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Amoureux.com : The French Touch to Dating Conquers Britain

Written By: ondine

Amoureux.com was launched in France in 1997 by David Body who was joined in this adventure by Philippe Apter in 1999. The site has been growing in importance ever since. In September 2004, a Spanish version and a German version also became available and now it’s time for the British version to be launched. The commercial strategy remains the same : a free service on the web and a paying service on mobile phones (hopefully soon available in Great-Britain, talks are on the way). “Our position in France is now very strong and we are able to intensify our international development”, says David Body, co-founder and director of Amoureux.com.

You can visit the British site on : http://www.uk.amoureux.com
Members can create their profile, write a text, add up to 7 photos and their video. They can do multicriteria searches to find the perfect match for them; they can send and receive messages to and from other members and they go and get to know other members in the chat room, and all this for free. They also receive e-mails to notify them of any new member that matches their criteria. Soon members will also be able to send e-cards, love declarations, get loads of information on marriage, do fun quizzes, get their daily love forecast and lots more…

For their first month online, the German and Spanish sites generated respectivelly 3 and 2.2 million pages viewed (figures from Weborama) and between 10,000 to 50,000 new members a month. “We are well beyond our initial forecasts and our growth programme” states Philippe Apter co-director of Amoureux.com. This success is due to solid communication and advertising in both those countries, but also thanks to the name of the site itself, “Our French name bears meaning even out of French speaking countries” says David Body. Hopefully, the British site will be just as successful.

The European versions of Amoureux.com keep the same name, the same visual identity and the same sections as the French site. “The system remains the same”, confirms Philippe Apter, ” although it has been adapted to the local market”. Each version has a team working for it, on marketing and content.

In France as it will be the case in the other countries, the economic model relies on two sources of revenue : advertising, which is 50% of the companie’s turn-over, and multimedia services on mobile phones. In France, the company works with all three major mobile companies and is available on i-mode and wap (Vodafone Live and Orange Gallery).Depending on the agreements with the operators, the site gets between 65 % to 95% of the revenue generated by these services. Talks are going well with mobile operators in Great-Britain, Germany and Spain to collaborate in the same way.

Philippe Apter admits that the investment for the international versions has cost a few hundred thousand euros in 2004. The site has 1.78 millions members in its data base, of which 270,000 are active members of the web service. Amoureux.com’s turn-over should be between 1 million and 1.5millions euros this year, which represents a growth of 100% compared to last year. The dating site hopes for a similar growth for 2005.

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