Home > Features > The Ning.com Controversy • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


The Ning.com Controversy

The Ning.com Controversy

December 15, 2008
Text size: 
Get XBIZ News
XBIZ Research
Will virtual reality boost the paysite market?
Yes, it will soon
Yes, but in a few years
Out of 140 votes. Results based on votes submitted by members of XBIZ.net social network.

" no one is losing their rights to free expression, they simply have to find somewhere else to do it "

Recently the free social networking website provider Ning.com announced its decision to discontinue hosting adult social networks. This decision has brought to light the reasons why "free adult content" doesn't pay and never will.

Along with greatly reduced ad rates for adult networks come the additional burdens of policing illegal content in the groups and the enormous burden of DMCA take down notices associated with the vast amount of pirated adult content. In the end adult networks cost more to deal with then they produced in revenue.

I am always an advocate for free speech and do not want to see anyone lose their freedom of expression. Because of Ning's decision no one is losing their rights to free expression, they simply have to find somewhere else to do it. Anyone of these groups can set up their own hosting and website if they chose to do so. I don't feel any regret that one of the largest sources of pirated adult content is shutting down their hosting of adult. It is baffling to me that anyone in our industry can feel differently — here are my reasons:

Ning is merely making a business decision not to handle adult. Why? Because they cannot make money on it! Ning's business model is to provide anyone the tools and hosting to start their own social network website, around which Ning places ads to generate revenue. As Ms. Bianchini the president of Ning stated, "They don't generate enough advertising or premium service revenue to cover their costs." This fact should be frightening to us all.

In a world that is quickly sliding into a "free content, ad revenue" supported basis for online content this could spell disaster for adult. Non-adult content can generate huge ad revenue from mainstream advertisers, just like they have done for years on television. Google has shown us the enormous potential of online ad revenue for mainstream content, just not for adult content.

While online mainstream content is getting paid $5.00-$90.00/CPM ad rates, adult content is getting paid $0.50-$1.00/cpm. The ad rate for video on the WSJ.com is $90.00/cpm, while video on Metacafe.com gets $35.00/cpm. Social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace are at $25.00-$35.00/cpm ad rate. Until mainstream advertisers will do ad buys around adult content, we simply will not survive on a "Free content/ad revenue" basis at adult content ad rates. I do not foresee General Mills or Miller Beer buying ads alongside our content anytime soon!

Our only viable option is to ensure adult content does not become perceived or expected as "free content" by the consumer. The way we do this is by banding together as an industry and going after all sources of pirated commercial adult content being freely distributed. That means a centralized organization representing the adult industry that can go after and shut down sites pirating adult content. The less free adult content available from Rapidshare, Bit torrent and illegal tube sites the better it is for the entire adult industry.

At the same time we have to offer a carrot along with the stick approach. We have to make our content more readily accessible and affordable to the consumer. If we can provide high quality and affordable content easier for consumers to find and buy online then it is to steal pirated content, we will have won.

This will only be accomplished by coming together as an industry to ensure our future.


Manufacturers Take Action Against Counterfeit Sex Toys

The mainstreaming of pleasure products is proving to be a blessing and a curse for the sex toy industry. As the demand for pleasure products continues to grow, manufacturers are seeing an increase of counterfeiters... More »

Trends in Paysite Design, Content Delivery

Given the highly visual nature of adult entertainment, it is no surprise that many paysites have shown design-forward approaches — some skirting the bleeding edge, while others sought stability over... More »

Surviving Affiliates Seem to Be Thriving

Long a mainstay of traffic generation for adult website owners and monetization channel for tech savvy marketers, “sponsor programs” have delivered countless millions of dollars to affiliates... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Access the latest issues of the industry's leading trade publications in digital form. View online or download for offline viewing.



Oct 05 - Oct 07
Hannover, Germany


Nov 04 - Nov 06
Edison, New Jersey

2016 Inked Awards

Nov 05 - Nov 05
Edison, New Jersey

XBIZ 2017

Jan 09 - Jan 13
Hollywood, CA
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!