Industry Leaders Sound Off On Tube Sites, More At FSC Summit

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - The afternoon sessions of the Free Speech Coalition's summit on thriving in a digital age kicked off with a seminar titled "Adult Industry Entertainment Leaders: Thinking Outside the Box," moderated by Tom Hymes, news director of The two-person panel featured Steve Hirsch, managing partner of Vivid Entertainment, and Scott Coffman, founder and president of Adult Entertainment Broadcast Network (AEBN).

From the get-go, the topic that kept getting thrown into the ring was tube sites. In the words of Hirsch, "We need to protect and control our content." He said that everyone in the industry must follow the logic of "adapt or die," in essence. Content producers cannot be so dependant on one revenue source, such as VOD, and must diversify if they hope to compete with the tubes.

Hymes asked if it would be possible for the industry to come together and fight collectively. The obvious answer to that would be yes, asserted Hirsch, but it would be easier said than done in such a decentralized atmosphere.

On the subject of evolving business models, Coffman was particularly adamant about "not doing business with businesses who are in business to put of us out of business," to which the audience responded with a giant round of applause. Both Hirsch and Coffman agreed that one of the ways to, in a sense, work with tube sites is to flood those sites with content of their own, in 2- to 3-minute clip form, which would then entice users to seek legitimate content at the business' sites.

In the end, Hirsch noted, the industry may even have to turn to the TV model: ad-supported content. Only time will tell, but both panelists agreed that if the industry does not do something about tube sites now, with a generation now socialized to expect free content, it will be in dire straights in the not-too-distant future.