Distribution Evolution

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. - Web, video-on-demand and pay-per-view TV have heated up recently, and an increase in demand for quicker, more discreet delivery of satisfying content has forced the adult industry to develop more innovative, multi-method distribution models. Older models traditionally were based on the distribution power of adult-DVD Internet sales sites, select DVD distributors and in-store rentals. However, with the arrival of Internet VOD, the industry has transcended the old model, moving into a new era of direct marketing.

"My business is hard physical goods, which could be considered a shrinking market," said Anh Tran, co-founder and chief executive officer of WantedList. "Customers can now acquire adult product more quickly over the Internet and more anonymously. There has been a decline in the DVD market with VOD, but DVD has a decent life expectancy. There are two kinds of consumers: the Internet porn aficionado and the DVD fan who likes to collect actual physical product."

Mark Kulkis, president of Kick Ass Pictures and its affiliate program, agreed. "DVD and video stores have suffered the worst in light of these new distribution models and consumers' need for privacy," he said. "I think DVD will be around for a good while, and with the advent and proliferation of [high-definition] DVD, it will further that life expectancy. Nevertheless, it doesn't hurt to plan for the future."

As it turns out, cable TV services have anticipated where the market is going and have joined forces with the Internet to create Internet-protocol television, or the ballyhooed IPTV. Some cable companies have launched the new distribution model in an attempt to keep up with the times and exhibit Internet savvy.

Despite changing modes of delivery, the real challenges remain targeting niches and getting people what they want more quickly.

"Targeting specific niches and delivery of content to customers is key," according to HotMovies' James Cybert. "Make your content stand out, try to tell people what studios are producing and get people to participate and tell you what they want."

Ever the technology evangelist, Tranh noted the adult industry is growing up technologically and promises to spread the gospel of new distribution models with the incentive of increased wealth. "We [as an industry] have to prepare for the future with a new model, and we will," he said. "Models change, people change, but people will always find the best delivery process necessary to get porn."