Home > Features > The Evolution of the Dialer • Bookmark   • Newsletters   • Register Search Options


The Evolution of the Dialer

The Evolution of the Dialer

November 20, 2008
Text size: 
Get XBIZ News
XBIZ Research
Will virtual reality boost the paysite market?
Yes, it will soon
Yes, but in a few years
Out of 179 votes. Results based on votes submitted by members of XBIZ.net social network.

" while the original dialer might have died, its successor is very much alive and kicking "

Many webmasters old enough to remember the glory days of the classic "old school" dialer tend do so with a certain degree of reminiscent nostalgia, not least since for many of those that deployed them in the early days of the web, it was one hell of a money machine.

Back then, when dial-up reigned supreme as the primary method of accessing the Internet, surfers would be invited to circumvent AOL & Co. by letting their modems connect directly to the Internet via a premium rate telephone number, thus gaining instant access to the desired titillating content, which was not so freely available back then as it is now.

All was fine in theory: Surfer's usually got what they wanted and were more than happy to pay you using this "buy-now, pay-later" kind of billing.

In practice, however, this chapter in the dialer's checkered history was relatively short-lived, partly due to increasing broadband penetration that rendered this kind of dialer obsolete, and partly due to a barrage of bad press after greedy and short-sighted crooks started to develop malicious variants that would then connect to a premium number every time its victims connected to the web, leading to horrendous phone bills for the scammed surfer, and disastrous PR for the dialer.

Perhaps partly due to this, surfers became increasingly wary before downloading any third party software onto their computers. Furthermore, modern operating systems and free software would ensure that the message not to download such software got across to potential customers — a real turn-off for the turned-on surfer!

Thus the next chapter in the dialer's turbulent history was born: the birth of the so-called "voice" dialer. This, too, is powered by premium-rate phone numbers, but causes none of the headaches associated with its predecessor.

With a voice dialer, surfers see an on-screen call-to-action inviting them to call a premium-rate number. They are then granted immediate access to the member's area for the time that the call connection is maintained. As soon as they hang up, they will no longer be able to access the content.

Smut searchers who like what they see and elect to pick up the phone are therefore paying you on a per-minute basis, which many industry observers believe will become more commonplace as we witness a shift away from the $29.90 monthly credit card subscription model to more of a pay-as-you-go one.

In an era of abundant free porn available via tubes and torrents, once surfers have found what floats their boat, they are essentially paying you for the convenience of not having to seek out the desired content elsewhere.

The amount of money you make with this form of microbilling is totally content-driven — the more compelling and attractive the content, the longer the customer is likely to hang around, and therefore the more money you will make.

Bear in mind, your phone processor does not dictate the end-user costs, the various phone companies with whom they have interconnect agreements do. This is why the outpayments vary from country to country.

Given the ubiquity of the phone and cell phone worldwide, the voice dialer will not only enable you to make money on a global scale from surfers without credit cards living in developing countries, but also from those in developed ones who prefer the convenience and, above all, anonymity of paying you this way.

In conclusion, while the original dialer might have died, its successor is very much alive and kicking — and given the fact that more and more countries are introducing domestic premium rate pay-per-call billing, its future is looking very bright indeed.


Porn ‘Public Health Crisis’ Is False, Dangerous

We are witnessing the early stages of a moral panic, the likes of which we have not seen since the Reagan Administration. As I write this, there are 27 states in the process of passing mandatory porn... More »

The Skinny on the New DMCA Requirement

The requirements under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) have changed, but the sky is not falling. We have, even as a law firm, been hit with an unbelievable amount of spam sent out by law firms... More »

2017 Outlook: Legal Matters Around the Corner

The adult entertainment business’ legal community recently weighed in the top issues that companies and the industry, as a whole, should be concerned about. XBIZ asked industry attorneys to discuss... More »
Stay informed of the latest industry developments. Get XBIZ newsletters delivered to your inbox. Subscribe today!
Enter email address:

* To manage existing subscriptions click here.

Submit your press release to
multiple news outlets with 1 click.
Subscribe to RSS news feeds or
add free content to your website.
Access XBIZ news and articles
with your mobile device.
Subscribe to XBIZ World magazine, the industry's leading e-commerce trade publication, delivering in-depth coverage of the online, mobile and ancillary digital markets.


XBIZ.net Paysite Meetup

May 04 - May 04
Prague, Czech Republic

Eurowebtainment 2017

May 17 - May 20
Majorca, Spain

XBIZ Retreat

May 30 - Jun 03
Miami, Florida

XBIZ Miami 2017

May 30 - Jun 02
Miami, Florida
Everyday thousands of business professionals browse XBIZ's industry directory for quality products and services. Not listed yet? Your company could be losing potential new business. Submit your company today!
Use XBIZ RSS feeds to stay informed of the latest industry developments or as a content syndication tool for your website!