Chapter 6. Profiting from Adult Sites

The standard adult web site disclaimer goes something like this: “This site contains adult material. If you are under 21 years of age, or if it is illegal to view adult material in your community, or if adult material offends you, please do not enter this site!” In a similar spirit, if you are uninterested in making money from advertising on adult sites, or if this subject offends you, please simply skip this chapter.

However, adult content is an interesting business because it is undoubtedly the Web’s most lucrative fee-based content area. The exact figures are controversial and murky, but there’s no doubt that subscription and per-item fees for adult content are in the billions of dollars in the aggregate. This compares favorably, from a business perspective, with other kinds of content on the Web, where the attitude is often that “information wants to be free,” and it is hard to get consumers to pay for content from even the most prestigious institutions.


You probably don’t need a formal definition of what I mean by adult content. But just in case you aren’t clear about this term, “adult” means that content (or a web site) features, discusses, depicts, or portrays explicitly sexual activities.

The popularity of adult content on the Web means that:

  • Adult advertising for content represents one of the largest segments of the advertising business on the Web

  • Advertising for adult content, and on adult sites, can be more profitable to independent ...

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