Love in the Digital Age: Marriage Agencies Face Bankruptcy Amid Dating App Surge

Tokyo: As people resort to dating apps rather than marriage consultation agencies, the number of bankruptcy filings has risen to a record level in Japan over the past year.

A total of 11 marriage agencies filed for bankruptcy over the past year in the country, while another 11 closed, suspended operations, or were dissolved, The Mainichi newspaper reported.

According to data published by the research firm Teikoku Database, this is a record high for services that have traditionally assisted individuals in finding their mates and tie the knot.

This trend has been attributed to declining birth rates in Japan and people marrying later in life, but dating apps are viewed as the decisive factor.

According to a survey conducted by Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance in November 2023, one in every four couples who married in the previous year met using matching applications. The same amount claimed to have married persons they met at work.

The report said that the marriage consultation industry is trying to attract new clients by offering services like online interviews and marriage hunting parties.

However, the Teikoku Databank report states that “it’s difficult for them to differentiate from other companies with basic services, and it’s very easy to fall into competing just on price. High advertising costs are putting pressure on the firms’ businesses”.

Meanwhile, dating apps are looking for ways to capture even more market share, including a more focused focus on privacy, which marriage consultation services normally pay more attention to.

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