According to a report in the New York Times, Penthouse Media Group just invested $500 million into Various, Inc., operator of 25 social networking sites, including Adult Friend Finder and its related Friend Finder Network websites. Combined, Various’ companies have a reported member base of more than 260 million consumers, with about 1.2 million paying consumers.
The purchase shows how bullish a company like Penthouse is in the Internet marketing channel. As the Internet continues to mature, magazine and newspaper publishers have struggled to maintain viewership, and they’ve had to put out a strong web product to keep their customers satisfied. It will be interesting to see how Penthouse and the FFN leverage each other’s assets and industry knowledge to create a stronger company. It will also be interesting to see if they work under one company name or if they maintain their own brand identities.
At the recent TRAFFIC auction the FFN network paid $1.8 million for Seniors.com.