​​Valentine's Day and Dating Services: How strong is their relationship?

As of 2016, Stats Canada estimates that 52 per cent of Canadians identify as single, separated, widowed or divorced. Dating services, particularly in their online incarnations have undeniably changed the singles game. By providing better data on potential matches, such as careers, pet peeves, political affiliations, or favorite films and music, websites and apps can be said to have made looking for love more efficient and calculated. The service options are seen everywhere, and television is no exception. So with Valentine's Day having just passed by, it's fair to question: is there a relationship between dating services and time period leading up to our national day of romance? We created a four-month comparison among adults 18 to 49: Fall 2016 vs. the January 14th – Feb 14th from 2013 to 2016.

Pre-Valentine's Day dating spots on television have almost doubled in audience reach, and the number of spots airing has increased by over 150 per cen​t, since 2013. In Fall 2016, dating services in Canada aired less than 10,000 spots per month on average, compared to an average of nearly 17,000 in the mid-January/February block over the previous four years.

In Fall 2016 more dating ads aired in Montreal (Anglo and Franco combined) than in any other market. However, dating spots in Toronto cumulatively achieved the highest reach among adults 18-49. The same trend occurred before Valentine's Day, with Montreal airing the most spots, and Toronto reaching the most viewers, on average. In January 2017, 2,000 more dating spots have aired in Montreal than in Toronto.

Global Quebec and Historia+ aired the most ads compared to any other conventional network, or specialty/digital network respectively, this past Fall. Since 2013, on average, CBC Toronto and W Network have reached audiences the most during the four-year January/February slot. In Fall 2016, 19 per cent of dating ads aired during prime time (18:00 – 23:00), compared to 22 per cent during the January/February time block.  Before Valentine's Day, males 18-49 were mostly likely to be reached by dating spots on Showcase and females of the same age were mostly likely to be reached by W Network.

Again, we see that despite digital, TV advertising still plays a big role in how Canadians from coast to coast tuned in to different programming to find what they're looking for. Even love. 

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