Top Menu

The Past and Future of Online Porn and What Mainstream Technology Companies Can Learn From It

When MTB first launched in 1979, it has geared a video by a group of The Buggles. The videos’ title was Video Killed the Radio Star. It was a very catchy song and the whole thesis was that video music was the next generation of content consumption and it turned out that the prediction was completely true— video did dominate the popular imagination. The good news was it didn’t really kill radio. Radio morphed into something else. That’s how technology works. Well, the same kind of process applies to online pornography. Thanks to recent changes in the way online content is consumed and disseminated, the old online porn industry has gone through a metamorphosis and things had a drastically changed; but just like the radio star in that famous Buggles’ song of 1979, porn is far from dying. However, its shape has changed.

Why are we discussing this? It is because its metamorphosis and transformation can yield several eLessons for technology firms. It’s all about managing changes and adaptation. If you take the wrong steps then there’s serious consequences. If you look far back in the mid nineties, online porn was one of the innovators of online technology. In fact, it was one of the few online segments that was sustainable and reliable in making money compared to other mainstream niches and companies that were basically selling promises. Sure, these companies have multimillion valuations in the stock market but it was all based on potential. On the other end of the ledger was online porn, with its streaming technologies and affiliated marketing systems, was really raking in the money and pioneering how digital content is sold online.

Sure enough, the dotcom crash came and destroyed most of the early mainstream technology companies in the internet space. Porn, just like the proverbial cockroach after a nuclear war, survived and thrived, at least its earlier form has basically died. What happened? It turned out that porn was the victim of its own success. It was successful early on because of the primary fact that it was very hard to find adult content online. As affiliate marketers became more aggressive in getting massive amounts of traffic by offering free pictures and short movie clips, the amount of free content basically boomed at the old business model. The old business model is very simple. You would give out small samples that is enough for people to sign up to get a membership. The problem is when affiliates started up doing each other and offering longer and longer movies until all of a sudden, expiry of versions of adult tube sites sprang up a little bit less. These sites offer full length videos and DVDs. Consequently, consumers no longer felt a need to buy a membership at adult sites. In short, free content killed the business model.

What can mainstream business learn from this? The primary lesson is that consumers are willing to pay for experiences but they are not willing to pay for pend content. In other words, if the content is basically completed and can be found free elsewhere, your customers would find it. Also, there would be people that are going to be making money from the traffic making sure people find your content. The good news is that consumers are willing to pay for experiences, in other words, they are willing to pay for something that is happening now and entirely in this moment. This is why webcams are now bigger. This is where the adult industry has evolved and most adult sites focus less on selling memberships to adult pay sites and more towards cam sites. Why? Because again, it is all about experience and temporary in-your-face personal attention. If anything, online content businesses should focus creating loyalties through experiences and specialty content that is geared specifically to the needs of individual consumers.

,