Maximize Content Investment

Cheryl Cain
So you bought some really cool content for your website. Traditional Internet wisdom suggests that you buy exclusive or limited-circulation content, slap it on your website, advertise the heck out of it and make your profits. That's fine and good if you are content to stop there, but with careful planning, you can realize a much greater return on your investment.

Think of this in terms of the marketing evident in the motion picture industry. A major picture release doesn't see its full profit potential for a number of years. The box office takings we see glorified on the Internet news spots are only a portion of the picture. Yes, it's true that the first run is the biggest chunk of profits, but behind the scenes, it is really just a piece of a puzzle as the title winds through a large array of marketing levels. You see this every time you select a video on demand on cable, run to the local video store for a tape or DVD rental, or catch a Sunday afternoon matinee on your local broadcast network. These tiered releases are designed to do one thing: extend profits all the way down through the residual sales levels.

The same concept applies to adult content. OK, we're not talking about millions of dollars in the first run, but the concept is the same. Depending on your primary business, you could consider your website as the first-run medium for a title, and after a period of exposure, it is time for it to move onto other profit areas. A second tier might be the lease or license market, a third tier perhaps a pay per view, a fourth may be bulk distribution or "blast from the past" style of content filler. The important point to keep in mind is that every day, there are new potential customers logging onto the Internet for the first time. To them, your content is first run because they have never seen it before.

Even in the individual tiers, there is a gradual depreciation. Take the pay-per-view model -- a new title has a better click-through rate as a premium release before its exposure dictates that it drops in value to "matinee" status with reduced sales value. A smart webmaster that has developed a plan to work his leverage in an investment of a title is going to have far more to show for it than the webmaster who pursues only "golden releases."

This writer has personal experience with galleries that are 10 years old that continue to turn a profit via residual sales, whether the medium of distribution is bulk, filler, or PPV grab-bag status. The point is, it's your investment – are you satisfied with only first-run results? If not, it's time to develop a plan to gracefully manage a title's potential long-term value. This concept lends creditability to the old saying that if you take care of the pennies, the dollars will take care of themselves.