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Dating Apps Embrace Premium Tiers and Discounts to Attract Gen Z Users

Updated: Jan 8

Dating apps such as Match, Bumble and Grindr are turning to premium tiers and discounts to boost revenue and attract Gen Z users.

Credits: Reuters

With growth slowing down, these apps are incorporating generative AI to provide curated experiences and drive monetisation.

Match Group Inc, the largest dating-app maker, has witnessed a "significant demand" for its new weekly subscriptions. In the UK, the number of Gen Z women switching to a paid Tinder plan has increased by 73% since the launch in April. Hinge has experienced a similar boost. Match is also exploring the possibility of launching a $500-a-month version in the fall. Bumble Inc, which already offers a weekly subscription, plans to test a premium tier later this year, along with a cheaper option specifically targeting Gen Z. Grindr Inc has also seen success with its new weekly option and is considering cheaper alternatives and a premium tier.

The premium offerings cater to users seeking a more curated and personalised matchmaking experience. Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd stated during an earnings call that users perceive the value of paying $40 or $50 a month for finding their special someone as exceptionally low. The cheaper options are explicitly aimed at Gen Z, considering that not everyone in this demographic has disposable income.

As the pandemic has limited in-person meetings, online daters are spending more time swiping and less time meeting. Match, however, has experienced a decline in paying users, with growth stagnating at the end of 2021 and a consecutive decrease for three quarters. On the other hand, Bumble's paying user base continues to grow.

In addition to premium tiers, dating companies are exploring the use of generative AI to introduce new features. Bumble sees AI as a way to curate match recommendations, while Match hopes it can help eliminate awkwardness. Grindr is also exploring new use cases for engagement through AI.

The dating apps are also making adjustments to their platforms. Grindr, facing competition from Match's new Archer app for gay, bisexual, or queer men, plans to expand its adult features in the web-browser version. Archer is currently available only in New York City, with plans for nationwide expansion by the end of the year.

While targeting Gen Z has its advantages, Match acknowledges that weekly subscriptions make it challenging to forecast subscriber numbers. Chief Financial Officer Gary Swidler mentioned during an earnings call that managing this newer subscription model is more difficult.

  • Dating apps like Match, Bumble and Grindr are introducing premium tiers and discounts to attract Gen Z users.

  • Match has seen significant demand for its new weekly subscriptions, especially among Gen Z women in the UK.

  • Bumble plans to test a premium tier and a cheaper option targeting Gen Z.

Source: SCMP

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