Do-It-Yourself Porn Websites Proliferating on the Internet

July 7, 2008 - 8:04 PM

(CNSNews.com) - A burgeoning industry has cropped up on the Internet that allows cyber novices to create and market their own pornographic websites. Internet companies are offering to tailor pornographic content and images and sell bulk e-mail addresses.

Billing themselves as "the fastest growing and most profitable segment of the Internet," pornographic website companies are branching out to allow entrepreneurs the ability to make their own porn sites without ever leaving the comfort of their home.

Websites and unsolicited e-mails tout a world of allegedly enormous money and offer individuals the chance to get in on the ground floor of the rapidly growing Internet porn industry.

Florida-based Saturn Communications uses its website to encourage budding entrepreneurs to "Own your own Premium Adult Site!"

"SEX SELLS!" the Saturn Communications website reminds visitors and claims: "Adult entertainment websites are the most profitable area of the Internet."

Wendy Wright, senior policy director with the conservative group Concerned Women for America, lamented the proliferation of Internet pornography.

"It's pushing this idea of mainstreaming porn even further by playing on people's greed," Wright told CNSNews.com. "We should be doing everything we can to clean up porn, not make it more prevalent," she added.

One expert on Internet pornography cautioned that would-be pornographers should think twice before venturing into "pre-built" pornographic websites.

"I wouldn't do it," said James, one of the co-authors of the book, A Down & Dirty Guide to Building Adult Web Sites, published by GPNet Publishing Company. James, who declined to reveal his surname for the interview, believes many of the "pre-built" websites are preying on people's erroneous views of the pornography industry.

"There is still the popular perception that you can slap up a couple of naked pictures of whomever in the Internet and just wait for money to roll in," James told CNSNews.com.

'Exciting and profitable industry'


Saturn Communications' sales pitch to potential porn webmasters is focused on the prospect of great financial gain.

"SATURN ONLINE offers you an opportunity to participate in this exciting and profitable industry, one that is growing at an amazing rate and attracting a larger and larger share of total Internet visitors," the website states.

Saturn Communications explains: "Your website works for you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with a minimum investment of your time and money." The promotional materials note that you will not need any of the following: "employees, accounts receivable, fixed overhead, regular business hours, raw materials, government licensing."

Under the terms set by Saturn Communications, prospective porn webmasters pay anywhere from $495 to $1,895 in upfront fees, then subsequently $49.95 a month plus 40 percent of gross website sales to Saturn for the online hosting. Web surfers who want to view the pornography on the pre-built sites pay a starting monthly subscription rate of $34.95.

Another website, UnderworldContent.com, also offers full-service web hosting and the content for pre-built pornographic websites.

For the "blow out price of only $299.00!!" pornography entrepreneurs are offered the opportunity to have a "pre-built" site constructed with the specific options of heterosexual or homosexual pornography, as well as content dealing with various sexual fetishes.

The sites also offer to pay $75 referral fees to other prospective pornography providers.

UnderworldContent.com also offers to sell clients 10 million e-mail addresses for $199 to help them promote their pornographic websites. "There has not been a better or more cost-effective way to promote your company's products than effective bulk e-mail," the UnderworldContent website declares.

At the same time, UnderworldContent.com cautions its clients not to send spam to market their sites.

"We do not endorse spam or deceptive e-mail campaigns in any way. Spam is defined as unsolicited e-mail that is misleading and or deceptive...We DO AGREE that unsolicited e-mail is an extremely viably (sic) way to promote your business providing it is not misleading in any way shape or form," the website explains.

The risks of pornography

Wright, from Concerned Women for America, is especially upset at the selling and targeting of e-mail addresses for unsolicited porn marketing.

"It is forcing themselves on other people who don't want this kind of trash," Wright explained.

"This should give even more motivation for legislators to pass better legislation and for judges to uphold the law. It is not just an issue of individual preferences. This is extremely intrusive, and if they are spamming, this will end up in the hands of children," Wright added.

Wright believes pornography can be destructive to individuals and society.

"Porno is very harmful to not only the person who's viewing it and can become addicted to it, but it's very harmful to their relationships. It harms their spouses, their girlfriends, their boyfriends, their families," Wright said.

"It's something that consumes people. People think that porno is something they control, but as it turns out, it controls them," she added.

Calls to Saturn Communications were not returned by press time, and UnderworldContent.com did not respond to repeated efforts to contact the company.

'A little tiny fish'

James believes many people attracted to the pre-built porn sites underestimate the competitive nature of the industry.

"There is nothing [about the concept of pre-built sites] that would strike me that is illegitimate, but the buyer who is going to turn around and be a distributor and have their own website...needs to understand that they are going to be a little tiny fish having to compete against some really big fish who have a lot money," James said.

Despite all of the caveats, James conceded that it is "not out of the realm of possibility" that "pre-built" pornographic sites could generate significant money for some people.

"If you take care of your customers and make sure your site is secure and you do regular content updating and you promise less and deliver more - all those basic business rules... It would not be too hard to make $40,000 to 50,000 a year for a small-time website," James said.

"If you want to get into millions [of dollars], you are going to have to move up to another level, and then, it's a whole different game, and you got to produce [the pornography]," he added.

James said the lucrative side to the porn industry involves the production of movies and stills, noting that one porn producer with whom he is familiar grosses between $2 million and $3 million a month off of an annual investment of about $45,000 a year.

"[The porn producer] spends about $20,000 two times a year and goes on location a lot of times in Florida or the Caribbean, and they'll rent a villa...and they'll shoot for three or four days, and from the footage he gets, he will be able to produce anywhere between three and four feature-length films," James explained.

James also described how an elderly couple he researched for the book, A Down & Dirty Guide to Building Adult Web Sites, got the idea to start their own porn website after a bet during a game of bridge.

"They have an average monthly [website] subscription rate of about 100 [people], but they have a really specialized market, and they charge $39.95 a month. Well, do the math," James said, referring to the almost $4,000 monthly gross revenue the couple claims to generate.

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