opinion

Content Partners Vs. Traffic Partners

Stephen Yagielowicz

It is a manifestation of the perennial balancing act that pits the importance of content against the necessity of traffic — but this time with a twist; as a growing number of adult paysite operators are turning to tube sites to solve their traffic woes: bypassing traditional affiliates in favor of partnering directly with the tube sites to exchange content for traffic.

For example, PornTube.com offers adult webmasters a content partnership program (content.porntube.com) enabling content publishers to access millions of daily users free of charge in exchange for uploading their video clips — and is looking to attract even more publishers to its site. Prospective participants can visit the site to download the free Webmasters Guide to Monetizing Tube Traffic, for an insider’s look at the path to profits.

A sponsor promoting their own channel on a tube site may be able to limit the amount of their content appearing on that site, but may have little control over how often it will appear if thousands of affiliates are posting the same material on those same tube sites.

According to the company, there are two options available for content publishers that want more brand exposure, as well as both direct and indirect traffic for their websites — providing rights holders with the freedom to expose their content on terms they are happy with and to benefit from the program regardless of how they choose to participate in it.

The first option allows publishers to upload videos of 10 minutes duration or less when accompanied by an affiliate link code (under which PornTube.com will receive a cut as an affiliate), via PPS or revenue sharing. This option provides publishers a chance to obtain exposure and branding for their content without releasing full length videos — and provides an excellent opportunity for testing the value of tube traffic.

The second option allows publishers to up load videos of at least 10 minutes in length without the need for an affiliate link for PornTube.com, delivering traffic straight to your paysite’s tour — simply upload your content and receive free traffic in return.

Publishers that are uncertain of the value of promoting their sites via PornTube.com can try it for free for two weeks, without using any affiliate links regardless of the option they choose to test or to use after testing, based on their experience over those two weeks.

It’s a painless way to put the power of tube site traffic at your fingertips.

Not everyone is a fan of tube sites in general, or of content partnership programs in particular, however — including affiliates that blame tube sites for a slump in their sales — both from the perspective of “pirate” tubes that cannibalized content and sales from the legitimate rights holders, as well as legitimate tubes that offer licensed, or sponsored, content to their site’s visitors.

One problem, from the affiliate viewpoint, is that it’s hard enough to make sales when the sponsor’s content is on pirate sites, without the sponsor just giving it all away directly to the tubes. Not only is the content devalued when offered for free, but the practice only perpetuates the dominance of tube sites while also extending their search engine footprint in a vicious circle that dooms affiliate marketers unable, or unwilling, to embrace change.

As a result, some adult affiliates are seeking sponsors that are not active members of any tube sites’ content partner program and eschewing those that are, on principal.

Some sponsors would argue that their participation in content partnership programs is part of the process of generating traffic in-house, and that by working with the tubes they are able to replace the traffic they have lost due to a lack of productive affiliates, but this reasoning is unlikely to resonate with affiliates facing extinction.

Tube sites are a fact of life and a format for free porn that is demanded by consumers. They are not something that any sponsor program can ignore: The question is, do you let your affiliates submit your clips to the tubes, or do you do it yourself, exercising a greater degree of marketing control and garnering more profit in the process?

A sponsor promoting their own channel on a tube site may be able to limit the amount of their content appearing on that site, but may have little control over how often it will appear if thousands of affiliates are posting the same material on those same tube sites.

There are strategic issues involved in the equation, such as are your efforts focused on making sales or on getting your name out there? But in 2013, making sales is number one on nearly everyone’s agenda, with blind “branding” a luxury for better times.

There is no doubt that the affiliate arena is changing rapidly — with many marginal players no longer able to make the cut — but that does not mean that it is “game over,” just that the tubes are a “game changer.” How you adapt to those changing rules will set your fate as both an affiliate, and as a sponsor.

A big part of that adaptation will be in how you work with content partner programs, or if you decide to ignore them, and the forces of change, hopelessly clinging to the past. Tube sites are the new affiliates and your traffic partner of today. Check out the program at PornTube.com or your favorite tube site, and get in on the traffic and treasure it offers.

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