AdBrite might have just secured an additional $23 million in funding, but at midnight tonight its business prospects may look decidedly dimmer. Competing ad network Etology is cutting deals with some of AdBrite’s biggest customers to take over their ads.
A big chunk of the ads that AdBrite serves are for porn sites on behalf of the AVN Media Network. These AVN Ads make up 31 percent of AdBrite’s total daily impressions (259 million out of 824 million total, according to the respective Websites). Yes, porn is the lifeblood of many of these online ad networks—don’t act so surprised.
Since December, 2004 AdBrite has been supplying the technology, billing, and payment platform for AVN Ads. Now that deal is going to Etology, who will manage the site from now on and relaunch it with a new look. Before that happens, AdBrite is trying to redirect all of its members to its own new adult advertising sub-brand, BlackLabelAds. If you go to the AVN Ads Website, you will see a big pop-up trying to switch advertisers and publishers with existing accounts over to BlackLabelAds. Yet, according to Etology, it has already secured the loyalty of 1,268 (and counting) of the biggest porn sites on AVN Ads, including YouPorn, PornTube, and RedTube. (Out of 6,614 total). Those 1,268 sites account for 108 million daily impressions (or 42 percent of AVN Ads’ total, and 13 percent of AdBrite’s total). The other 151 million impressions are still up for grabs. Etology is trying to lure them with a 75 percent share of revenues, versus the 70 percent they got from AdBrite.
I caught up with AdBrite co-founder Philip Kaplan on the phone to get his take. He notes that all the current 6,614 sites that run AVN Ads have AdBrite code on them, and that is going to stay there unless they take it off. “If you were an AVN Ads user before, you are automatically a BlackLabelAds user.” But he is really not too worried about losing the porn business because it is not where he sees the future:
Adult is an interesting thing. It is a lot of pageviews, it is not a lot of revenues. Most of the major players support it, but as the Internet advertising business is growing and more mainstream advertising is coming from TV and print, it is becoming less and less significant.
In the meantime, he is happy to fight it out with Etology for the porn advertising business, but it is not where he is planning on spending the bulk of the new money he just raised.
Here is what the new AVN Ads Website will look like: