Match Group, Inc. provides internet media and services. The Company offers online dating activities. Match Group serves customers worldwide.
Extended Company Description (Source: Hoover's Inc., a Dun & Bradstreet Company)
Match Group operates Match.com, one of the world's largest dating Web portals. Through its various dating websites, the company boasts a total of 2.8 million paying subscribers. Registered members post a personal profile and browse the site in search of a potential match. Subscribers have access to Match.com's double-blind anonymous e-mail system that allows users to contact one another and flirt. In addition to its flagship site, the company connects with Web-bound singles in about 25 countries via sites in nearly 10 languages. Launched in 1995, Match.com is owned by Internet conglomerate IAC/InterActiveCorp (IAC).
The company's revenue is derived primarily from subscription fees for its subscription based online personals and related services.
Under IAC's umbrella, Match.com is paired with Chemistry.com, Singlesnet.com, and other brands under the Match business segment. Match.com and Singlesnet.com are general, subscription-based dating sites, while Chemistry.com is an online matching system that uses in-depth personality assessments and user feedback to bring singles together. Match.com offers access to its services via mobile phone and other mobile devices through its matchMobile service.
Match is leading provider of subscription based and ad supported online personals services in North America, Europe, Latin America, Australia and Asia. Internationally, Match.com operates through its 27% stake in Meetic, a European online dating company based in France. Meetic operates sites in about 15 countries in addition to France, including Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK. Match.com formed a joint venture with Meetic, through which it provides personals services in Latin America, including Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina.
Sales and Marketing
In addition to subscription services, Match.com generates revenue through advertising on its website. The company markets its services through traditional marketing and business development activities, including television, print, and radio advertising, public relations efforts, and events. Match.com's also promotes itself online with banner ads and other display advertising, search engine marketing, and e-mail campaigns.
TV networks aren't built in a day; but if anyone could do it, it's probably Barry Diller. Since dropping out of UCLA in 1958 to work in the mailroom at the William Morris talent agency (he was promoted to agent in 1961), Diller has been all over Tinseltown. He got into television in 1968 as the VP of programming for ABC, where he developed the concepts of the miniseries and the made-for-TV movie. Diller's next step took him into movies as chairman of Paramount Pictures in 1974. His 10-year Paramount stint produced films including Raiders of the Lost Ark. But Diller's biggest claim to fame is his tenure at FOX. Beginning in 1984, Diller led the brash television network from joke to jewel. After a scrape with FOX boss Rupert Murdoch in 1992, he moved on to home shopping as head of QVC in 1993.
Diller built a company of his own in 1995 after leaving QVC. With financial backing from TCI (later bought by AT&T Broadband), Diller took over the Home Shopping Network (now HSN) and its separately traded distribution unit, Silver King Communications. Silver King merged with Savoy Pictures and Home Shopping Network in 1996, calling the new company HSN. In 1997 HSN bought Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's 47% interest in Ticketmaster. Diller followed that up with the $4 billion purchase of USA Networks in 1998.
USA Networks dates back to 1977, when Kay Koplovitz founded the all-sports Madison Square Garden Network cable channel. In 1980, after shifting its focus from sports to syndicated TV shows and feature films, she sold the channel (now USA Network) to Time, MCA, and Paramount. After years of reruns, USA began developing original programming in 1988. By that time Paramount (later bought by Viacom) and MCA (later bought by Seagram and renamed Universal Studios) had become equal owners in USA. After a bitter courtroom struggle in which Universal accused Viacom of running its MTV and Nickelodeon networks in competition with USA, Universal bought out Viacom's interest in 1997.
Diller bought USA Networks (USA Network and the SCI-FI Channel) and Vivendi UNIVERSAL Entertainment's TV production and US distribution business as well. The deal gave Seagram a 45% stake in HSN, which changed its name to USA Networks. USA Networks bought the remainder of Ticketmaster in 1998, then purchased online entertainment guide publisher Citysearch, merging it with Ticketmaster Online into a new company called Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch. USA Networks then spun off the new company to the public, retaining a 60% interest (later reduced to about 50%).
In 1999 Diller failed in an attempt to merge Ticketmaster Online-Citysearch and Internet portal Lycos (now part of Terra Networks). Diller then bought parts of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and independent film companies Gramercy and October from Seagram, renaming them Focus. USA Networks also bought the Hotel Reservations Network in 1999.
In 2000 the company reorganized into three units: USA Electronic Retailing, USA Entertainment, and USA Information and Services. It also lost World Wrestling Federation programming to Viacom. Later that year French utility and media firm Vivendi (now Vivendi UNIVERSAL) bought Seagram, gaining Seagram's 43% stake in USA Networks.
In 2001 Ticketmaster Online bought its former parent Ticketmaster Corporation. USA Networks retained 68% of the combined company. USA Networks also agreed to sell its TV stations to Univision for $1.1 billion. Diller later announced that his company would buy a 65% stake in Expedia (completed 2002) and launch a travel venture called USA Travel Group. The group eventually included Hotels.com, a cable travel channel, and USA's minority stake in cruise and vacation package provider National Leisure Group.
At the end of 2001, Diller decided to shift USA Interactive's focus entirely to retailing. He agreed to sell USA Networks' entertainment assets to Vivendi UNIVERSAL for $10.3 billion. The deal was completed in 2002, and the company changed its name to USA Interactive with Diller retaining his voting control of the firm.
2003 was a busy year for USA Interactive. It bought the remaining 33% stake in Ticketmaster that it didn't already own, making it a wholly owned subsidiary. Later that year the company completed its acquisition of the outstanding shares of Hotels.com and Expedia that it didn't already own, making them both wholly owned subsidiaries. The same day of the Expedia deal, IAC completed its acquisition of online financial services company LendingTree (now Tree.com), branching IAC out into the online financial services market. Also in 2003 IAC acquired discount travel Web site hotwire.com for $666.7 million. The same year USA Interactive bought back over $400 million of its own shares from Vivendi Universal and changed its name to InterActiveCorp (IAC).
In 2004, in a move to round out its travel-related entities, IAC acquired TripAdvisor; over the course of the year, IAC also purchased a total of 52% of Beijing-based travel site eLong. It also deepened its people-connector segment with the purchase of Friendfinder rival ZeroDegrees (as in "zero degrees of separation"). Also in 2004, IAC acquired the unique homeowner services connector ServiceMagic. During the same buying spree, it also acquired British online personals service uDate.com, a rival to its Match.com, for $150 million in stock. Also that year the company changed its name to IAC/InterActiveCorp.
In 2005 IAC launched Gifts.com, a gift-shopping website. In April the company completed the acquisition of Cornerstone Brands, a portfolio of leading print catalogs and online retailing sites for $720 million. In mid-2005 IAC sold its 48% interest in German TV operator Euvia Media for about $80 million and its stake in Vivendi Universal Entertainment for $322.1 million. Later that year IAC completed the spinoff to IAC shareholders of its travel businesses, which included its Expedia subsidiary, as well as Hotels.com, Hotwire, and TripAdvisor. Shareholders received one share of Expedia common stock and one share of IAC common stock for every two shares of IAC common held.
In 2006 IAC renamed Ask Jeeves Ask.com in conjunction with a major advertising campaign designed to capture users of Google and Yahoo. It later purchased a 51% stake in Connected Ventures, LLC, the parent company of CollegeHumor.com. The acquisition was the first by the new programming division of IAC. Also in 2006 the company sold its teleservices unit PRC, LLC to private equity group Diamond Castle Holdings and PRC management for an undisclosed amount.
In 2007 IAC sold its Germany TV and internet retailer, HSE Germany. Also that year gifts.com acquired GiveFun.com, an online provider of gift certificates, and in late 2007 IAC struck a deal with online video syndication firm Brightcove to create and distribute video for IAC's brands. (IAC holds a minority stake in Brightcove.) Also, the company's new corporate headquarters (designed by the architect Frank Gehry) in New York's Chelsea neighborhood was completed in 2007.
IAC split into five public companies in 2008 by spinning off HSN, Ticketmaster, Tree.com, and ILG. The company's Web properties remained under the IAC conglomerate. John Malone's Liberty Media had owned a 60% stake in IAC and was against the corporate breakup. Malone eventually dropped his opposition in exchange for a voting agreement with Diller, and Liberty was given the power to appoint board members to the spinoff companies.
In 2009 Match.com sold the European operations of Match.com to online dating site Meetic in exchange for a 27% interest in Meetic and ?5 million (about $6.7 million). To expand its ServiceMagic business, IAC acquired MarketHardware, an online provider of marketing solutions for home services businesses, in 2009. Also that year the company sold off nonessential holdings in its Emerging Business segment, which was subsequently renamed Media & Other. (The segment includes all assets not related to Search, Match, and ServiceMagic.) As part of this plan, in 2009 IAC sold campground reservation firm ReserveAmerica to community sports site operator The Active Network. Under the terms of the sale, IAC received a minority stake in The Active Network.
Online local city guide Citysearch -- another component of IAC's Search segment -- also underwent a reorganization in 2010, when Citysearch became CityGrid Media. The new name reflects that business's evolution to a local advertising and content network that also houses Urbanspoon (online restaurant guide acquired in 2009) and Insider Pages (consumer reviews of local businesses, purchased in 2007).
Later that year Malone and Diller ended their business relationship when IAC bought out its stake in Liberty Media in exhange for $220 million and the Evite and Gifts.com businesses, which became part of Liberty Interactive. Concurrent with the deal, Diller remains chairman but stepped down as CEO. He was replaced by former Match.com CEO Greg Blatt.
The following year the company's Daily Beast merged with Newsweek to form The Newsweek/Daily Beast Company. Newsweek had been losing money, and in 2010 Sidney Harman (founder of Harman International Industries) purchased the magazine from The Washington Post Company. Harman made the deal to help revitalize the print title, which had been faltering as it tries to remain relevant in the internet era; he served as executive chairman of Newsweek/Daily Beast until his death in 2011. Formerly a joint venture between IAC and Harman, The Newsweek/Deaily Beast Company became majority-controlled by IAC in 2012.
In 2012 IAC acquired online information portal About from The New York Times Company for some $300 million. Later that year ServiceMagic was renamed HomeAdvisor.
In 2013 IAC purchased the online tutoring website Tutor.com.
In 2013 HomeAdvisor acquired Werkspot.nl, the Netherlands' leading online platform connecting homeowners with qualified craftsmen.