It sometimes seems like there are as many online dating sites as there are fish in the sea. But actually, most of the services are owned by just two big companies.
The users of JDate, Christian Mingle, LDS Single, and Catholic Single may all follow different faiths, but the sites all bow to the same corporate overlord: Spark Networks.
Another company, IAC/InterActiveCorp, owns not only the older, more established Match.com and Chemistry.com, but also OkCupid, its more free-wheeling (and free) sibling*, as well as that digital Pleasure Island, Tinder.
Last week, IAC announced the launch of yet another site, Delightful, aimed at people who seek love and relationships, rather than just hookups. It will be headed in part by the comedian Steve Harvey, who will serve as the brand’s “Chief Love Officer.”
“This is our first brand focused on the L word as opposed to other brands that focus on dates,” said Sam Yagan, the Match.com CEO who will run Delighful with Harvey. “Steve Harvey developed authentic views on finding and keeping love. That appeal, combined with our know-how in this space is going to make Delightful a powerful offering in the dating category.”
Before joining Match, Yagan helped found OkCupid with two college buddies. In a time when there's a specific dating site for almost every micro-demographic (Farmers! Redheads!), I interviewed Yagan about what it’s like to manage so many distinct dating portals at once—and why he thinks everyone should be dating online.
A lightly edited transcript of our conversation follows.