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E-Branding The Red Light District

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The overall accuracy of Alexa rankings aside, the traffic tool can be a nice predictor of what is to come, or at least what is popular among the Webmaster guilds. One of the newest additions to Alexa’s Top 300 reinforces a notion that is as unpopular as it is undeniable: the Internet is for porn.

E-Branding The Red Light District
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While YouTube maintains a PG-13 universe, either out of conscience or to maximize advertiser comfort levels, the Quagmire to its Ned Flanders is a seedy knockoff called PornoTube.

The adult, anything goes video-sharing site has rocketed to be the 253rd most visited website among Alexa users in under two months.

Of course, the site received a boost in late July by blogebrity Michael Arrington, who, on his TechCrunch blog, drove the shuttle bus to the red light district’s feature attraction. Since that fateful blog post, PornoTube’s Alexa reach per million users has increased over 327,000 percent.

Seriously.

Alexa, though, provided the same measurement method that reported YouTube had out-trafficked MySpace, and that Matt Cutts’ blog had matched Ask.com visitor for visitor. So that means PornoTube spiked 327,000 percent among those that use the Alexa toolbar. We could be kind and assume that’s because webmasters and emarketers are fumbling over themselves to monitor the site’s progress, thus skewing the data they’re trying to collect.

Porn is big business on the Web, even if the marketing opportunities are limited to other porn and sex-industry products. There’ll be no Chrysler minivan commercials showing up there. Though in light of the reach of the adult industry, it may be good exposure across demographics, even to soccer dads, at least in theory.

But

“Advertisers don’t like the risky nature of the content,” Jupiter Research’s Benjamin Lehman told the Financial Times.

Even if everybody to the left of the Parent’s Television Council do seem to like it, even if they wouldn’t say it in public, or even to their others.

327, 300 percent.

Is it possible to be amoral in branding? Can the non-porn-hunting consumer, or even the Internet back alley crowd, forgive that?

Everything is changing. It’s changing fast:

The impetus for traditional media companies is the shock at the speed with which young audiences are deserting traditional television channels for user-generated content such as photographs, music and video.

But even some venture capitalists privately admit that the landgrab in user-generated content is producing a frothy market, reminiscent of a miniature dotcom bubble. -FT


Shhhh! Don’t say ‘bubble.’

Say ‘a potentially sustainable air pocket.’

And then sell it. One day Web video will trounce television in reach and in advertising dollars. As always, adults will lead the way. Whether advertisers will be willing to associate with adults is another question altogether.

But everyone will be chronicling as the bravehearts of branding succeed or fail in marketing to that younger video-sharing crowd, and whether, as that younger crowd grows out of MySpace and into minivans, they can be forgiven for risking the risqu. Will branding be different in the 21st Century?

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