PornHub finds sexy data is content-marketing gold

Porn has long been at the forefront of media, whether it’s streaming video, subscription business models and, ahem, user-generated content. It’s no surprise then that adult destination PornHub is a leader in data-mined content marketing.

This summer the adult website launched a relatively safe-for-work blog called “Insights,” through which it’s been surfacing both humorous and genuinely interesting stats and infographics about its users’ viewing habits. The blog has noted that on Christmas Day 2012, traffic to PornHub dropped 27 percent in the U.S., 32 percent Canada but rose 8 percent in Japan, for example. In October, it discovered the government shutdown coincided with a spike in traffic of 4.5 percent to the PornHub site. Insights like these have driven over half a million visits to the blog in the past two months and landed it mentions in Time, Vice, BuzzFeed and Cosmopolitan along the way.

“We’re always looking at new initiatives and innovations that will entertain our users,” said PornHub vp Corey Price. “Our goal is to offer our users an inside perspective on the stats that they contribute to.”

Price said he knew the data was interesting but added the reception the blog has received has “far surpassed” his expectations.

It’s not uncommon for websites to dig through their data to unearth interesting trends. OkCupid once maintained an OkTrends blog, for example, which used its users’ profile and survey information to unearth quirky facts and trends about user dating habits.

Online food-ordering service Eat24 took a similar approach with a hilarious blog post earlier this year, which detailed its experience advertising on PornHub and other adult sites. Data collected from its campaigns proved the perfect fodder for its content-marketing initiatives. That post alone garnered more than 10,000 tweets and likes on Twitter and Facebook, respectively.

But Price says PornHub didn’t launch its insights blog for marketing reasons, as such. It did so because it noticed amusing patterns arising from its own internal research and figured its users would be interested.

“In-house, we’ve always looked at statistics to understand what our users were looking for and what affected traffic on a daily basis. We have a team of statisticians whose sole job is to be looking at our website’s statistics,” he explained. “We decided to delve deeper into these stats, and prepare comprehensive articles in a safe-for-work format.”

Other than a link to it in the main PornHub footer, promotion of the blog has been almost entirely organic. The site shares its findings on social media channels, of course, but hasn’t promoted them through content-recommendation services or other ads.

But according to Price, PornHub plans to up its game and to continue to find new and interesting data and ways of presenting it. In the next week, it will release its year-in-review data, which Price promised will include some juicy nuggets. “Keep an eye out!” he concluded. We will remain at attention.