Sex sells.  It’s a tired little bromide that the ad industry has been leaning on for a while now.  Sex compels people to buy.  But does that same proven logic hold true when your customers are advertisers?  Apparently not.

The Midwest Teen Sex Show, a monthly program that uses irreverent humor to teach kids about responsible sexual practices, has been around for almost a year.  The show is consistently ranked in the the top 10 in iTunes’ “Health” category with about 150,000 subscribers and another 250,000 viewers that tune in for every episode on their website. The show’s producer/star/muse, Nikol Hasler, and her partners in crime have recently been making the rounds in the mainstream media.

All this popularity must have lead to some serious dough, right?  Nope.  Not at all.  Nary a nickel.  Well, perhaps a nickel or two but not a whole bunch more.

Earlier this week, Nikol put this out on Twitter: “Having sad discussion with [our crew] about lack of funds. Trying to determine how much longer we’ll be able to do this.”  The answer, Nikol tells me, is two more episoddes.

According to Nikol, the group has made about $1,000, which is more than disappointing considering their collective $20,000 investment (not to mention Nikol losing her day job due to her Midwest duties).   

The income has come primarily from Revver payments, with a litte help from viewer donations and merchandise sales.  They have also employed the services of Wizzard Media, a company that sells ad time on behalf of popular independent web shows such as Tiki Bar TV and Keith and the Girl, but the edgy nature of their content isn’t doing much to attract sponsors.  Sure, there has been talk of bigger and better projects with production companies and networks that could pay off lucrative dividends, but at this point that’s all it is.  Talk.

Sponsorship is what they really need in order to continue, barring an Alive in Baghdad-style rally of viewer support (which also isn’t necessarily paying the bills).  But that’s going to be tough considering that many advertisers look to pair their messaging with “brand-safe” content.  And brand-safe this ain’t…which is kinda the point.
Hey Trojan ManPleasureMAX, Babeland, and other “un-safe” brands promoting safe sex!  Think about promoting your product via Midwest Teen Sex.

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