Porn that way

Jan 12, 2012
Internet
0 0

Once upon a time the porn industry showed the future of media technology, driving the 8mm projector, VCR and even the web from the university labs to the living rooms of the world because of consumer demand.

While the porn industry wasn’t very good at inventing devices or machinery, there was no industry better at taking them to the masses. But riding the technology wave hasn’t been easy for the porn industry in more recent years despite the reputation the field has for technological innovation.

Because the internet allows anonymity, it paved the way for free content. With a vastly expanded user base but comparatively few willing to pay for it, the industry has been slower than usual to take up new tools as they came on offer, sticking instead to its traditional medium, home video, where its revenue model still worked.

However, as the traditional music, film and book industry is currently working out, with the number of people moving online and going mobile, the porn industry can’t afford to stick its head into the sand. It needs to embrace the new medium.

Indeed, many companies in the industry are riding three major industry trends: the cloud, HTML and high-speed broadband.

20120112-221942.jpg
We’re in the middle of a data renaissance where every device is a computer, all connected to each other and a click away from the staggering processing power and storage capacity of the internet as a whole. This has driven a trend to use but not own content that is already there — why download a huge file you’ll seldom use when you can stream it whenever you want it?

And that streaming doesn’t need to happen at your PC. Cloud services go hand in hand with mobile for many applications; because handhelds and tablets are such effective media consumption devices, porn is one of the most suited. As DVD sales continue to slump, a new breed is trying to stake a claim in the new media and ride the next wave.

California-based Pink Visual (“We innovate. You Masturbate”) recently launched PVLocker, a cloud-based portal where customers can purchase scenes one at a time. Spokesperson for Pink Visual, Quentin Boyer, says the cloud is the company’s natural home because of its cross-platform functionality. “Where our existing sites tend to be optimised for either desktop computers or mobile devices, PVLocker offers an experience tailored to the device they’re using at that moment,” he says.

“Customers can sign up and purchase via their desktop PC, then return later on a mobile device to watch the content or shop more without having to log back in using their PC. The content resides in the cloud provided by us, so there’s no device syncing necessary — it resides in their ‘locker’ where they can access as they see fit from the device of their choice.”

We still have some distance to go before the cloud reaches the mainstream — Symantec recently said 31 per cent of business-critical applications were hosted in the cloud, and cloud services had penetrated 35 per cent of the data market globally versus 25 per cent in Australia. But with global software vendor cloud services like Apple (iCloud) and Adobe (creative.adobe.com) coming out over the last year or so, the field is set to skyrocket as a result.

Back in 2008, adult content on handheld devices was going to be the next gold rush thanks to the broad adoption of the iPhone, and cloud services were going to service handheld media content beautifully. But one of the biggest news stories to accompany the 2009 release of the iPad was Apple’s determination to keep adult content off it and their snubbing of Flash on the device.

Apps with even a hint of sexual content were rejected from the App Store on a mass scale and Apple’s stance caused quite a double-standards controversy. Quentin Boyer says Pink Visual’s app was tweaked and resubmitted several times to get around Apple’s “somewhat nervous” policies even though it was no worse than a Victoria’s Secret calendar, while Sports Illustrated and even Playboy’s (non-nude) apps had no trouble. Companies relying on an erotic iPhone app found their platform vanish overnight.

Then-CEO Steve Jobs justified Apple’s anti-Flash stance in a much-derided letter about making sure the iPad worked with open (CSS and HTML5) rather than closed standards. Subsequently, HTML5 development became the new black with lightning speed. Building content for the iPad might not be the main reason for the uptake, but Apple certainly gave it a strong boost.

Reprogramming a site using HTML5 made it easy to view and browse clips on the iPhone and iPad, because there was no Flash content to block, and many adult websites have done so in their mobile versions.

“We launched our iPad-optimised site in April of last year and within a couple of weeks we had a robust subscriber base and rapidly growing revenues from the site,” Pink Visual’s Boyer reports. “The relevance of Apple’s content policies has diminished to the point where we never think about it at all any more.”

While it’s true that the current cloud take-up is more around major software vendors than the adult films industry, history has taught us that consuming erotica is a strong driver to overcome the learning curve of a new technology. If cloud-based music sharing, antivirus scanning or office productivity is commonplace five years from now, porn could well be behind the take-up.

But the biggest game changer for porn content is set to be the National Broadband Network. When it’s complete all eyes will be on Australia and the most robust consumer data network in the Western world. The network will send data caps through the ceiling and make streaming of high-definition content a reality using cloud services like PVLocker.com.

As content and application developer The Project Factory told Computerworld in July last year, e-health, education and government services have dominated public discussion about the NBN’s benefits, but private investment was watching entertainment products and in particular, porn.

“The single most important factor is the porn factor because pornography has always been at the cutting edge of technology,” said The Project Factory director, Jennifer Wilson. “If we cannot get porn on the NBN then we will have trouble getting consumer acceptance and uptake.”

It’s hard to know where to look to discern the future of media technology. Once upon a time the porn industry was the touchstone to watch, but adult content providers have floundered for want of a new media business model in the last few years, while companies like Apple have led the way, ushering in mainstream acceptance of technologies like the digital music player and smartphone.

But disregard the smarts and market position of the porn industry at your peril, and remember the lessons of the 8mm projector, VCR and the web in mind. Porn will never go out of style, so it’s got forever to take the technology lead again.

Source: ZdNet.com

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Spread the love
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
TrafficHolder.com - Buy & Sell Adult Traffic
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x