When the developers behind the adult browser sat down to create HeatSeek, they were driven by what they perceived as an online adult entertainment market that was decidedly unfriendly to surfers.
Rife with popup consoles and deceptive spyware links and infused with the risk of being caught by disapproving spouses and roommates, surfing adult websites with a standard browser seemed like a major hassle, at best, for would-be customers of adult websites.
So it was that in 2005, HeatSeek was born from the desire to deliver consumers a product that allowed them to peruse the adult web securely, using a product specifically designed for that purpose.
HeatSeek isn't the first attempt at creating an adult-specific browser – several companies have offered such browsers over the years, but none really caught on. What makes HeatSeek any different?
According to HeatSeek President David Brown, the distinction starts with the nature of the development team that authored the software.
"First and foremost, HeatSeek is actually consumer- friendly, high-quality software made by experienced software developers," Brown said. "There is absolutely zero spyware, adware or malware, and it's as easy to use as iTunes is for music. All the previous incarnations of 'adult-centric' software I've seen have been either spyware in disguise or buggy programs that don't have half the features we have."
The reason HeatSeek runs in such a feature-rich manner is that the software was designed to "encompass the entire adult experience in a single program, from browsing and finding content, to downloading to organizing and finally viewing," according to the makers.
"All a consumer needs is HeatSeek to have a complete, private experience from start to finish," Brown said.
Among the most popular features of the browser are the "video bookmark" function that enables users to bookmark their favorite scene within a movie and the ability to view all private files downloaded through HeatSeek as thumbnails.
Security and privacy functions are abundant within HeatSeek as well, including a feature called the "forced confession password." This function allows HeatSeek users to set an alternate password that can be used to spring a different type of browser to conceal their use of HeatSeek. For example, if someone stands over the user's shoulder and demands that the he or she open HeatSeek to see what kind of program it is, entering the alternate password could be set to open Firefox or IE, keeping the true, adult-specific nature of HeatSeek from being discovered.
According to Brown, more than 300,000 users have downloaded HeatSeek to date, and that figure is growing every day. Brown said that more than half of all HeatSeek owners make use of the software at least four times per week, with the heaviest users employing the browser upward of 200 times in a month.
HeatSeek's affiliate program, which can be found at Affiliates.Heatseek.com, pays $50 per sale of the software. Brown said that one of the key differences between the browser and other products and sites that adult webmasters might promote is that HeatSeek's appeal appears to be just as strong to freeloaders as it is for proven purchasers.
"The conversion ratio is much greater than almost all adult sites," Brown said, adding that the product converts better than one in 200 surfers directed to HeatSeek end up installing the software. "This conversion ratio is constant no matter if the traffic is interested in free content or paid content. So that means TGP traffic – which normally has a terrible ratio to paid sites – will convert just as well with HeatSeek as other traffic."
Brown believes that one reason why HeatSeek is so readily accepted by adult site surfers is the nature of the team behind the product.
"HeatSeek is not really an adult company; we are a software company," Brown said. "This means consumers trust us, since we're not an adult site trying to harass them with content and memberships. Being on the side of the average user is a top priority for us, and we get comments all the time from people who love the software."
Brown said he has strived to provide a business model that is "friendly to both consumers and adult sites."
"HeatSeek users are a traffic source that is ultra-high quality, since these are people who are ready, willing and able to view adult content the minute they open the program," Brown said.
For affiliate programs and paysite owners that promote HeatSeek, Brown said he recommends the method of offering HeatSeek as an upsell on postjoin pages, presenting it to newly acquired members as the best means to view the site they have just joined.
HeatSeek also offers advertising opportunities for those looking to tap into its growing user base, including high-profile placement in the HeatSeek start page directory.
"Our start page directory offers several options for sites seeking our traffic," Brown said. "Our start pages provide a directory of quality websites and offers where users can find content they are looking for. There is pay for placement advertising, exclusive offers which are free to promote as long as they are exclusive to HeatSeek and also 'homepage takeovers,' where a site can literally become our homepage on a daily basis."
Already well-stocked with surfer-pleasing features, Brown said that HeatSeek has no intention of resting on its laurels and plans to add a number of new features in the months to come. Some of the best ideas, Brown said, come from HeatSeek users themselves.
"Some of the great ideas we've collected include tabbed browsing, mass file-renaming [two features which were added in a recent update to the software], support for BitTorrent downloads, and a new, slicker user interface for sorting and organizing files," Brown said. "We're continually adding new localized language versions, as well. We already have French, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese and Chinese, and next up will probably be German and Spanish."
More information on the HeatSeek browser can be found at the company's website, HeatSeek.com.