Swiping, Streaming, and Scrolling: Understanding the Digital Lives of Single Daters

Posted on February 27, 2024 by Media Culture

Modern single daters are a fascinating study in contrasts. They navigate the delicate balance between digital connectivity and personal interaction, blending timeless desires for connection and intimacy with cutting-edge technology. Single daters in 2024 come from diverse age groups, spanning from young adults embracing adulthood to older individuals adapting to the digital era. Regardless of age, this audience values authenticity, connections, and experiences over material possessions.

Uncovering the media consumption habits of single daters is essential for advertisers looking to create meaningful connections. By examining the digital footprints of this audience, advertisers can discover the platforms they use, the content they enjoy, and the messages that inspire action.

For additional detail, and for a full list of sources, please make sure to download the full report: Single In The City: Audience Insights Report.


/// The Media Landscape of Single Daters

Single daters are heavily reliant on technology, with 74% feeling anxious about tech that isn't working and 43% believing that tech products define them. Similarly, Single daters’ media consumption is primarily digital, revolving around social media platforms, dating apps, and streaming services. For instance, the audience predominantly engages with the internet and social media, with all single daters being internet users and 93% being on social media platforms, on par with the average U.S. adult. They are 8% less likely than the average U.S. adult to watch TV but are 23% more likely to listen to podcasts. Understanding where and how single daters spend their digital time is crucial for advertisers to captivate their attention.

Single daters are adept at navigating the digital world, utilizing platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Discord to interact with others, draw inspiration, and seek entertainment. Specifically, 83% of the audience consumes YouTube, and 66% use Instagram. Meanwhile, platforms like Tumblr, Twitch, and Discord see much higher usage among this demographic than the general population. Dating apps like Tinder also play a substantial role in their quest for companionship, with 55% of dating app users having been in a serious relationship with someone they met on the app. In addition, streaming services provide both an escape and shared cultural moments. For example, 31% of single daters listen to podcasts on Spotify, and they show a preference for streaming platforms like Starz, Peacock, and Paramount+.

A diverse range of content resonates with single daters, from short videos on TikTok offering quick bursts of entertainment to podcasts catering to diverse interests, with 14% tuning into Horror/Thriller and 25% to Pop Culture/Entertainment podcasts. In this fast-paced environment, genuine, relatable, and visually captivating content stands out, captivating single daters and fostering deeper engagement with brands and creators.

Rather than being passive consumers of content, single daters actively seek out interactive and immersive experiences. They engage in political discussions online, with 36% talking about important societal or political issues, and 41% following social media influencers, sport teams, or other popular groups. Live streams, interactive stories, and user-generated content campaigns foster a sense of involvement and community. Advertisers can establish a deeper connection with single daters by harnessing these interactive elements.


/// Social Media’s Role in Dating

Social media plays a significant role in modern dating. Beyond just a communication tool, it is an essential component of the dating scene, fostering connections, shaping perceptions, and providing new opportunities for brands to engage with modern singles. 

Unsurprisingly, social media influencers have a significant impact on this predominantly young demographic, shaping their attitudes and behaviors. For instance, 13% of single daters consider social media influencers on TikTok to be a good source of information for purchases, while 11% trust influencers on Instagram, and 7% on Pinterest. Their content, which includes dating advice and personal stories, helps navigate the complexities of modern relationships. For advertisers, partnering with influencers who resonate with single daters can amplify their message, utilizing the trust and rapport influencers have established with their audience.

Engagement on social media, particularly in the context of dating, is characterized by active participation and personal expression. Single daters often engage with content that mirrors their own dating experiences, aspirations, and challenges. They appreciate authenticity and relatability, gravitating towards posts and stories that reflect their own journey. This engagement provides valuable insights for advertisers, emphasizing the importance of creating content that is not only engaging but also mirrors the real experiences and values of this audience.

The intertwined relationship between social media and dating presents unique opportunities for advertisers. By understanding how single daters interact with dating-related content, advertisers can tailor campaigns that directly address their desires and concerns. Crafting advertising messages that align with the context of dating-related content can enhance relevance and resonance. Moreover, innovative approaches such as partnerships with dating influencers can significantly increase engagement rates, positioning brands as allies in the quest for meaningful connections.

The role of social media in dating is profound and multi-faceted, providing advertisers with invaluable insights into the hearts and minds of single daters. By leveraging the power of social media, brands can craft messages that not only reach but also resonate with this audience, fostering connections that go beyond the superficial to genuine engagement and affinity.


Related: Getting to Know the Modern Dater: Demographics of Today's Single Urban Dwellers


/// Streaming Services and Preferences in Entertainment

The entertainment choices of single daters provide insights into their values, preferences, and daily routines. Streaming services form the foundation of their entertainment consumption, catering to a wide range of tastes and interests, including binge-worthy series and mood-setting music playlists.

Video streaming services like Peacock, Paramount+, and Starz are highly popular among single daters, offering a vast selection of genres to cater to their diverse interests. These services provide a shared platform for discussion and online interactions, allowing individuals to both escape and connect with others through shared viewing experiences.

Music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music also hold significant importance in the lives of single daters. Curated playlists for different moods enhance the soundtrack of their dating journey, offering a wide range of options for various occasions. Additionally, podcasts have gained popularity, covering topics ranging from dating tips and relationship advice to personal development and health. These podcasts provide entertainment and learning opportunities for individuals leading busy lives.

Personalization is a crucial factor for single daters when it comes to streaming services. Algorithms that suggest content based on their preferences create a highly customized environment, making them feel understood and personally catered to. This level of personalization enhances engagement and loyalty.

Understanding the preferences of single daters regarding streaming services can be valuable for advertisers. By capitalizing on the themes and formats that engage this audience, advertisers can create content and ads that resonate and effectively reach this demographic.

/// Advertiser Strategies for Engaging Single Daters

Single daters are attracted to brands that reflect their values and aspirations. Crafting messages that highlight values such as inclusivity, adventure, and authenticity can create a powerful connection. For example, 15% of online daters value products that are produced sustainably, while another 15% prefer to shop at retailers that are women- or minority-owned, and 21% prefer to shop at retailers that care about the environment. Advertisers should incorporate these values into their campaigns, showcasing how their products or services align with the lifestyle and beliefs of single daters. This approach not only increases brand affinity but also fosters a sense of community and belonging among the target audience.

Using technology to create interactive and engaging advertising experiences proves particularly effective with single daters. They are tech-dependent, valuing innovative and luxurious products that reflect their identity, with 63% believing that technology satisfies their need for connection. Gamified ads, interactive polls on social media, and augmented reality experiences can transform passive viewing into active participation. These campaigns encourage single daters to engage with the brand on a deeper level, enhancing recall and fostering a positive brand association.

Collaborating with platforms and influencers that single daters trust and frequent can increase a brand's reach and credibility. Partnerships with dating apps, social media influencers, and content creators who speak to the interests and challenges of single daters can provide authentic avenues for engagement. Sponsored content that seamlessly integrates brand messages into the daily digital experiences of single daters can also be effective.

For advertisers looking to target this audience, understanding the digital behaviors, preferences, and values of single daters is key. By prioritizing value-based messaging, interactive engagement, and strategic partnerships, brands can connect with single daters in meaningful ways, driving both engagement and brand loyalty.

/// Conclusion

As we explore the media habits of single daters, it becomes clear that their preferences are shaping a vibrant media landscape. The move towards personalized, interactive, and immersive media experiences not only reflects technological advancements but also offers a deeper understanding of what single daters seek in terms of content and connection. For advertisers, this presents both a challenge as well as an opportunity to create campaigns that truly resonate, align with values, and introduce innovative ways to engage.

Additionally, brands that prioritize privacy and data security alongside innovative engagement will stand out. The future of media consumption for this audience is not just about the content they consume, but also about how they interact with it and the value they derive from these experiences. Advertisers have the opportunity to seamlessly integrate their messages into these digital experiences, forming meaningful and lasting connections.

Explore the digital behaviors of single daters with Media Culture's insights. Understand the unique habits of today's singles to refine your marketing strategies and genuinely engage with this audience. Partner with us to see how your brand can become a meaningful part of the modern dating conversation.

For deeper insights and data into marketing to modern daters, download our comprehensive Audience Insights Report below.


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