It’s 2020, you’re stuck at home, alone, and your thoughts wander in one direction…. Towards adult traffic sources.
You don’t need a PhD in social sciences to tell that cabin-fevered people will seek for adult thrills online if they can’t get them IRL. Smart advertisers will leverage this opportunity and dive neck-deep in this vertical.
If prostitution is the oldest profession, then adult advertising is surely the oldest vertical.
But with this surge of people enjoying things that are best enjoyed at home, even those affiliates who decided to join the party later can find a place for themselves.
In this article, I will go over traffic sources that offer adult traffic and are currently very popular or are on the rise. This distinction is important, because adult marketing, like everything else in life, is forgoing through some changes that I also discuss briefly.
A vertical like any other…
… except for the high concentration of main actors.
The truth is, there are no more than five adult platforms that hold the majority of a market. There are, of course, hundreds of niche adult sites, but they are nothing more than what they seem – niche sites.
This is reflected in adult traffic sources, where main platforms got a hold of one or a few big players each.
Sometimes, the same player (adult platform) cooperates with different traffic sources, selling different placements to various platforms.
But this is rather an exception to the general rule that says that each traffic source has its own dedicated selection of platforms.
Want to advertise on Xhamster? You need to go to the TrafficFactory for that. Nowhere else.
There are also some vertical-specific techniques that are nicely summed up in this article from Zeropark. If you want to learn more about some specific angles or the best adult affiliate platforms, I highly recommend you to read it.
Tracking of adult traffic
Due to the high popularity of display ad formats, tracking in this vertical is more important than ever. After all, adult is a game of big numbers.
To make sense out of the stream of data, you need to record and analyze it to make any evidence-based decisions.
Voluum is a top-notch tracker that suits all advertisers – the mainstream ones and those not so much. It works with all traffic sources listed here, and it is integrated with some of them on the deepest level using API connection. This allows Voluum to become the center of your affiliate universe.
How does Voluum Tracker work?
API integration means that Voluum is able to fetch cost information even from the traffic sources that don’t support sending this information via a standard cost token. Apart from that, Voluum can control your campaigns in these traffic sources without leaving its interface.
You can analyze data and take action in one place.
Still not enough? Voluum Automizer allows you to create rules to launch actions when set conditions are met, such as pause or resume a campaign or source, generate alerts, adjust you bidding, use dayparting, mark placements with meaningful icons, and so on.
The state of the industry
You would think that the global lockdown would favor the adult industry. It did, from a short-term perspective. On a longer time scale, the lack of new content (adult movie stars are also locked up in their homes) combined with growing consumption may cause that by the end of 2020, every adult video will be watched, re-watched, commented on, and forgotten.
With the unique business model that is based on the majority of the content being offered for free, this is a serious problem for platforms. And then, by implication, for advertisers.
The most notable example of a new adult platform is OnlyFans and its clones. These platforms empower creators at a cost of production companies. Content for such platforms can be produced at home – an important factor during the time of pandemic.
Can you, as a marketer, earn money from OnlyFans? Well, you can get a referral bonus for every new member you attract. 5% of their earnings through the first year.
Will they support standard advertising or premium features worth promoting?
Right now, they are on the rise with a 150% increase in subscriptions since the beginning of the year.
Will the classing adult platforms survive? Probably, there’s always a demand for new content.
Best adult traffic sources ranked from good to best
To make things a little bit more scientific, I’ve decided to assign points for the following aspects of each traffic source:
- Billions of ad impression per month
- Mainstream traffic available
- Advanced targeting
- Number of ad formats
- Number of adult categories
Additional points will be given for extra features, outstanding support and so on.
You may say that this is arbitrary. And you’ll be right – all point-based systems are. But I would argue that this system is reasonable and will allow us to quickly sort out all traffic sources, from good to the best.
This is a well-known and loved adult traffic source. It has one of the most recognizable publishers: Pornhub. Their focus is to polish its auto-optimization technology to deliver the right ads to the right people.
Points were given for their impressive number of ads served daily, which is four billion and the ads format available: display in various sizes and video. TrafficJunky also allows for keywords targeting. Their other targeting options are pretty standard.
Since October 2020, TrafficJunky is fully integrated with Voluum, so cost tracking, rules and alerts are all available to you.
Overall score: 8
Slightly higher on our list is ADxAD. It’s a traffic source specialized in Asian traffic. It scored more points due to the impressive number of adult categories, which allows you to precisely target your audience.
Outside the standard traffic targeting options, you can also target selected premium publishers.
Overall score: 9
Plugrush is an old network that definitely knows new tricks. It features a native ad format – a rarity in the adult vertical, along other three standard ad formats: display, push, pop-under.
Plugrush also offers traffic retargeting for all those fine-tuners out there.
Overall score: 10
Zeropark is a widely recognizable name in the affiliate community. As an exception to the remaining traffic sources presented here, it doesn’t focus solely on adult traffic, but offers it in parallel with large volumes of mainstream traffic.
Zeropark offers standard ad formats with a nice addition of an in-page push format, an alternative to standard push format that recently is being blocked by browsers more often than not. The traffic targeting options are quite advanced and all this is packed in a nice UI.
As a cherry on top, Zeropark is also fully integrated with Voluum and has been since the beginning of time.
Overall score: 11
TrafficFactory allows you to advertise on one of the bigger players in the industry: Xvideos. Along with it come billions of daily ad impressions. Six, to be exact. Add to this many different ad formats and you can gloss over its rather dated UI and focus on reaching TrafficFactory’s vast audience.
Overall score: 13
TrafficStars has a lot of everything: ad formats to choose from, adult categories to fine-tune your reach, and traffic targeting options.
You can retarget your previously engaged audience or create a lookalike audience. You can target premium or members-area users which usually means higher conversion rate.
Combine that with an access to another big player: xHamster, and you’ve got yourself a runner-up on this list.
Overall score: 17
The first place should be obvious for anyone who knows the industry. Exoclick offers big and small publishers that add up to a whooping 7 billion daily ad impressions. It’s got all the features you may need, all the traffic, and, to make things better, a top-notch API integration with Voluum!
That’s right, adult king and tracking king work together like a charm. Synchronize costs, create rules, set alerts and, above all, profit.
Overall score: 20
Never let a good pandemic go to waste
If you have never worked with adult traffic, there won’t be a better moment to start. That is, until a next pandemic happens.
If you worked in this vertical a bit, the above list should provide you with an overview of differences between main adult traffic sources. But the main factor is common: they all offer high-quality adult traffic.
Truth be told, you will be good working with any of these platforms.
It’s directly the opposite when it comes to an ad tracker: only Voluum has integrations, automation, and AI to let you focus on what you are best at: advertising in the most exciting vertical there is.