Filesharing: The New Kid On The Block

Filesharing has arrived for the adult industry: Everybody's talking about it, and how it works. Swapbucks’ new program is picking up fast, and it won't be long before a lot of other companies jump in. Here’s a few do’s, don’ts and how-to’s for putting your files on filesharing networks.

Why Care About Filesharing Networks?
What all the hype about is very simple: Peer to Peer (P2P) networks like Kazaa and imesh allow public access to certain folders on every user’s computer. What’s more, these folders contain files which every user can search by keyword. So when a Kazaa user wants to see a lesbian video, for example, he types 'lesbian video' into the Kazaa search bar, and the software then goes through millions of users folders to see if there's any file with matching keywords. If there are, then the search results are displayed, and the user has the option of downloading one or more of these files.

What does all this have to do with the adult biz? Well, to put it mildly, these millions of users (most of whom are Internet addicts) mostly use filesharing for three things: exchanging gaming files, music files, and porn!

So now we have millions of users who are exchanging porn files, and we have the capability of including our content promos in the fileshare networks, where these promos will be downloaded, seen, and passed along by a good many people. Every time someone opens or views one of your files, a popup can show your site. Even if the conversion ratios aren't as good as other forms of advertising, the net number of conversions is likely to be higher, simply because of the massive number of eyeballs.

Issues for Consideration
This might seem a very rosy picture, but it's not so easy, and there's a lot more to be done (and safeguards to be put up) before you jump in. First of all, you need to know firsthand how fileshare networks operate.

Since these networks are full of the most innovative hackers on the Net, you can be sure that if they get a whiff of the money, they'll jump in, and with access to unlimited free (stolen) content from hacked sites, what's stopping them from putting up a Website, putting promos on the fileshare networks and getting memberships? If they don't advertise their sites outside of the fileshare networks, there’s no way that the legal owners going to find out. Also, people could just use your promos and not mention your site.

A few more problems are in the form of viruses, adware and spying software. Do you know that a company on the fileshare networks generated 4 million hits to its sponsors' Website in three days by including adware in a few applications. Every few minutes, the downloaded software would simply ping the sponsors server. These things are bound to happen; the only way for sponsors to keep away from this mess is to focus on signups – don't even think about pay per click or impression, or you'll be bombarded with bogus hits, end up with a massive bandwidth bill – and no sales.

Legal Problems
Now we come back to the same old question: “What's the government going to say about this?” As it is, the cops and corporate hawks are going after the fileshare networks: Kazaa operator Sharman Networks had 24 of its offices and residential premises in Australia raided a few weeks back.

This might be the last straw: If we're giving the filesharers legal porn, it's likely that the networks will get even more users. So, you can expect the government to crack down heavily on both the filesharing networks and adult service providers. Well, there’s nothing new about that.

To finish off, let me say that I feel that current applications and software are insufficient to handle this issue, so I'm working right now on something which could sort out the copyright and legal issues: I found a way to mix media and HTML files, and bundle the whole thing up as one executable, so that your Website is displayed along with the promo video in the same window – and the user won't be able to break it up. More on this in a few weeks.

Editor’s Note: It‘s clear that filesharing networks pose more of a golden opportunity than being the harbinger of fiscal doom that the music industry portrays them to be. Stay tuned for more tips on profiting from non-traditional marketing avenues, here at XBiz! ~ Stephen