As the song from Broadway’s hit Avenue Q says: “the internet is for porn”. While this might not be entirely true, adult content is a big part of the web. Because of the reach and scale of these sites, they bring an enormous amount of eyeballs that bear potential

Pimping your NSFW clicks: the Biggest Ad Networks You’ve Never Heard Of

As the song from Broadway’s hit Avenue Q says: “the internet is for porn”. While this might not be entirely true, adult content is a big part of the web.

Because of the reach and scale of these sites, they bring an enormous amount of eyeballs that bear potential to be be monetized as advertising dollars while reaching some of the filthiest most coveted audiences in the world.

The main ad networks such as Google Adsense prohibit the use of adult content on sites which would like to include display advertising from Google. This is to be able to keep the sites’ content family-friendly, which gives advertisers piece of mind by being assured that their brands or products won’t be showcased next to pornographic imagery.

Prohibited contentThis prohibited content goes beyond porn and includes other categories such as alcohol and tobacco-related content, recreational drugs and drug-related content, violent and weapon related content or gambling.

The popularity of these sites means that although their content might be ‘frowned upon’ by advertisers, they could still be of interest to many others. What’s more, because there is less advertiser, the CPC is also usually much lower to that of the main ad networks - making it potentially a cost-effective and efficient vehicle to reach a much sought-after demographic (younger and male skewed).

We recently identified at SimilarTech that among the main ad networks servicing the web, there is a seemingly niche of ad networks that service adult sites. Using SimilarTech data, we are able to get amazing insights into the volume of their operation, their audience reach and how in many cases a few sites which are some of the biggest in the world based on their site visits can become a profitable moneymaker for these ad networks.

Who are the biggest Ad Networks for adult content sites?

Using SimilarTech, we looked into the three most popular ad networks with the highest volume of adult sites to understand who they are, how they behave and the size of their operation.

1. ExoClick

ExoClickNumber of Websites: 80,523

Traffic to Sites in Sept 2016: 4.1 billion site visits

More visits than... almost as big as Wikipedia! (4.9 billion visits)

Top clients: txxx, Upornia, Motherless, AnyBunny. PerfectGirls

Main Country: US

2. TrafficJunky:

TrafficJunkyNumber of Websites: 818

Traffic to Sites in Sept 2016: 2.5 billion site visits

More visits than... Amazon (2.3 billion site visits)

Top clients: PornHub, YouPorn, Tube8, Spankbag

Main Country: Germany

3. DoublePimp

DoublePimpNumber of Websites: 1,908

Traffic to Sites in Sept 2016: 2.5 billion site visits

More visits than... Netflix (1.4 billion site visits)

Top clients: PornHub, RedTube, YouPorn, YouJizz

Main Country: Germany (closely followed by US)

How do these ad networks market themselves?

We simply looked at their websites to understand how these companies position themselves. Are they open and upfront with their clients about their business focus? Do they leverage the fact that they focus on adult websites to serve a specific demographic? Do they hide their operation and try to act as mainstream ad networks?

It varies.

For example, ExoClick focuses on innovation, there's no sight of adult-related clients and they even sponsor industry events such as TechCrunch Meetup in Barcelona.

As a business, they leverage the volume of impressions (+5 billion impressions daily globally according to their homepage). Their strapline is 'The Innovative Ad Network' and they currently rank themselves as the 4th biggest ad network in the world.

ExoClickDoublePimp website is far more mysterious... obviously with such company name it's kind of obvious what the core of their business is.

Surprisingly there is no company information on their site, which is hidden by a registration wall.

doublepimp loginTraffic Junky's homepage focuses on ad optimization and ROI but as soon as you delve a bit deeper into their site, they're open and upfront about their focus on adult traffic.

They have a great press section which shows articles that encourage mainstream brands to invest in advertising on adult networks based on their superior ROI when it comes to reach among a younger male audience.

trafficjunkyWill mainstream advertisers give in?

PornHub and RedTube are currently running a contest to lure mainstream brands by offering $100k worth of ads on their sites. But big brands are still shying away and don't want their wholesome values and reputation to be seen alongside ads for live sex cams, male enhancers and escorts.

There are obviously exceptions such as Diesel, the Italian fashion giant who earlier this year decided to advertise on porn sites. But not many brands are as forward-thinking or with a young and cutting-edge audience who'll think that placing ads on adult sites is acceptable or cool.

dieselWe can't predict the future of the industry but what is certain is that adult content will always be a part of the web and where there's eyeballs, there will be savvy media companies and advertisers discovering new and creative ways to monetize billions of horny valuable customers.

No judging.no judging