How Do Porn Sites Like Pornhub Make Money?
The short answer is exactly what you’d expect: Ads. Advertising pays very well for adult content, since they get more clicks from impulsive visitors. Aside from the ad revenue, there is also a small margin of paid content for premium or subscription access, which virtually all sites offer. But even if you never pay a dime, ad revenue is more than profitable enough on its own.
Another case is Friend Finder Networks, which not only runs Adult Friend Finder but many niche dating websites extending to alternative lifestyles sites like Alt.com and Christian dating sites like BigChurch. Contrary to the typical adult networking experience, Friend Finder Networks has been in perpetual levels of bankruptcy processes for some time now, apparently just through lousy management. At one time Playboy owned the company.
So as is the case with just about every other kind of media, porn is also a huge business which appears to be many competing small websites up front, but behind the scenes there’s a narrow oligopoly of just a few huge media conglomerates. Over and over again, it turns out that any individual website is part of a larger company so it doesn’t matter so much if they fall short on one or two domains when they can make it up in volume.
But yes, the revenue bottom line comes down to ads, especially since video ads have become commonplace. Every time site A advertises on site B and gets a click-through, site B gets a kickback. Click-through rates are very healthy – we’re guessing maybe the fact that some patrons are operating a mouse one-handed may make them less picky about where they click?