With the coming of Yahoo!xtra to New Zealand, will we see the entry of Yahoo! personals? There is an Australian version already, and it seems a gimme to at least give it a serious try in NZ. The Australian site states that it is a place to find Kiwi’s as well, but there are not that many Kiwi profiles there, and the nz.personals.yahoo.com url does not work.
The Kiwi dating market is divided between NZDating and FindSomeone, and it will be pretty hard to make serious headway against their critical masses. There is a little overlap between NZDating and FSO – just 18% of Findsomeone browsers go to NZDating (which is the bigger site by UB’s and PV’s), and 11.6% of NZDating browsers to to Findsomeone.*
The reason is that the two sites target and attract different ends of the market – FSO attracts those looking for serious relationships, while NZDating attracts, in general, a more transactional bunch. They are both good sites.
Yahoo! Personals appears to target the masses, and the site is pretty slick. However the pricing in Australia is steep by NZDating standards – $25 for one month down to $13.75 per month for 6 months. So they fit between the two incumbant sites, and would have to attract people from both sites for critical mass.
Dating is not a winner-take-all market, but you do need critical mass, and you do need a source of new members. Critical mass is hard to generate in the small cities and towns of little New Zealand, while attracting new members requires great word of mouth experiences backed by advertising spend. It will be a hard road for Yahoo!
*Net Neilsen, November 2006.