Shifting Economy Changes Online Adult Marketplace

Stephen Yagielowicz

For online adult marketers — especially for those operating in, or targeting America — it is easy to forget the rest of the world: but the majority of the people on the Internet in 2012 are not American, or even English-speaking.

So where does this leave the operator who is looking for the most traffic and sales?

One thing these stats show is that English speaking countries are a minority of incoming traffic for most sites. If your site doesn’t have a translation option, look into it.

We recently asked XBIZ.net members to provide insights into not only the countries that are delivering the most traffic to their sites, but which are generating the most sales.

The websites that contributed traffic data to this project included AbbaLynn.com, AmazingAstrid.com, CandyLegLust.com, FameRegistry.com, GlamourImages.net, MaddyGTV.com, MyHannaHilton.com and Smut.com, along with StarletSheet.com and Ultimate-Fetishes.com; providing a cross-market view of traffic to paysites, gallery posts and mobile portals, tube and other site types.

While differing traffic volumes between these sites make direct “apples-to-apples” comparisons problematic, an overview of the numbers supports general assumptions.

An adjusted and averaged analysis of this subject group reveals that the most adult traffic comes from the U.S., at 36 percent. This is followed by the U.K. with 11 percent; Germany at 10 percent; Canada with nearly 4.25 percent; and France rounding out the top five Internet porn-seeking countries, at 3.5 percent of the adult site audience.

For comparison, Internet World Stats ranks the top countries generating traffic to the Internet as a whole, showing China’s 22.5 percent doubling second-place America’s 10.8 percent; which doubles thirdplaced India, with its 5.3 percent; followed by Japan, at 4.4 percent of the global audience; with Brazil’s 3.6 percent, finishing the top five.

Interestingly, only MaddyGTV.com and Smut.com reported significant volumes of Chinese traffic — but this is where analysis leads beyond the raw numbers — since the Chinese government actively blocks known porn domains; skewing the country’s ratio of porn vs. non-porn seeking consumers, and illustrating how some sites fly under the radar.

For further comparison, Internet World Stats ranks Germany in 6th place; the U.K. 9th and France in 10th place; with Canada outside of its top 20 listing of world Internet users.

As for which countries are actually producing the most sales, AbbaLynn.com reports seeing 37.2 percent of its sales from the U.S., with a huge slide down to Brazil in second place, which is tied with the U.K., both at just 3.1 percent of sales; followed by Germany, Canada and Italy, each accounting for around 2.7 percent of the site’s total.

For comparison, StarletSheet.com reports that approximately 60 percent of its sales are from the U.S., followed by 20 percent from Germany; and 10 percent each from the U.K. and Canada.

Due to the unique nature of each site and its traffic mix, a wide range of figures is to be expected, but certain commonalities do exist. For example, XBIZ.net member Geoff notes the relative collapse of the U.S. as the top adult market.

“Until a few years ago [the U.S.] was 60-65 percent of our traffic/business, [but] our percentage of sign ups from the U.S. has fallen,” Geoff told XBIZ. “In fact I would go as far to say the lack of U.S. business is the main cause of our fall over the past few years.”

“Other markets have stayed relatively consistent,” Geoff added, “But the U.S. keeps going down and down.”

This situation leads to some obvious conclusions for marketers.

“One thing these stats show is that English speaking countries are a minority of incoming traffic for most sites. If your site doesn’t have a translation option, look into it,” XBIZ.net member Master Ryan offered, adding, “The same would apply equally to ensuring compatibility with mobile devices, which are the preferred Internet access option for a substantial (and growing) part of the world.

For online adult entertainment marketers, the lesson is that the countries producing the most sales may not be those sending the most visitors; and the biggest block of surfers may never even see your site. By taking the evolving market realities into account when planning your advertising expenditures and traffic strategy, you’ll stay ahead of the game.