Is Content Still King?

Evil Chris
In my view, all in the webmaster community are beginning to allow content distribution to resemble a not-so-wild Joker. As if free content wasn't already a problem, we're now dealing with a new wave of sites that illegally stream hours upon hours of non-licensed video to anyone who wants to view them — free of charge. I've seen many trends come and go in the time I have worked in the online adult industry, but the continuing tendency to give more and more content away for free has become alarming.

The tube sites aren't the only guilty parties in the current situation, but they definitely have had a huge impact in a very short span of time. In virtually no time at all, tube-style sites have presented us with some of the biggest problems, challenges and some of the most heated arguments webmasters have seen in the short history of this industry. But it's not just the tube site that has me worried… It's the overall mindset of those webmasters convinced they must give away more and more free content. Like there isn't enough free content available already?

I handle sales and all affiliate related operations for two affiliate sponsor programs. We maintain a strict policy regarding the content we release to our affiliates for promotional purposes. We simply do not allow our affiliates to pull extra content from our member's areas to repackage and use for promotion. I know many programs allow this procedure in their business models, but we do not. There are some obvious reasons why we operate this way. For one, it keeps our content 100 percent exclusive. That's good for sales and retention. Does anyone remember that word, retention? You won't see our content (legally) anywhere else because we don't sell or lease it out to anyone. Equally important is our belief that the lure in getting someone to join your site is to give LESS... not MORE for free. This isn't re-inventing the wheel. We did not come up with the concept. I believe it's just a clear statement of fact that if your potential member is given too much for free, he'll never break out that plastic card. He'll satisfy his join urge with what you have so generously bestowed upon him for nothing, and no sale will ever need to be made.

This all makes sense, I know. So far no questions, right? Wait, I have a question. If sales are down everywhere, and the webmaster community generally agrees that there is far too much free porn available to the masses online, why am I asked (daily!) for access to our member's areas? My affiliates are constantly asking me for MORE promotional content. The mindset still seems to be that we need to flood the market with more and more free content to make those joins and it simply isn't true. In fact, it's just the opposite.

So what's the answer here — Rehab for webmasters? Something needs to change and soon, because I think we all enjoy what we do in this business. The reeducation of webmasters needs to take place, it needs to happen now, and let's start right here. This is my plea to webmasters and program owners. Slow down on the content giveaways. Less is more. Lower your minimum number of thumbs in a gallery for submission. Keep your video clips under 60 seconds. Keep the content legal. Don't show the money shot! Make them PAY FOR IT. If you are a program owner, give some thought to a policy regarding the amount of promo content you make available to your affiliates. In the long run this decision will pay you big dividends. Think about it for a moment. The hard raw truth is that the longer the free content flooding goes on, the fewer of you there will be running successful adult online businesses within the next three years.

Evil Chris has been in the online adult industry for 10+ years. He currently handles sales and affiliate support for Teenrevenue and Realteencash. He also owns and operates XNations.com, a popular webmaster board community.