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Riches in romance

From Mary Snow
CNN

Spindel
New York matchmaker Janis Spindel boasts of 716 marriages in 10 years.
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Wolf Blitzer Reports
Janis Spindel

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Playing Cupid can bring in cash. Just ask New York matchmaker Janis Spindel. She charges $20,000 to find a mate.

"It's not just about 'here's a phone number, get married.' I facilitate the date, I'm a relationship coach. I'm their expert. I play their shrink -- their mother," says Spindel.

Spindel boasts of 716 marriages in 10 years and believes they're all still together. One of her former clients, Fran Heller, paid $1,500 nine years, but she says it's worth it.

"The person she ultimately introduced me to, my husband Ron Garner, would have been worth it for the $20,000, let's put it that way. He certainly was a bargain at $1,500," says Heller.

Not only have times changed, so have techniques -- including dating on demand by Comcast.

Call it the new frontier in dating. Cable subscribers can view potential dates on TV and pay a fee to meet them online, starting at $14.95 a month.

"I think dating is a showcase for how fun television can be," says Comcast's Dave Watson.

It's the latest twist in the booming online dating industry.

Match.com, which boasts 15 million users, picks up at this time of year.

"Valentine's Day is sort of the Super Bowl, if you will, of online relationships and online dating sites," says Kirsten Kelly of Match.com

Adding to the money machine are features like paying extra to receive profiles on mobile devices like cell phones.

Jupiter Research estimates one in four single adults online in the United States browse online personal ads. And while it isn't growing as quickly, Nate Elliott of Jupiter Research says, "Online dating in the U.S. continues to grow. This is a half billion dollar industry and it is an industry that is still growing."


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