RealTime IT News

Match.com to Power Matchmaking on MSN.co.uk

[London, ENGLAND] Announcing what could be a long-term romance, Match.com said Monday it will power online matchmaking services for MSN.co.uk, the most popular Web site in the U.K.

Match.com, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ticketmaster, already provides online personals and matchmaking services on the Microsoft Network in the United States. It has been keen to expand this route into the U.K. where it has just 37,000 existing members.

MSN.co.uk, with its 10 million unique users per month in the U.K. alone -- helping to make it the most visited site in the country -- will add substantially to Match.com's business.

As a result of the agreement, Match.com will provide content to MSN.co.uk's Love and Relationship channel, while Microsoft's Hotmail and MSN Messenger Service will carry links to Match.com.

Matt Whittingham, partner marketing manager at MSN UK, said the deal represents a great opportunity for MSN to "step into a new space."

"The key drivers are Match.com's market leadership as well as its quality content. At MSN.co.uk we have the demographic groups and reach that make us attractive partnership material, and we are delighted to build on an existing U.S. relationship," said Whittingham.

Match.com's President Cindy Hennessy said the sheer traffic generated by MSN would help enormously in expanding Match.com's reach and awareness.

"We aim to replicate the success of our U.S. alliance here in the U.K., as over 10 percent of our traffic is generated via our connection with MSN," said Hennessy.

Match.com has already amassed some impressive statistics, especially when it adds those brought by its forthcoming integration with the One & Only Network. At that point it will have nearly 9 million user registrations and around 1.5 million unique users.

Affiliate sites generated over 1.5 billion page views for Match.com during 2000, a 153 percent increase over the previous year. Over half a million people have found relationships after joining Match.com and over 1,100 marriages have resulted.

So will the relationship of Match.com and MSN end in marriage? Unless MSN gets a divorce from Microsoft, the two are likely to live in sin for the forseeable future. It is more respectable that way.