What the Adult Industry Could Teach Traditional Media

You often hear about how the adult industry is an early adopter of new technologies and new business models but you rarely can read serious business articles that talk about how it could influence traditional media. I’ve recently read an interesting one in Revenue Magazine.

Here’s an excerpt:

“In the adult world, the profits are in the video content, and affiliates lure and hook customers by showing image galleries (often thumbnails) of naked people, and then directing them to the publishers who sell unlimited access accounts. Collins (Shawn Collins, co-founder of the Affiliate Summit conference) says video, audio or print media companies could greatly expand their conversions by using affiliates to distribute free samples of their content.

For example, the television networks or movie sellers could distribute clips from their sitcoms or films to affiliates to pique consumer interest, which enables customers to realize the value of the content, according to Collins. Media companies have yet to exploit the power of distributing content through affiliates, Collins says, and were slow to team up with video search engines such as YouTube.com to increase their exposure.

This strategy of partnering with large search engines and requiring users to register is the opposite of the niche marketing that has been critical to the adult industry’s success. Video search engine sites have too much content to successfully promote niches (such as British comedy or period-piece dramas) that would convert well as independent affiliate sites.

“Showing teaser videos and allowing them to be distributed virally” could boost the sales of online video, Collins says. Online music stores should allow affiliates to host and play select songs for free, and Amazon should share its technology for previewing a few pages of a book with affiliates. Reuter’s news is one of the video services that allow affiliates to display its content, but the company keeps all of the revenue from its pre-roll ads, which takes away the incentive from affiliates.”

What it means: excellent insights on how to build a network of affiliate sites to promote traditional media content online. This clearly fits with the Verticalization trend I identified earlier this year. I wonder if there’s not a revenue model there for affiliate TV stations?

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