opinion

The Premium Value Of Exclusivity

Stephen Yagielowicz

One size does not really fit all; whether you are talking about shoes, or pornography — where exclusive content has long held an appeal for consumers — but the Internet has forever changed the dynamics of exclusivity, for better and for worse.

First, everyone loves exclusive content and the feeling that they now have something that no one else has. It is the promise of what lies beyond the red velvet rope.

Exclusive content helps your company stand apart from its competitors and provides value to consumers who have “seen it all before” — and they’re willing to pay a premium for this exclusivity.

Exclusive content helps your company stand apart from its competitors and provides value to consumers who have “seen it all before” — and they’re willing to pay a premium for this exclusivity — allowing vendors to charge more than they could for assemblages of the same old collection of video feeds and classic Z-Master imagery; driving producers to continually generate new content, although economic realities have stifled this process.

Changing category titles on a white label website; article spinners that automatically re-word textual copy; “morphing” RSS feeds; and other techniques designed to obfuscate a piece of content’s original source, while providing the perception of “uniqueness,” have sprung up to provide options for shady marketers, as well as to affiliates seeking an edge.

Swapping adjectives or shuffling the same content used by tens of thousands of other affiliates does not produce truly unique content, however.

It is also important to note that these techniques are typically designed to “fool” Google into thinking content is unique in an effort avoid its duplicate content penalty that lowers a site’s ranking — not to produce something sensible or enjoyable for humans to read or view. In other words, jumbling up your content does not equal good marketing.

But does it really matter?

While many adult website customers undoubtedly like to at least occasionally view new material, rather than constant re-runs, there are only so many ways that you can have a girl come into a room, strip, then lie on a generic couch and masturbate for the camera — thus, “unique” content means more than “it’s different: last time she wore a red shirt!”

Lazy producers see this as an invitation to go further into extremes; “this time we put two bowling balls in there!” but once again, pretty much everything that’s legal has been done already, so true uniqueness will require true creativity.

The problem is that once you have that never-before-seen content, someone will share it and it will no longer be “exclusive.” This puts rights holders in the position of having to pursue pirates, instead of doing something more productive to build their business.

Even if no one were to pirate your content, so much material is already available on the Internet that the meaning of exclusivity is lost or at least heavily diminished, since the prospect is unlikely to run out of content he hasn’t seen before and thus exclusive to him.

Having said all that, the lure of the promise of exclusivity is a proven and powerful sales motivator, and there is nothing like a fresh face to turn a jaded porn surfer’s head, even if he has his favorite porn stars; making some level of exclusive content at least a partial requirement for quality adult websites today.

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