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Sex video makers tapping into smartphone market

AFP , LAS VEGAS

Adult entertainment powerhouse Pink Visual saw visits to its mobile video service soar after Christmas as people turned on new iPhones and tapped into porn.

Sex video makers and distributors are evolving with the technology times, catering to customers seeking satisfaction on smartphones, Blu-ray players and Internet television.

Digital Playground, which is credited with producing the first high-definition adult film five years ago, has a Web site devoted exclusively to Apple’s hot iPhones and offers free trailer “podcasts” for iPods.

CHANGING TACTICS

“The way people get their porn is changing,” Pink distribution operations manager Kim Kysar said as an annual Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas on Sunday. “It is going to be more personal and you get it anywhere you are: on the road, in the bathroom at work taking a break. Nobody is going to be the wiser.”

The number of visitors to Pink Web sites customized for mobile devices has rocketed for the past six months and 40 percent of the visitors become subscription-paying members.

“We saw a peak after Christmas when everybody got new video phones,” Kysar said. “One of the first things people do after activating their iPhones is Google ‘iPhone porn’ and here they are.”

Pink began as an Internet-based business so its videos are already broken into short clips for quick downloading.

“You can basically jump to the part you want to see,” Kysar said of presenting video in YouTube-style short-form. “If you jump to the last clip you get the climax scene. If you start at the beginning it is more soft-core. We’ve just done new encoding for new phones to make sure it looks good.”

Adult Entertainment giant Vivid Entertainment thrust itself into the “mobile space” early, particularly in Europe, where such content can be offered along with other telecom services, chief executive Steve Hirsch said.

Restrictions in the US limit smartphone users to reaching online porn by using Internet browsers.

“Revenue continues to increase with the roll-out of 3G,” Hirsch said, referring to a new-generation high-speed broadband network for mobile Internet service.

“The more phones that have video capability, the better it gets for us,” he said.

DVD SALES DOWN

Revenues from DVD sales, once the bulk of Vivid’s income, sank to 30 percent last year while online subscriptions, Internet video-on-demand and cable offerings became rising stars.

Digital delivery has yet to replace the money lost by decreasing DVD sales and brings with it piracy problems, Hirsch said.

“These are issues mainstream Hollywood is dealing with as well,” Hirsch said. “With new technology comes new issues, but ultimately people want to watch adult movies.”

Vivid shoots all its films in high-definition and is beefing up its library of titles in Blu-ray, adoption of which has boomed since being declared winner of a format war with HD DVD a year ago.

“We are interested in 3D for sure,” Hirsch said, cautioning that distributing special eyeglasses needed for such viewing is a challenge. “Certainly when you get Internet-enabled TVs it would make sense to go out and get those glasses distributed.”

High-resolution flat-panel televisions designed to link directly to Internet services were among an array of snazzy innovations unveiled at the international Consumer Electronics Show that ended in Las Vegas on Sunday.

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