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Porn for dollars

2000-07-13 16:31:29+00 by TC 4 comments

Help! Is there someone out there that understands the business models of adult sites?? Especially the "soft" sites like Bikini.COM genre. I'm all for doing interesting projects but I can't seem to make the numbers work. Everyone tells me Porn makes money, somebody enlighten me please...

[ related topics: Erotic Sexual Culture ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2000-07-13 17:13:34+00 by: OnceShy [edit history]

Are you looking at it from a development aspect or owning a business aspect? For the customers we've developed for in that business, the web site is not their only source of income. In each case, the web site is supported by either a print mag or a local club, even though neither are referenced on the sites. The one that seems to do the best is the one where the girls also perform at one of the larger local adult establishments. The girls hand out cards with the web site address and a schedule of when they'll be "live" on the site. That keeps a steady flow of new customers coming to the site all the time. The second issue is one of retention. Again, this same site does well because the girls are, through means of attrition natural to that business, constantly changing. Thus, the boredom factor is severely reduced. One thing seems to not work: banner ads. Don't even bother. Click through rates, even to other adult sites, are horrendous. The rest is simply a matter of volume. Our customers that have done well have new fewer than 10,000 unique visitors a day. Of those, 20% are return "members." 80% of members visit the site 2-3 times a week. 15% are there every day, 5% less than once a week. Of the remaining 8,000 visitors, approximately 5% apply for membership. 12-16% are turned down because of some problem with the credit card # they've given. 60% maintain membership for less than three months. 14% dispute the charges. All credit card activity is outsourced.It is financially impossible to make a profit if you attempt any of those activities on your own. We've seen several different compensation models for the girls, but bottom line on all of them is that, unless the girls actually own the site (which we've only had happen once and it lasted less than six months), they're getting little more than dirt for their effort. Beyond that, good site design is critical. Absolutely grotesque amounts of bandwith are a non-negotiable. Quality hardware/OS is a must (Unix or Linux, never NT). Air-tight security with 24/7 monitoring is imperative. From a perspective of ROI, what we've seen is that well-marketed sites usually recover their costs in less than 18 months. The hit counts are phenomenal and they make money off sheer volume. Without the volume, however, sites last less than six months. ==OnceShy== P.S. It also helps if you can keep from getting slapped with RICO charges. We lost a very lucrative client, our largest to date, for that very reason. Oh, and we've lost a couple due to "unanticipated deaths."

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:11+00 by: Larry Burton

This is an interesting topic but I don't see how you can consider a site like Bikini.COM anything similar to a porn site. It's kind of like associating Annette Funnicello with porn movies. There is an interview with the founder of Bikini.COM on the site explaining her business model. Check out http://www.bikini.com/news/interview.html. It seems highly speculative but she also appears to have the background to pull off what she is trying.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:11+00 by: Dan Lyke

You know how it is: If I like it, it's art, if you like it, it's erotica, if they like it, it's definitely porn. Until Larry commented on it I'd only seen the potential client site that has Todd asking these questions. So I went over to Bikini.com and (ahem) poked around 'til I found Jennifer England's Sport Site. My definition of porn is probably different from most of the country, stemming somewhat from living in the SF bay area, but "She's the sports fan that'll make you double dribble!"? Say what you will about any random collection of body fluids and exposed anatomy, if this animated anorexic waif in overpriced handkerchiefs promoted with overly turgid prose isn't offensive to a large majority, I weep for... well... something. But, ya know, I weep for that anyway. Actually, I think what Todd was really trying to get at by using Bikini.com[Wiki] as an example was the sort of imagery typified by mechanic's and similar trade calendars. Edgey enough that the guys in the shop think they're getting away with something, not so edgey that if their wives ever find it it'll result in immediate divorce, just sleeping on the couch for a few days.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:11+00 by: ebradway

A business model that seemed to work some folks I know: 1. Sell web pages to would-be models. They'll fork over $50/mo for basic sites. 2. Hire the models to work for you as webmonkeys and telemarketters. 3. Sell lots of $19.95 one-off web sites (yes, there is still ALOT of that kind of business - of course you get credit card problems similar to the porn sites). 4. Cut of your testicles because if you end up sleeping with the hired help - you'll end up in alot of trouble. The alternative is to follow the Phil Greenspun model. There are a few sites out there that are community oriented with the focus of the community on some aspect of sexuality (Literotica is one of my favorites and Dan frequently links to others like FemmErotica). Whether or not you actually make money at it should not be the issue. The WebCams that seem to work are the ones operated by the subject of the web-cam. Costs are kept to a minimum and subscription fees are cheap. But that's my 2 cents worth...