Let’s Talk About Sex: The Future of the Porn Industry


james-bond-007Welcome to the adult world. We love sex. And therefore, we love porn. Although reliable public statistics are difficult to find, porn is estimated to be a $97 billion dollar industry (NBCNews 2015). According to The Guardian (The Guardian 2013), traffic on adult sites easily surpasses traffic on social media- or shopping sites in the UK. And at the same time, Mindgeek, exploiter of amongst others PornHub, claims to attract over 100 million visitors a day who consume over 1.5 terabyte per second (The Economist 2015). According to above, one can easily state that the porn industry is still booming. But what makes the porn industry as successful as it is? From an information technology perspective; nerves of steel. 

Before the rise of the Internet, porn used to be exclusive. Amongst others, regulations and taboos ensured that porn was not easily available, which drove the price of porn up. When the Internet got widely available, many traditional industries faced a massive challenge – yet the professional porn industry, contrary to many other industries, quickly picked up the opportunities presented by the Internet to enhance and enrich their business model. The porn industry proved to be extremely technology-driven; according to CNN, many nowadays widely-used online technologies, such as credit-card verification and streaming video, can all “be traced back to innovations designed to share, and sell, adult content” (CNN 2010). Business Insider even states that “the concept of e-commerce (…) owes much of its early existence to porn” (Business Insider 2013). And not only did the porn industry experiment with different types of technologies; several online sales methods can be traced back to the adult industry as well.

20150926_IRC846On the other hand, the Internet has posed challenges to the professional porn industry, mainly in the form of porn tubes. A massive surge in availability of amateur porn partly contributed to the shift of porn from a speciality good to a commodity good, hence significantly lowering the price of porn. Although professional porn producers have found ways to strategically use tubes to draw customers to their sites, this industry still suffers from lower profits than before.

The porn industry tries to restore its profits by, again, embracing technological innovations and models. PornHub recently announced a crowdfunding initiative for a porn movie (shot in space); an add-free Netflix-like streaming service has been introduced; and options as Virtual Reality and robotics are currently heavily explored.

We all love sex. How do you think that the porn industry should modify its business model through information technology, in order for it to increase profits? What is the future of the porn industry?

Sources:

Business Insider 2013, Porn: The hidden engine that drives innovation in tech [online]. Available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-porn-drives-innovation-in-tech-2013-7?IR=T [Accessed 1 October 2015].

CNN 2010, In the tech world, porn quietly leads the way [online]. Available at: http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/04/23/porn.technology/ [Accessed 1 October 2015].

NBC News 2015, Things are looking up in America’s porn industry [online]. Available at:

www.nbcnews.com/business/business-news/things-are-looking-americas-porn-industry-n289431 [Accessed 1 October 2015].

The Economist 2015, Naked capitalism [online]. Available at: http://www.economist.com/news/international/21666114-internet-blew-porn-industrys-business-model-apart-its-response-holds-lessons [Accessed 1 October 2015].

The Guardian 2013, Porn sites get more internet traffic in UK than social networks or shopping [online]. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2013/jul/26/porn-sites-internet-traffic-uk [Accessed 1 October 2015].

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2 responses to “Let’s Talk About Sex: The Future of the Porn Industry”

  1. 352591pz says :

    Hi stephanie!

    When I was reading you article and saw your question I immediately had to think of the paid TV channels such as Talpa, EredivisieLive, Sport1, Film1, Fox Sports. These channels are/were facing the same problem, a lot of foreign internet sites are able to broadcast there live shows through illegal websites. My dad, for example, doesn’t want to pay for these channels because he believes that the internet shows all games, movies and documentaries online for free. This is true, I am also considering terminating my FoxSports because i can see all games live and for free on the internet. However I must admit it is getting harder and harder to get a hold of such an illegal website which broadcasts for free. I know that for example, Eredivisie Live in their time had a team of people who searched the internet for illegal websites that broadcasted live and free football games. After such a website was found, it was reported to the government where after the website was banned. In such a way it got harder and harder to get a hold of a stream. Now i do think the streams will never completely disappear since there are so many people out there trying to create these illegal websites, it is almost impossible to find them all, however I think is a good start to making the industry booming again. Although the problem here is a lot less worse than in the porn industry, I think the porn industry has to do the same. It’ll be much harder since this problem has been going on for a long time and nothing has been done to stop it.

    Philip van Zadelhoff

  2. 441696ts says :

    Hi Stephanie!

    Want to know the future of porn? Virtual Reality Porn 😉
    Imagine watching porn like you are there in the room – or like that hot guy you have the hots for is really riding you. Awesome right? I know I would not mind…

    Indeed, virtual reality headsets are going to be storming the market in 2016. The Oculus Rift consumer edition, the most anticipated virtual reality headset owned by Facebook, is anticipated to enter the consumer market in the first quarter of 2016. Though its development was primarily created for gaming, the porn industry has never been a disappointment when it comes to creativity and errrm finding arousing ways to use electronic devices.

    Currently, there is not much stopping the porn industry from creating content for virtual reality headsets (though there has been controversy about it). Though not something that is openly talked about, someone definitely is feasting their eyes of bringing the porn content to virtual reality. Oculus Rift itself is not planning on bringing adult content into their store and actually prohibits its sale on their personal platform. However they are not stopping anyone from creating and selling adult virtual reality content themselves. Oculus Rift is definitely missing out on the big bucks. I already found a website where you can download Oculus Rift Porn – http://www.vrtitties.com (or so they claim). As can be seen though the porn industry may change with technology, their URL’s will always remain classy.

    Indeed, virtual reality is not mature yet – and the pricetag of the Oculus Rift is not going to be cheap when it launches. Video quality of the content is not going to be the best in the beginning. However, the porn industry is known to usually wait for a technology to be adopted by the majority before they begin creating content for that technology. As virtual reality begins to immerse our lives and the 2D world becomes the past, interacting with super-lifelike porn stars (or even avatars if that floats your boat) may just be the porn of the future.

    Now what’s next is for technology to be created where you can actually FEEL the porn. But let’s wait for that in the next few decades.

    Author: Teresa Stacey, 441696ts

    Sources:

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/paullamkin/2015/06/12/oculus-rift-consumer-edition-5-things-we-now-know/

    http://www.polygon.com/2015/9/25/9397877/yes-there-will-still-be-lots-of-virtual-reality-porn-on-the-oculus

    http://gizmodo.com/when-porn-and-virtual-reality-collide-nsfw-1660603261

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