PutLocker.com is a domain name that recently sold for $102,499 at NameJet. On its surface, this may seem like a relatively high price for a two-word domain. However, this domain has a great deal of inherent value due to high traffic levels and an SEO link profile.
PutLocker.com used to be a file-sharing site for movies, achieving around 1.6 million visitors per day and was considered one of the 250 most visited sites on the internet at one point. As a result of its notoriety, a number of “putlocker mirror sites” have sprung up, attempting to capitalize on the high levels of organic and direct traffic associated with the brand name.
It is no surprise that a number of these sites are achieving significant numbers. For example, putlocker.mom, is getting an average of 915,000 visits per month, while putlocker-is.org is receiving an average of 630,000 visits per month. As if that wasn’t enough, PutLocker also enjoys a great deal of direct, type-in traffic. Similarweb estimates the domain receives approximately 100,000 visits per month.
However, for many of these visitors, the site does not live up to its expectations. Instead, users are met with a daunting chain of redirections, pop-up ads and other undesirable content.
For the person who paid $102,499 for PutLocker.com, it appears to be worth it. The incredible direct and organic traffic that the site still receives, is likely a driving factor in the high sale price. The fact that the domain name has also built up a strong SEO profile over time, also likely played into the sale.
PutLocker.com is an example of how domains can be worth an immense amount of money if they maintain a significant presence on the internet, despite the fact they may not get active use by a particular company or business. This case is an excellent reminder of the potential hidden value that can be found in domain names.
PutLocker.com was one of the most prominent names in the online piracy landscape before its retirement in 2014. Founded in 2007, the file-hosting service and streaming video site quickly became a popular platform for users to stream pirated content from various sources, allowing them to bypass paying for access to specific digital works.
In 2011, the U.S. government deemed PutLocker.com one of the “notorious pirate markets,” leading the site operators to rebrand it as Firedrive eventually.
Although the original site ultimately shuttered in 2014, its domain—PutLocker.com— has continued to draw attention over the years. Recently, it was sold at an auction for over $100,000, raising many questions as to why someone would pay such a high price for a domain with a dubious past.
As it turns out, the domain name itself still holds a great deal of value, due to its continued brand recognition and potential to draw in large amounts of targeted traffic. Many users still type “PutLocker.com” into their browsers while searching for a variety of online sources to watch pirated content. With its recent sale and establishment of a brand new owner, many wonder what the future holds for PutLocker.com.
Its current owner seems to be using the domain as an ad space. Upon inspection, it was discovered that PutLocker.com is now carrying advertising links which direct users to streaming services such as Crackle, Pluto TV, and SkyShowtime, as well as directing them to Amazon’s Prime Video service. This appears to be a much more legitimate approach for its new owner, as opposed to its original usage promoting piracy.
Interestingly, PutLocker.com was not the only domain name with a pirate history to be recently auctioned off. Moviesjoy.net sold for $15,800, and Primewire.ag, a target of an MPA lawsuit last year, sold at auction for a few thousand dollars. All of these sales display how much piracy-associated domains can still be worth, regardless of its past reputation and usage.
At the end of the day, the sale of PutLocker.com is a stark reminder of the value associated with piracy-related domain names and how they can still bring in impressive sums through targeted advertising and targeted traffic. With the domain no longer promoting piracy, it will be interesting to see if its new owner will find success by properly utilizing the platform.