The digital ad space, like the online dating industry, is currently controlled by a few large players.
With Facebook and Google registering total ad revenue of $26bn and $22.4bn respectively last year, it was estimated the two giants accounted for 90% of growth in the first half of 2016.
Although this monopoly is much less pronounced in the dating industry, the weight of the largest players has pushed the space further towards niche specialisation – something that has also happened in the digital ad space.
A new ad network for the dating industry wants to take advantage of the niche opportunity available in both markets by linking them together.
Niche Ad Network is a new advertising network for the online dating industry that wants to offer an “alternative to Google AdWords for the online dating market”.
Launched in October 2016 by industry veterans Michael Carter and Michael Allen, the platform focuses exclusively on connecting advertisers and publishers in niche dating markets.
The network currently offers over 70 niche dating ad channels, and is working with a range of publishers across the US and Europe.
As co-founder Michael Carter explained when we spoke to him earlier this year: “The concept of niche marketing isn’t a new one. It is a recognition that there are individuals with very specific interests, and it makes sense to focus ads directly to those people instead of to the general market.
“Our niche dating ad channels allow advertisers to easily reach the groups they are interested in, and our approach allows publishers to know that the ads on their sites speak to their visitors, and most importantly, the visitors to sites see ads that are actually matched to their interests.”
The Cheyenne, Wyoming-based business is looking to work with publishers in the online dating space either running general or niche sites with ad-based or freemium models, or those operating dating information sites or online dating directories that have niche dating categories.
The platform was co-founded by Michael Carter, the President of Passions Network, a dating business founded in 2004 that runs a network of over 260 niche dating sites.
We recently chatted to Carter about the new venture, why he sees it as filling a gap in the dating market, and why dating advertisers and publishers should be interested in the new ad network.
Read an edited version of the conversation below.