Friday, January 09, 2009

Porn Industry In Crisis???

This is from the "Oh, Come ON!!!" section of the Post-Chronicle.

Published: Jan 9, 2009

Hustler's Larry Flynt and Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis Request Government Bailout of Adult (Porn) Entertainment Industry
by Press Release

As the 2009 AVN Adult Expo opens in Las Vegas this week, Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis and HUSTLER magazine publisher Larry Flynt are petitioning the newly convened 111th Congress to provide a financial bailout for the adult entertainment industry along the lines of what is being sought by the Big Three automakers, a spokesperson for Francis announced today.

Adult industry leaders Flynt and Francis sent a joint request to Congress asking for $5 billion in federal assistance, "Just to see us through hard times," Francis said. "Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation's most important businesses, we feel we deserve the same consideration. In difficult economic times, Americans turn to entertainment for relief. More and more, the kind of entertainment they turn to is adult entertainment."

But according to Flynt the recession has acted like a national cold shower. "People are too depressed to be sexually active," Flynt says, "This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex."

While not to the degree felt by banks and automakers, the Adult Entertainment industry has been hit by the effects of the economic downturn. DVD sales and rentals have decreased by 22 percent in the past year as viewers turn to the internet for adult entertainment. It is estimated that roughly half of all internet users visit adult sites, with the number of unique visitors to adult websites (including GirlsGoneWild.com and Hustler.com) has grown to more than 75 million per month.

But the "saltpeter" effect remains.

"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind," Flynt says, "It's time for congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly."

"The popularity of adult entertainment in America has grown steadily for the past half century," Francis says. "Its emergence into the mainstream of popular culture suggests that the US government should actively support the adult industry's survival and growth, just as it feels the need to support any other industry cherished by the American people."

(emphasis added).

Frankly, I just think this is a stunt. There's no way Flynt and Francis really expect Congress to give money to the porn industry. Rather, they're actually trying to deliver an actually valid point.

Since industry bailouts seem to be the fad these days, why should banks and car companies be the only ones who get special treatment? Why not injections of money to support other industries as well?

Indeed, why not?

That's not to say the porn industry isn't facing hard times, just like any other, though.

Ever heard of Youporn or Redtube or Pornhub? Think youtube with...well...porn, and you get the idea.

Well, since all this explicit content is free, it's creating problems.

Porn Woes; Amateurs Displace the Kings of Porn
December 16, 8:04 AM
by Richard Wagner, Ph.D., ACS, Seattle Sex Examiner

Only a couple of years ago, 80 percent of a porn producer’s income came from DVD sales. Today, it’s down about 30 percent. And some speculate that sales could flat line in only a couple of years.

While porn consumers are on the rise; porn profits are tanking. What gives, Dr Dick? You might be asking. Good question. Probably it’s a constellation of causes. Over the last 10 years numerous upstart production houses have cut into the porn pie leaving an ever-smaller pie to go around.

But the bigger problem is American households are using broadband connections to the Internet in ever increasing numbers. 47% at last count and that number will continue to grow exponentially. This brings the immediate gratification of porn to hungry consumers via the web. Streaming media and download to own capability have choked the life out of the DVD. I mean, who schleps down to the local adult video store to buy or rent anymore? No one I know.

And while sales of internet-based adult entertainment grew 14 percent last year, to a whooping $2.8 billion, that figure would be substantially higher if there wasn’t for all the free competition. We can thank the “Tube Sites” for that. The proliferation of free sites allow anyone and everyone to post all the user-generated content he/she wants. And let's face it, there's nothing more compelling than watching the neighbors get it on, right?

***

The “Tube Sites” — YouPorn, PornoTube, Xtube, GayForIt, etc — that deliver the content didn’t invent internet porn, but they sure did make it exponentially easier to access. Most of the posted videos are very short, but the variety of the offerings is amazing. There’s gay stuff, straight stuff, and everything in between. It’s a smut bonanza, don’ cha know!

Some of the clips are indeed amateur videos, shot and uploaded by their exhibitionist creators. But, and here is the real problem for Pornville, a lot of the uploaded clips are copyrighted material ripped off from professional pornographers. The “Tube sites” are awash with scenes from high-end features. It’s true that some clips are posted by the porn companies themselves, as trailers for the full-length versions available on their own sites, but most are uploaded by users from their own collections. And that generates zero revenue for the kings of porn, which makes them very unhappy indeed.

Why should I care? You might be asking yourself right about now. Rapacious porn producers deserve what they get, right? After all they get fat on the backs (literally and figuratively) of the adult performers; and that ain’t right. Exploitation sucks…and not in a good way.

I hear what you’re sayin' — what goes around, comes around. And I’d agree with you, except for one thing — Intellectual Property Rights!

Piracy is piracy, regardless if it’s happening off the coast of Africa or in your den. And when we play fast and loose with the property of others it makes it a whole lot more difficult to protect our own property.

Mr./Dr. Wagner has a point, the big issue is the matter of intellectual property theft, but as with his own example of what's going on in the music industry, the battle is already pretty much lost.

So what to do? I dunno. I just think it'll be interesting to watch. The porn industry has a habit of being ahead of the curve when it comes to technological advances so I'm sure that in a few years, they'll be right back on top.

And yes, while I DO think porn offers positive benefits to society, NO, I don't think my tax dollars need to rescue Flynt and Francis and their ilk. They're going to be just fine without me, IMHO.

Now, if they want to bailout the starving sex blogger industry, that's a different story.

No comments:

Post a Comment