“And the Winner is…”

Stephen Yagielowicz

The rapid evolution of the adult Internet reached another milestone recently with the re-launch of one of the genre’s prime keyword domains, which brings me to “officially” agree with some of the announcements that Pimproll has won the game with porn.com — a site legally providing free access to around 10,000 DVDs worth of adult video content — a move that dramatically changes the game for lesser players.

Indeed, message board posts have proclaimed that affiliates and other website owners can now pack their bags and go home, so transforming is porn.com perceived to be.

While I won’t dwell on the site’s feature set, innovations or offerings, I’ll note that for what it is, it is an exercise in excellence. It’s not my personal cup of tea and I won’t be visiting as a surfer, but for folks that enjoy its style of content, porn.com is the pinnacle of free online porn.

It adds another dimension to the question, “why would anyone pay for porn?”

Quality is one reason, as evidenced by customers that prefer a Blu-ray disc despite the ubiquity of and free access to online video, but more on that later.

I’ve discussed before that in order to survive the mid-term, adult companies will need to learn how to profit from porn without (necessarily) directly selling it. For some folks, this has meant a business model focused on free tube sites supported by advertising sales — the problem with which (depending upon your perspective) is the source of some of these sites’ content, which may or not be authorized for the site to use.

In short, it’s easy to build such a site with stolen content, but a tough choice to do it with your own material. Save the protestations about how a site follows the DMCA take down process: if you allow “user uploads,” then unauthorized content is part of the game; and a tremendous money saver as well, for those that don’t mind getting their hands dirty.

There’s a bit of sarcasm above, but it’s well deserved and one of the reasons that I am so impressed with porn.com — they used their own library; taking an old investment that was likely seeing rapidly diminishing returns, and then using it to corner the market.

It’s a tactic that other major library owners can (and likely will) follow, but it is not something that is limited to the big guys, as even mom-and-pop studios can follow suit.

Today’s consumers love the product, but don’t want to pay for it, so they seek to find it via alternative channels. By being your own alternative, you not only take traffic away from the pirates, but still enjoy sales of the higher-quality versions of the same content to those customers who demand the best viewing experience.

This model is a superior way for brands to leverage an older existing content library. For example, by offering smaller sized standard definition (SD) video clips for free, but charging a small fee for premium access to a full-screen, higher bit-rate, high-definition (HD) version of the same clip, and/or the full-length version — nothing new here, just well proven marketing.

Such an initiative is also as easy for a sponsor to execute as taking the content from all its FHGs and offering it as part of an extended tour, with an upsell to the full-length videos and other perks. Using a tube script or an advanced CMS will make it easy, too.

Between up-selling and exit traffic sales (porn.com sells internal traffic via its own TrafficForce.com network), such an approach may be easily emulated — but the people behind porn.com can be credited with doing it big and doing it right. Congrats.