Sex.com may sound like a joke of a URL. (How many times a day do junior high students whisper to one another in the computer lab at school, "I double-dare you to go on SEX DOT COM"?) But now there's one guy who is laughing all the way to the bank. The buyer wishes to remain mostly anonymous for now, although we know his company name is Clover Holdings LTD and the company is based in the Caribbean island of St. Vincent. Whoever Clover is, he sure has a lot of opportunity at his fingertips now that he's the proud owner of the most expensive web domain EVER. Not to mention that the site is expected to return well over seven figures a year. Eesh!
Let's back it up a notch for a brief Sex.com history lesson ... Escom LLC used to own Sex.com, but they weren't able to turn it into a viable biz, and ended up declaring bankruptcy in 2010, according to TechCrunch.
Now, the site is just a bunch of random ads, but 125,000 visitors land on the site every day! (So much for it just being a few random sixth graders.) As for what the new owner plans to do with it, he's already gotten a number of business partnership offers, and he has some ideas of his own on how he can turn the site into sizable profits.
You'd figure it would have to do with, well, sex. And sex plus Internet equals one thing ... porn, right? Surprisingly, that's not the route that the new owner may take. Apparently, mainstream media companies (like Disney? ha ha), technology companies (anyone who competes against Apple needs to get the public's attention somehow!), and even Big Pharma (probably Viagra, huh?) have made a pass at partnering.
If I were the new proud owner of Sex.com, I'd definitely think big picture strategy. Mr. Clover is right not to narrow his options by steering directly into adult entertainment. The word "sex" can have so many varied applications than just what we automatically think of when we see it on our web browser.
A few ideas ... I could see the site doing well as a source for sexual health content (just stay away, Dr. Oz, maybe you, too, Oprah -- just stay put on Oprah.com!). It could be a fan page for ALL THINGS Sex & the City or a Pandora-like music site that plays only Prince/Madonna/Gaga, etc. Oooh, maybe a CHOCOLATE site, selling and sharing info about chocolate from all over the world?? (You know the two things are totally interchangeable.) How about gossip social commentary on all the people in the news who are cheaters/liars/skanks. Hey, then Perez Hilton may have some competition!
Whatever Sex.com ends up being, I have no doubt it'll be profitable. After all, it is the only web address that names the one thing in life most of us can't stop obsessing over.
Image via Chris Dlugosz/Flickr