A couple days ago, an article in the New York Times caught my eye. It was in the business section and was entitled “Lights, Camera, Lots of Action. Forget the Script“; about how the downturn in DVD sales has affected the porn industry.
To summarize the article, DVD sales are dropping. Instead of spending millions on feature-length porn movies, the industry is instead focusing on 3-5 minutes snippets aimed at Internet users. They can then sell the viewing rights to the online movie and/or advertising space around the snippet. This is how they are refocusing their industry to make money.
I’ve often heard people say they no longer pay for porn because it is online. And, I would agree with a minor exception being the niche players in that space – mainly I’m thinking Comstock Films. (If you are not familiar with Comstock Films, pay them a visit. Good stuff, in my opinion.) Between videos, photographs and stories, you no longer need that trip to the local adult store for your rental and magazine needs. Hell, you have lots of options with a couple of key strokes.
I do find it ironic, by the way, that the porn industry is recommitting themselves to the Internet. I mean, it is online porn that figured out things like online credit card transactions and security long before Amazon and other online merchants. Without them, we would not have the e-commerce activities we do today – or at least not the advancements. Think about that next time you are on Amazon.
Anyway, why mention this story? One of the things repeatedly mentioned is how the porn actors and actresses are complaining that just shooting straight hardcore sex scenes just isn’t as much fun. They wished that they could get some character development. They don’t find it as satisfying if that’s all they have to do is just have sex.
The article isn’t going on about the poor porn screenwriters who are unemployed. No, they are mentioning the poor porn stars not being able to find their inspiration and motivation for the character when they get the script.
Show of hands: how many people watch porn for the dialog? Anyone? (Comedic effect does not count, so put your hands down.) How many people have watched a porn and thought “wow, she really got into her character. I wonder who or where she drew her inspiration?”
No offense to the porn stars who are disappointed, but for me, saying I watched the porn for the dialog is like saying I can’t wait for the soundtrack to come out because that porn music is good musically. People watch for one reason – the sex. And, since we are a culture of instant gratification, focusing on putting more sex on the Internet is probably the right business move.
I guess they could go another direction if they are worried about their DVD sales. You could start a business called SkinFlix – it would be like NetFlix, except you can have it delivered to your house in a discreet envelope. Update your SkinFlix list, and each time you return a movie, a new one will sent to you. Hmm….maybe I have discovered the next get-rich-quick scheme – or maybe a start-up business for after I’m laid off on 1-Oct. 🙂