of advertising for the purpose of allowing singles to meet each other. Perfectly normal and perfectly understandable. It is the upscale market that is so interesting.
Heretofore my only exposure to this market was the “It’s Just Lunch” product. I never really looked into it in great detail, but I assumed it required a little more commitment than the ordinary dating site. It was only when I looked into this market in detail I realized the depth and scope of it. It’s a form of marriage brokerage.
I also realized this is hardly a brand-new thing. According to the Financial Times (November 25, 2018), “while it remains possible to fall head over heels in love with a like-minded stranger in a bar or club, the idea of finding a lifelong partner by chance of the party today seems sweetly old-fashioned and somewhat unscientific.”
The “Times” goes on to estimate the online dating industry, as a whole, is valued at $2.5 billion in the US alone. Another media source, “The Insider” in a Feb. 14, 2014 article by Karina Bishop donates the North American market, with 111 million singles in the United States alone, to be worth $82 billion. Insider writes about an elite dating service that charges clients up to $100,000 “to help the rich find love.”
One site, mentioned in The Insider article, discusses the intense vetting process it goes through to screen clients. It talks about membership costs running between $16,000 and $100,000 a year. They say they interview every single client and will travel to meet prospective clients wherever they are in the world.
This elite agency has a fast-growing membership base, does not reveal the names of clients but says high profile CEOs technology billionaires and various other “very high profile” individuals are among its members.
According to the Financial Times article, discussing another elite dating Internet site, it writes: “Those who apply to be accepted onto the app, which is free at the basic level, must first pass a 24-hour process where they have vetted by existing members.” The site’s “staff” filter those applicants again to check whether or not that applicant fits the profile. Only 10-15% make the final cut. The elite dating site claims that half of its members earn more than $500,000 a year.
For those of you who earn under the stratosphere, don’t fret. Elite Magazine (https://elitesingles.com) lists “37 Best Dating Apps of 2021 for Every Style” of Dating.” You’re sure to find somebody there.