People Media

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People Media is a targeted online dating service focusing on specific demographic groups. A niche or targeted online dating site differs from broad dating sites like Match.com by recognizing commonalities important to customers such as ethnicity, religion and lifestyle.[1] As ranked by comScore Media Metrix People Media operates 6 of the top 50 ranked personals websites including BlackPeopleMeet.com, SeniorPeopleMeet.com, SingleParentMeet.com, and BBPeopleMeet.com. With $11.6 million of EBITDA in 2008 and 255,000 paying members, People Media is atop the niche or targeted segment of the online dating industry.[2]

PeopleMedia.com
Web address http://www.peoplemedia.com
Commercial? Yes
Type of site Online dating service
Registration Yes
Owner Match.com
Launched 2002
Current status Active

History[edit]

People Media is owned by Match.com, an operating company of IAC/Interactive Corp. Match.com announced on July 7, 2009, the acquisition of People Media from American Capital Ltd for $80 million in cash. This coupled the leading company in the targeted dating space, People Media, with the leading company in the general dating space, Match.com.[2]

Prior to Match.com's acquisition, PeopleMedia was the top performing company in American Capital's portfolio. The investment firm purchased People Media from the company's entrepreneurial founders in May 2007.[3] Attracted by a highly scalable business model, a diversified group of targeted dating sites and strong performance relative to its peers, American Capital invested $56 million in People Media during May 2007. Concurrently, the American Capital Technology Group worked closely with People Media, improving infrastructure and controls, building a senior management team, including former Yahoo executive Joshua Meyers as CEO, and launching strong partnerships such as the one with AOL Personals [4] and Radio Date with the Steve Harvey Morning Show.[5]

In the beginning People Media, formerly known as Zencon Technologies LLC, was formed by two entrepreneurs based in Chandler, Arizona. In 2002 BlackPeopleMeet.com was launched,[6] marking the first of several targeted dating sites. The entrepreneurs behind Zencon Technologies LLC created additional sites when they realized they were attracting members to sign up without doing any marketing.[7]

Records and Facts[edit]

PeopleMedia powers AOL Personals boutique dating verticals. Participating sites are: BlackPeopleMeet.com, CatholicPeopleMeet.com, JPeopleMeet.com, LoveAndSeek.com (Christian Personals), SeniorPeopleMeet.com, and SingleParentmeet.com [8]

The Steve Harvey Morning Show and BlackPeopleMeet.com began Radio Date in January 2009. Radio Date offers black singles a chance to be featured on The Steve Harvey Morning Show and win a date with a potential match from BlackPeopleMeet.com. As of August 12, 2009, 14 dates occurred with 9 dates producing successful matches.[5]

People Media completed the redesign of all niche online dating properties they operate in June 2009.[9]

Over 2 million unique visitors went to People Media sites in June 2009 (comScore June 2009) [10]

Controversy[edit]

Originally filed in October 2007, People Media stood accused of patent infringement by Data Match Enterprises. According to the complaint the infringed patent, titled "System for regulating access to data base for purposes of data base management" relates to how database management systems make it possible to access databases and expand them on an ongoing basis. For online dating this can relate to how a user's search queries based on certain criteria such as location, occupation, relationship preference, are then compiled to provide the user with matches to their search critiera. Ultimately People Media was dismissed from this suit.[11]

Consumers have levied criticism regarding People Media's policy of automatic membership renewal via automatic credit card and e-check billing. Per the Terms and Conditions of the sites the customer must specifically cancel the service.[citation needed]

Known as a Romance scam, someone posing as a potential love match contacts members on a dating site and employs various methods to defraud members.[12] Members who are targets of romance scams have organized online and often attribute blame to the site.[13] To rebut fraud People Media sites reserve the right to "block current members, former members, or certain IP addresses from accessing the website or the services." [14]

Awards[edit]

Internet/New Media Company of the Year Finalist [15]

Deloitte's 2009 Technology Fast 500 Ranking [16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Passewitz, Gregory R. "Finding Customers: Market Segmentation". Ohio State University Extension. Retrieved June 6, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Wauters, Robin (July 2009). "Match.com Acquires People Media for $80M in Cash". TechCrunch. 
  3. ^ Brooks, Mark (June 2007). "Zencon (BlackPeopleMeet) Sold to American Capital". Online Personals Watch. 
  4. ^ "American Capital Investor Fact Sheet – Q2 2009". American Capital. June 2009. 
  5. ^ a b "The Airwaves Are Sizzling for Black Singles, As BlackPeopleMeet.com and the Steve Harvey Morning Show Add New Online Features for Popular Radio Date Segment". NewsGuide.us. August 2009. 
  6. ^ "BlackPeopleMeet.com Whois Record". DomainTools. Retrieved July 11, 2009. 
  7. ^ Brooks, Mark (July 2000). "OPW Interview Josh Meyers, CEO Of PeopleMedia". Online Personals Watch. 
  8. ^ "Aol Personals Partners with People Media". AOL. March 2009. 
  9. ^ "People Media Launches Six New Niche Online Dating Communities For AOL Personals, Enhances All Existing Specialty Sites With New Matching and Community Features". NewsGuide.us. June 2009. 
  10. ^ "Internet Dating Rankings – June/July 09". Lovesites. August 2009. 
  11. ^ "Humor Rainbow Strikes Deal in Online Dating IP Suit". Law 360. June 2009. 
  12. ^ Albo, Bonny. "Signs of an Internet Scam". About.com. 
  13. ^ "New Scammer: David Pederson". RomanceScam.com. Retrieved July 21, 2009. 
  14. ^ "Terms and Conditions". BlackPeopleMeet. Retrieved October 4, 2009. 
  15. ^ "2009 Technology Industry Awards". Technology Council of Southern California. Retrieved May 17, 2009. 
  16. ^ "2009 Technology Fast 500 Winners Brochure by Rank". Deloitte.com. Retrieved October 21, 2009. 

External links[edit]

AOL Personals Website * [1]
BlackPeopleMeet *[2]
Joshua Meyers, People Media CEO Interview * [3]
People Media Website * [4]
People Meet Website * [5]