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Penthouse Media Group has realized that porn magazines and websites may be a dying business model, but Christian dating is the future!

According to an article in this week’s issue of Newsweek magazine:

“If you’re looking for adult content today, there are so many more places and many other ways to do that,” says David Miller, an industry analyst and managing director at Los Angeles-based Sanders Morris Harris Group. “You can get it over the Internet for free.”

“Penthouse is just another Web site. We are in the social-networking business. We are not in the business of Penthouse,” said Marc Bell, the entrepreneur who acquired Penthouse in 2004.

And since social-networking is the highly lucrative buzz word that got MySpace a multi-billion dollar deal from Rupert Murdoch and Facebook a similar one from Microsoft, that’s exactly the route Penthouse will go.

Any good financial adviser will inform you that diversifying one’s portfolio is the best way to gain alpha on your investments. Penthouse takes that advice to new levels and now owns AdultFriendFinder.com (one of the most trafficked sites on the internet worldwide with 18 million members) along with Bondage.com, LikeMyNudePhoto.com, and BigChurch.com.

BigChurch, with its bible-verse search library and innocent Christian-seeking-Christian testimonials, seems oddly out of place in the bunch.

I wonder if any of those Christians using the site are aware of their host? And maybe the better question, does it really matter?

As we reported on last week, Playboy is falling on some tough times too. The Playboy brand itself is changing into more of a lifestyle brand by marketing television and apparel lines, rather than a focused publication business. All of these changes seem to be spurred on by the vast array of free internet pornography.

Free internet porn has made a lot of people do some crazy things, but starting a Christian dating service might be one of the strangest.

Newsweek: Penthouse Gets Pious, week of May 15 2008