Porn Company Embracing 'Pirates,' Planning To Monetize Experiences

from the connecting-with-fans dept

Just a few weeks ago, we wrote about an economist who tried to apply the whole CwF+RtB concept to the porn industry. Apparently, some porn execs have been doing exactly the same thing. Private Media Group is a publicly traded, multi-million dollar porn company, that has been a leader in porn in Europe for many, many years. The company just went through a management shakeup, bringing back an old CEO, Berth Milton (the son of the company’s founder). In discussing his initial plans, he said that the internet “turned into the worst thing that’s ever happened to the adult business.” But, if you read between the lines, he isn’t saying that it’s the internet that’s the problem, but that the internet pulled the rug out from old business models. He immediately followed it up by saying:

But there are also plenty of opportunities. There are ways of making money from non-paying traffic and that’s what Private is going to do. I can’t reveal anything more about our strategy, but we’re going to be more and more free, which will help us recruit paid subscribers.

That was just a few weeks ago… but he’s now moving forward with those plans, and is saying that he wants to embrace “pirates,” in a new interview with NewTeeVee:

“We will be extremely happy the more people are pirating our content and the more they look at it.”

Why? Well, it looks like Milton has come to the same conclusion as many others in terms of content business models: set the infinite goods free, and look for ways to sell the scarce. He realizes that fighting unauthorized access is a losing battle, noting that he just has to “look at my own kids, because that’s the best way to know where the market is going. It doesn’t matter if I tell them that it is illegal to download. As soon as they close the door to their room, they download.” As NewTeeVee explains:

In short, Private wants to go from making money with porn to monetize actual sexual experiences. It recently teamed up with a San Francisco-based swingers club to shoot a movie, and it wants to turn some of the lessons learned into a business, connecting people involved in alternative sexual lifestyles through exclusive websites. This will first be tested in Europe, where Private is already in negotiations with a swingers community site as well as a hotel property, but Private could eventually import it into the U.S. as well.

Milton also expressed optimism that advertisers will eventually start to embrace adult traffic, and said Private would offer adult toys and other additional products for sale. Private will make 95 to 99 percent of its revenue in these areas in five years, he predicted, adding that DVDs will be dead by then.

He makes some key points in the interview that really apply to so many other industries as well. He admits that, in the short term, this is a challenge and that “our easy way of getting revenue will disappear,” but in the long term, it’s a huge opportunity, because: “there’s never been so many people watching adult content.” He points out that the focus is on making money from “things you can’t copy.” Unlike execs in so many other content industries, it seems like Milton really recognizes why this is an opportunity, rather than a threat. It’s amazing that so few entertainment industry execs have figured out the same thing.

Filed Under: , , , , , ,
Companies: private media group

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Porn Company Embracing 'Pirates,' Planning To Monetize Experiences”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
28 Comments
Hephaestus (profile) says:

They should use the subtitling ....

They should use the subtitling, or a display line on the bottom of the videos they give to do product placement sales. You like the xxx click here.

Begin the Video with …

“hey look no FBI warning!!!

Everything in this video
can be purchased from our site”

Any other ideas on how to monetize this????

Hephaestus (profile) says:

Re: Re: They should use the subtitling ....

Smell-o-Vision – That would truely be horrible on a show like CSI … cringe

Also the more suggestion we give on how to monetize the greater the profits the non-entrenced players will make.

The media giants will fight the future via lawsuits, wait to see which methods actually work, then implement. By then it will be to late.

so more suggestions please 🙂

BigKeithO (profile) says:

Re: They should use the subtitling ....

Well I’d go with some of the obvious stuff that Mike is always talking about to start with.

How about paid memberships for access to a premium members area? Have things like blogs from the porn stars in there, let them build a relationship with their fans. Let the members suggest ideas or themes for entire movies or for scenes (I would think scenes would be more practical since I would think the YouPorn/RedTube clip style of porn fits the interwebz a little better than full length movies). Have an option to pay ‘X’ amount of money and get a short (ie couple minute) long personalized clip from your favorite actress/actor. Auction off “props” from the movies to the fan base.

There’s a couple of ideas off the top if my head. Really the more I think about it easier it gets. We could do this all day. 🙂

Patrik (user link) says:

Really?

“..to monetize actual sexual experiences.”

So it’s come to this. Perfect example of how to kickstart your music career. Instead of having 1000 girls want to sleep with you, you can just charge one girl $1000 to actually sleep with you.

It’s a NEW business model! Wait, or is it the *oldest* business model in the world?

It’s at this point that as an artist–of the generation that brought the whole infrastructure down, no less. Hell, my generation *invented* p2p–that I have to really consider throwing in the towel. This has clearly gone too far.

:Lobo Santo (profile) says:

Re: Really?

Invented P2P? Really??
That’s a hell of a claim for any generation.
In fact, I dare say you must be correct–never before in the history of this planet have peers shared things with other peers.

Nope, there have never been popular mix-tapes.
Not once in all recorded history have boot-legged books been popular.
Also, there was never a church uproar involving mass printed and distributed bibles.
/sarc

Also, STDs have been doing the peer-to-peer thing for, like, ever.

The only thing modern about this whole p2p affair is global digital communications network and proliferation of popular microprocessors which enables sharing of digital works en masse with an efficiency hardly imagined by those which came before. Aside from that–it’s the same as it ever was.

CommonSense (profile) says:

Re: Really?

Different industry, different monetizing opportunities… To start, it’s probably more like ‘paying subscribers have an opportunity to win entrance into the next sex party like in the video you’re about to watch!!’ Which would be the equivalent of offering free entrance into one of your concerts to a fan who gave you money for your music.

But yes, at this point, if you haven’t figured all that out yet, you should stop considering it, and finally throw in the towel.

David Johnson (profile) says:

A new friend

Sounds like Mike has a drinking buddy next time he’s in Barcelona! I don’t think I’ve seen a more prime example of the CwF+RtB concept outside of the music industry (where most of these kinds of talks are contexted). However, he also said “Currently Private is in an industry in rapid transition and with its unparalleled content distribution network and diversified business model across all platforms and screens the Company is uniquely poised to go where others cannot.” (link), so it seems he also feels it’s only possible since they’re diversified.

Nina Paley (profile) says:

porn can't legislate

…Milton really recognizes why this is an opportunity, rather than a threat. It’s amazing that so few entertainment industry execs have figured out the same thing.

That’s because the mainstream entertainment industry can more easily buy politicians and write legislation than the porn industry. Porn has to accept market realities; mainstream Big Media tries to dictate them.

Chris Meadows (profile) says:

I seem to recall hearing that the porn industry has historically always been one of the earliest adopters of any new media technology. DVDs, for instance—and also, erotica titles are just about the hottest-selling model of e-books (and one of the first big e-book stores (so old that one of their delivery options was snailmailed floppy disk!), Hard Shell Word Factory, was a romance/erotica publisher).

Perhaps they’re among the earliest adopters of new business models, too.

Richard Hack (profile) says:

Exactly what I've been telling the music industry

Live (and “pre-recorded live”) performance streamed over the Internet as a subscription service is where it’s going. So once again we see the porn industry is leading and the music industry just doesn’t get it.

Yes, someone can record, copy and distribute the stream, but your market is those people who want it and want it NOW, so they buy your stream (as long as it’s reasonably priced.)

I’ve said for years now that the music artists should be setting up a studio with Internet streaming capability, do rehearsals a few times a week, then perform live for their fans on a weekly basis for a subscription. Reduces the need to do live tours, enables them to keep more in touch with their fans, and is more convenient and immediate than spending months producing and distributing CDs. Plus all the revenue, minus your promotion and bandwidth costs, go directly to the artist – no middleman.

This is the future of most performance industries. Eventually, even TV shows and movies could go this way, once computer generation of movies in a more or less real-time way at low cost is feasible. Write a script, lay out a storyboard, generate the product, stream it live on a subscription basis, rinse and repeat. With enough computer capability, which gets cheaper every year, it will be cost-effective to produce a major production what today would cost $100 million for maybe a million.

I remember reading a few years back about a female musician who played her music live over the Internet, audio only, periodically. She had something like 70,000 people listening to her broadcasts. You really can monetize something like that. You won’t make the money Metallica made selling CDs, but you’ll make a living.

Wolfy says:

A little of topic, but I’ve been wondering since 1980, why networks couldn’t stream their content live to the web, (where they can count actual numbers of viewers for the advertisers…) perhaps that was the problem… there were actual numbers available, as opposed to “best estimates” from the Nielson ratings folks.

AndyFive says:

Sex parties are the new concerts.

I always enjoy trying to think about what the next way these guys are going to do in order to keep their revenue streams flowing (no pun intended).

He doesn’t come right out and say it, but it’s between the lines in his connection to how Sting had to tour for 6 extra months to generate his annual income to how the adult industry is going to monitize from off-line events. I never thought this was where the industry would go. It’s almost like it’s moving backwards for the first time.

Hide your kids. Hide your wife.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...