How do Dating Apps Make Money [8 Monetization Models]

Published On: September 14, 2018
Last Updated: October 23, 2023
How do Dating Apps Make Money [8 Monetization Models]

The popularity of dating apps has blown up in recent years, with more and more people turning to these platforms to find love, companionship, or casual hookups. The numbers can say all:

  • The dating app market revenue in 2022 was $4.94 billion
  • The dating app users grew up to 366 million in 2022
  • It is estimated that there will be 440 million people seeking love through online platforms by 2027.
  • Check more online dating statics
Global Dating App Revenue

As we can see, the demand for dating apps is increasing; this presents an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs and business owners to capitalize on this growing trend by developing their own dating apps.

However, with so many dating apps available in the market, it’s challenging for new entrants to stand out and make a profit. Even established dating app businesses are struggling to monetize their offerings effectively.

So, to succeed in this highly competitive industry, it’s important to have a proper monetization model in place. As a leading dating app development company with years of experience, we deeply understand the different monetization models and can help you choose the one that’s right for your dating app.

From advertising and in-app purchases to premium subscriptions, there are several ways to monetize your dating app and generate revenue. By integrating these ways and leveraging the benefit of AI into dating apps, you can start to make your dating app successful.

So, let’s explore different monetization models other dating apps use and understand how to succeed in this highly competitive industry.

How Do Dating Apps Earn Money (9 Revenue Models)

1. Subscription

A popular monetization strategy dating apps use is the subscription model. It requires users to pay a fee on a regular basis (weekly, monthly, yearly) to access premium features and services. This includes unlimited swipes, access to see who’s viewed your profile and more.

Types of Subscription Models

  • Premium subscription: Users need to pay a fixed amount for a fixed period to access additional features such as unlimited messaging or the ability to see who likes their profile.
  • Freemium subscription: Users can access basic features for free but must pay to access premium features.

Want to Integrate Premium Subscription Services?

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Examples of popular dating apps using the Subscription Model

Tinder: Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold are the app’s subscription options, which offer features such as unlimited swipes, the ability to undo a swipe, and the ability to see who has liked your profile.

Bumble: Bumble Boost is the app’s premium subscription option, offering features such as rematch with expired connections and access to advanced filters. Learn more about Bumble app features,stats, revenue, etc.

2. In-App Purchases

In-app purchases monetization strategy is a good way to make money from free dating apps that allows users to purchase virtual goods or currency within the app. With that, users can access premium features or enhance their user experience.

Types of In-App Purchase Models

  • Consumable In-App Purchases: Virtual goods or currency purchased can be used once and then must be repurchased. It includes buying virtual gifts to send other users or credits to enhance your profile visibility.
  • Non-Consumable In-App Purchases: Virtual goods or currencies that are purchased provide a permanent benefit. It includes buying premium profile status or access to special features.

Examples of dating apps that use the in-app purchase model

OkCupid: In OkCupid, users can purchase a premium subscription called A-List which allows premium features such as the ability to see who has liked your profile and browse profiles by staying hidden.

Also Read: Learn more about dating app features

3. Sponsorship

Sponsorship is an effective way to generate revenue for dating apps while providing value to users through relevant and engaging content or events. In this model, a brand or advertiser pays to promote their product or service within the dating app to the user base.

Types of Sponsorship Models

  • Sponsored content: In this model, a brand or advertiser pays for their content, such as blog posts or videos, to get featured within the app. For example, restaurant owners promote their business through dating apps as it’s the best place to gain their audience.
  • Sponsored events: In this model, dating apps will host an event, and a brand or advertiser will sponsor it. The event, such as speed dating events, will bring users together in person and allow the sponsor to showcase their brand.

Examples of dating apps that use the sponsorship model

Hinge: Hinge has partnered with brands such as Headspace and Casper to offer users sponsored content and promotions related to mental health and sleep.

Also Read: Get in depth knowledge on how to create a dating app?

4. Affiliate Marketing

In the affiliate marketing model, dating apps partner with other service providers like restaurant owners, jewelry stores, gift stores, bars, and florists to sell their products or services. In this way, dating apps can generate revenue by earning a commission for every user who clicks through to the partner site and makes a purchase or signs up for a service.

Ensure promoted products or services align with the app’s overall brand and value so users find it engaging.

Types of Affiliate Marketing

  • Pay-per-click (PPC): Earns a commission every time a user clicks on the link and is directed to the partner’s website.
  • Pay-per-lead (PPL): Earns a commission every time a user clicks on the link and completes a desired action, such as filling out a form.
  • Pay-per-sale (PPS): Earns a commission each time a user clicks on the link and purchases on the partner’s website.

Examples of dating apps that use affiliate marketing

Tinder: Tinder has partnered with companies to offer co-branded promotions, such as a partnership with Lyft that provides discounted rides to first dates.

Also Read: Check out more on Tinder’s pricing plans in detail.

5. Integrated Ecommerce Model

In this model, dating apps have their own online store to sell products and services related to dating and relationships. This monetization strategy works well for apps with strong user engagement, and they should be interested in purchasing products that complement the dating experience.

The products range from physical goods, such as clothing, accessories, and home decor, to digital products, such as e-books, courses, and coaching services. The app can also offer gift cards or vouchers that can be used for dates, events, or experiences.

They must also have a user-friendly e-commerce platform that integrates with their app and offers secure payment processing.

An example of a dating app that uses this integrated e-commerce revenue model is Bumble. They have an online store called Bumble Bizz, where they sell branded merchandise such as t-shirts, tote bags, phone cases, and tickets to events and experiences.

Want to Integrate an E-commerce Model In Your Dating App?

Connect with our experts and discuss how we can help you reach new
customers and increase sales.

6. Advertisement Model

The advertisement monetization model involves displaying ads to dating app users and generating income from advertisers. Advertisers pay for displaying ads, and dating apps offer ad space to promote their services or products.

The ads can be displayed in different formats, such as banner ads, interstitial ads, or native ads, to the different parts of the app. It’s important to balance the placement and frequency of ads to avoid distracting users with excessive advertising.

Types of Advertisement Models

  • Cost Per Impression (CPM): The app earns revenue based on the ad’s number of impressions or views.
  • Cost Per Click (CPC): Earns revenue based on the number of clicks on the ad.
  • Cost Per Action (CPA): Earns revenue based on the number of actions the user takes after clicking on the ad, such as signing up for a service or making a purchase.

Examples of dating apps that use the advertisement model

Tinder: Tinder displays ads in between user swipes, as well as banner ads on the homepage.

OkCupid: OkCupid displays banners and native ads within the app’s search results and messaging interface.

7. Provide Personalized Coaching Service

Several people are too shy to approach a person of the opposite sex. They are not confident enough to express their feelings and communicate with others.

So, to help them enjoy fun dates with their matches, the dating app allows users to sign up for personalized coaching services such as dating advice, profile optimization, or matchmaking. It also offers tips about body language, grooming, appearance, and how to make the best first impression while meeting their date.

The app charges a fee for the coaching services, which can be a one-time or recurring subscription fee.

Types of personalized coaching services

  • One-on-one coaching sessions: Users can schedule one-on-one coaching sessions with a dating expert to receive personalized advice and feedback.
  • Group coaching sessions: Users can participate in group coaching sessions with other users to learn from experts and share their experiences.
  • Profile optimization services: Users can receive personalized feedback and guidance on optimizing their dating profiles to attract more matches.

Examples of dating apps that use the personalized coaching service model allows users to sign up for “Matchmakers,” a personalized matchmaking service that matches users with certified matchmakers who provide personalized advice and feedback.

8. Conduct a Paid Survey

Another great way dating apps generate revenue is by conducting paid surveys. In this model, the app sends out surveys to users on behalf of companies and earns money from these companies for accessing its user base. Users can get money or other rewards for participating in the surveys.

Types of Paid Surveys

  • Traditional surveys: These are straightforward surveys where users must answer a series of questions on a given topic.
  • Behavioral surveys: These surveys collect data on users’ behaviors within the app, such as what type of profiles they are viewing or how often they are messaging other users.

Example of a dating app that uses the paid survey model

OKCupid: This app regularly sends out surveys to its users on several topics, and users can earn points that can be redeemed for premium features or real-world rewards.

How to Decide Which Monetization Model to Choose?

Selecting the right monetization model is crucial to the success of your dating app. So take the time to evaluate the following options carefully and seek expert advice if necessary.

Here are the steps to follow:

  • Determine your app’s target audience and their willingness to pay.
  • Evaluate your app’s unique features.
  • Consider the current market trends and competition.
  • Assess the potential revenue each monetization model can generate.

It’s best to seek the advice of experienced professionals who can help you analyze your options and make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals.

Need Help Creating a Monetization Plan For Your Dating App?

Let us help! Schedule a call with our experts, as they will evaluate several
options to help you make an informed decision.


We hope you understand the different ways dating apps make money. Now, it’s time for you to sort out the best ways to generate revenue for your dating app as per the target audience.

You can incorporate all the suitable ways to generate money into your dating app. If you don’t know how to incorporate these into your dating app, you can contact us.

As a leading dating app development company, we have created many dating apps and integrated these monetization methods to make them successful. Hence, we can understand your business goals and include the best app monetization methods that align with your business goals at a cost-effective price.

Frequently Asked Questions

In Tinder's business model, the monetization streams are subscriptions, in-app advertising, and partnerships with other brands. It primarily makes money through subscriptions to its premium features, such as Tinder Plus and Tinder Gold, which offer additional features like unlimited swipes, the ability to change your location, and the ability to see who has liked your profile.

Apart from subscriptions, it makes money through in-app purchases, such as Super Likes & Boosts. Lastly, it also generates revenue by showing ads in the free version. Learn more about Tinder's business model in detail.

Talking about Bumble's revenue-generating stream, it makes money using the Freemium, in-app purchases, and subscription model.

Bumble primarily makes money through its premium subscription service called Bumble Boost, which offers additional features such as the ability to rematch with expired matches, extend the time for a connection to respond, and access to Bumble's Beeline feature that shows users who have already liked their profile.

Bumble also generates revenue through in-app advertising and partnerships with other brands. To learn more about Bumble's business model, check out this blog post: Bumble Business Model.

Hinge makes money primarily through its premium subscription service, Hinge Preferred, which offers additional features like unlimited likes, the ability to see who has liked your profile, and access to advanced filters to help find more compatible matches. It also generates revenue through in-app advertising and partnerships with other brands.

The dating app market made $4.94 billion in revenue in 2022. However, it greatly depends on various factors, such as the size of its user base, its premium feature's popularity, and it's monetization strategy's effectiveness.

However, successful dating apps can generate millions or even billions of dollars in revenue each year. For example, Tinder's revenue in 2022 made US $1.79 billion.

Yes, free dating apps can make money through different monetization strategies such as in-app advertising, premium subscription services, virtual gifts, or partnerships with other brands. While free dating apps may generate less revenue than paid ones, they can still be profitable if they have a large user base and high user engagement.

Ravi Makhija
Ravi Makhija

Ravi Makhija is an entrepreneur, an IT professional, tech geek, founder & CEO at Guru TechnoLabs - Globally Trusted Web & Mobile App Development Company. He loves writing about new technologies and the latest trends in the IT field.