Advancements in Adult Advertising
Advertising was once dominated by print media, AM/FM radio and television, but these days, advertising is becoming more and more prominent online. And that includes adult-oriented advertising as well as mainstream advertising.
The 2010s have found ad networks becoming increasingly important to the online adult industry, and their importance is likely to continue increasing in the years ahead.
Nicole Adams, North American sales manager for the Netherlands-based EroAdvertising, attributes the success of adult ad networks to the fact they offer great convenience to both publishers and advertisers.
“Ad networks help the online adult entertainment industry by saving publishers and advertisers time and money,” Adams told XBIZ. “A publisher can come to EroAdvertising and upload their site and available ad spaces in minutes — and within minutes, be earning money from a huge pool of advertisers.
“For a publisher to try and go out and make those contacts on their own would take them months. It is also a big benefit for an advertiser to be able to run a RON campaign and use the information from that to narrow down what types of sites are working sector will be an important part of those advances.
Richard Cottrell, global sales director for the Barcelona-based ad network ExoClick, asserted that mobile/wireless traffic is vital to adult advertising in 2016.
“As more and more of the world’s population migrate to smartphone connectivity, publishers want to reach these audiences with their content,” Cottrell told XBIZ. “And advertisers want to reach them via those publishers, widening the opportunities for ad networks to provide solutions for monetizing the mobile revolution. That revolution is still growing in potential; eMarketer states that global mobile ad expenditure for 2015 was $72 billion, which is expected to rise to $104 billion next year — and by 2019, to be almost double that at $198 billion.
“In 12 months, ExoClick has seen a 15 percent increase in the mobile side of our business, with it now accounting for 65 percent of our global revenues. And that is because we are providing mobile solutions for our clients, including specific mobile ad formats, an Android in-app SDK, partnerships with mobile carriers worldwide, and device targeting. With more platform innovations targeting mobile coming up in 2016, the future is very bright for ad networks who intend to be key players in the mobile space.”
Adult-friendly ad networks, in many cases, include people who have worked extensively in other areas of the online adult industry — and one such company is TrafficStars.
The company’s website, TrafficStars.com, explains, “We were webmasters, knowledge to drive innovation and build our own ad network. Our common objective was to create a system providing effective solutions to publishers, advertisers, developers and marketers.”
Another adult-friendly company for online advertising is Grand Slam Media, which was founded in 2008 and is headed by CEO Luke Hazlewood. The company has grown a great deal since then, and in 2015, Grand Slam continued its expansion with the launch of Adnium (which Hazlewood has described as “the very first ad network capable of providing adult members area traffic for buyers within a programmatic real-time-bidding, RTB, system).
Etology.com, launched by Nova Media, Inc. in 2014 and headed by Bako Kaye, is another company that has been making its presence felt in the adult advertising field. Etology’s area of expertise is dating traffic, and the company has described itself as “the first to bring exclusive members area traffic on the industry’s leading dating sites to the masses.”
According to Etology’s site, “Etology publishers are high-volume sites with exclusive content, trustworthy marketing practices and an inventory of paying members area customers seeking other specific offers.”
Alex Lecomte, marketing specialist for the ad network JuicyAds, stressed that in 2016, companies need to be savvy about the traffic brokers they work with.
“The big shift triggered by tube sites six years ago has really changed the game, and we can still feel it even in 2016,” Lecomte told XBIZ. “Like it or not, it’s still a huge source of traffic. So we need to take it into account and deal with it. We’ve seen some new ad networks popping out during the past two years. So in my opinion, the biggest challenge in 2016 for advertisers and publishers will be to be careful about the traffic brokers and dealers they are working with.
“It might seem easy to manage some campaigns and help publishers to monetize their audience, but it’s a real full-time job that requires strong marketing and advertising knowledge in addition to a relevant technology if you want to make profits in the long run,” he said.
Diana Cerone, product manager for TrafficJunky, noted that companies are seeing more adult/mainstream crossover in online advertising.
“Adult advertising in conjunction with ad networks have evolved in the products being promoted,” Cerone told XBIZ. “While the majority of advertising remains adult-driven, there is no denying that a portion falls beyond the scope of adult — and it’s a trend that continues to gain traction. Without our clients’ drive and innovation, the industry landscape would look very different and not necessarily better.
“It has definitely been one of our aspirations to break down the barriers between the adult and mainstream industries to create a symbiotic relationship in which everyone benefits,” she said. “The challenges are there, but more and more innovative mainstream brands are taking a second look at the opportunities available in an adult market that are too attractive to ignore.”
Cerone added: “One of the challenges of breaking into a mainstream market is the negative perception often associated with the adult industry. The reality of the matter is that the audience who enjoy adult websites is the same audience that enjoys shopping online, watching movies, playing video games, buying cars, etc. Essentially, there lies a huge untapped market that a few early adopters are taking advantage of. I feel that ad networks help the adult entertainment industry by getting products to light, and in our case, TrafficJunky funds our sites through the advertising.”
The ad network Reporo reflected on Google’s impact on online advertising. In a group statement, Reporo told XBIZ: “Google began penalizing publishers for redirecting their traffic early in 2015, which forced many publishers to retain their users and build meaningful sites monetized by actual ads. As such, we have seen great ad impression growth, but monetizing the impressions in the face of carrier regulation changes has forced networks and its buyers to reinvent new technology to drive sales.”
Juicy Jay, JuicyAds’ founder and CEO, cited niche-oriented advertising as a growth area for the adult industry.
“Much like TV shows and movies are distributed ‘for free’ to the masses and monetized by advertising and commercials, our industry has evolved into that today,” Jay told XBIZ. “The advertising has become focused on targeting demographics and specific audiences and devices. In the years to come, you should expect the rise of niche content that people will actually pay for.
“Expect the control of premium content distribution to become critical to success in the industry. This is what happens when a product spins downward into being just a commodity: prices collapse, empires fall, and what remains is nothing like it was. We can’t go back. The only way ahead is evolution, and the industry is strong enough to succeed.”