Meet The YouTuber Who Advertised His Channel On Pornhub

The story of the content creator who went to unthinkable ends to put himself out there.

Source: Tech Crunch

I’m not afraid to admit it: I watch porn. Statistically, you do as well — according to Psychology Today, 85% of people have watched porn in the last 6 months.

Being a porn viewer, you tend to find a lot of trends when it comes to porn sites. There are the over-the-top titles, the cliche fetishes, and most notably, the ads. No matter what site it is, porn sites always seem to have the same kinds of ads.

There are ads for erectile dysfunction, BS hookup sites, and weird sex games, always very in-your-face with promises that are too good to be true and graphics so flashy they make your eyes hurt.

In recent months, however, some porn viewers may have seen a new type of ad disrupting what they’re used to: ads for a YouTube channel.

Starting in mid 2019, a YouTuber named Michael’s Cars launched an experiment where he took a budget of $100, and decided to spend it on advertising on Pornhub to see how it would affect his channel.

Michael’s Cars is a channel run by a college student from Ohio, unsurprisingly named Michael, with a channel description that reads, “Bringing Car Culture to the Masses through humor, metaphor, and stupidity.”

The channel was founded in 2011, and on December 28, 2017, Michael posted his first video, titled “I turned my dog into an ATAT”, which has since been taken down. The channel is focused on satire, with most of its videos being driven by Michael’s dry, witty sense of humor, and revolving around cars and online pop culture.

Michael’s Cars is by any stretch a small YouTube channel currently, but in May of 2019 it was a lot smaller. Back then the channel only had 59 subscribers, and fed up by the lack of growth, Michael decided to go out of the box and advertise his channel on a porn site.

Speaking in a video in May, Michael says that he decided to advertise on Pornhub for two main reasons. First, because he thought it would be funny. Second, because he thought there was legitimate market potential.

As Michael explains, advertising on Pornhub is very cheap. On a traditional social media site like Facebook, it can cost between $4–7 per thousand impressions — an impression is simply a view. That means that you need to pay $4–7 for 1000 people to be shown your ad.

While $4 for 1000 pairs of eyeballs sounds cheap, on Pornhub, the situation is even better. There, it only costs $0.27 per thousand impressions.

Therefore, doing the calculations, Michael estimated that the $100 he set aside for advertising on Pornhub would lead to 370,400 people seeing his ads, which is a very good showing for that small of a budget.

Michael also said that he thought there was a lot of potential to get many people to click to his channel through Pornhub. He believed there was a lot of overlap between Pornhub’s audience and his own, joking “maybe Pornhub viewers and meme-lovers aren’t all that different”.

Michael’s projections said he could get up to 4000 subscribers, a 6779% increase, from the experiment, and with that in mind he started it.

He began by designing 12 potential ads for Pornhub, which he whittled down to 4 with the advice of a few friends, and on May 14th, his first ad went live. Over the next couple of days, he experimented with the ads, and has continued to use them on and off for a year and a half, even though he has stopped publicly discussing them.

Now while this may be interesting, the question is did it actually work?

It depends on how you define success in this experiment, however the Pornhub ads did substantially change Michael’s channel.

Looking at his profile on Social Blade, we can see that in May 2019, when he started airing the ads, his subscriber numbers shot up. He gained 178 subscribers that month, more than quadrupling the size of his audience, and he said in a video later that month that he did it using $38 from his budget.

He stagnated for a few months afterward, and then in December he picked up again, getting another 86 subscribers, with a huge burst of 650 subscribers in February 2020.

At the present time, Michael has around1.7k subscribers, which is both a success and a failure, depending on how you want to see it. On the one hand, given the potential projections for growth, a few hundred subscribers is pretty unimpressive. On the other hand, he did increase his channel’s audience substantially with these ads, with more than 97% of his audience having subscribed after he began with the ads.

He is still certainly a small channel, and the ads didn’t change his life, but in reflection Michael considered the experiment a success.

He said that he showed advertising on Pornhub is a viable option with the gains he made, and he thinks it can be tried in the future as long as you’re willing to live with the shame.

And the shame factor may not be as great as you’d think, since for anyone to call you out for your ads, they’d have to admit having been on Pornhub themselves.

Angry opinions from an angry writer on an inconsistent basis.

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