2016 Outlook: Mobile Mania Continues
Ten years ago, back when George W. Bush was serving his second term as president of the U.S., Tony Blair was still prime minister of the U.K. and rapper Kanye West was burning up the Billboard charts, many people in the adult entertainment industry had a very different relationship with their mobile/wireless devices than they do now.
Flip phones and feature phones were still popular, and quite a few people still believed that online erotica was meant to be viewed on desktops and laptops — not on a small cellphone that conveniently fit in one’s pocket. But the smartphone revolution has since taken the adult industry by storm. From live webcam sites to dating sites, more and more adult-related transactions are occurring on mobile devices. And as important as the mobile space was to adult companies in 2015, it will no doubt be even more important in 2016.
Corey Price, vice president of Pornhub, stressed that in 2016, it will be crucial for adult companies to reach their customers whether they are at home or away from home.
“As of last year, people are spending more time online using their mobile devices than with their computers,” Price told XBIZ. “When you think of this sea change from an adult entertainment perspective, the opportunities that present themselves are enormous. And in order for the industry to thrive, a long-term mobile strategy is critical to successfully monetizing that market.
“Once you make the Internet portable with a hand-held device, the experience becomes personal. Your audience can get up and access your site from anywhere they desire. Back in 2010, mobile represented 15 percent of our traffic compared to PC. Today, it’s 50/50. Optimization is essential in ensuring that there is no sacrifice in quality when it comes to viewing our sites on a mobile screen.”
Richard Cottrell, global sales director for the Barcelona, Spain-based advertising network ExoClick, noted that mobile devices will be increasingly friendly to adult video traffic in 2016 and subsequent years.
“Previously, the most common device size was four to 4.5 inches, but 2015 saw the most common device size between five and 5.6 inches,” Cottrell told XBIZ. “Due to technological innovations of pixel density and longer battery life, screen sizes for smartphones have been gradually increasing — and look at the success with consumers of Apple’s larger iPhone 6 Plus.
“These larger-screen devices are driving an explosion in the viewing of video content. According to a report from Cisco, mobile video will account for a staggering 72 percent of total mobile data traffic by the end of 2019.” Bishop, marketing and advertising spokesman for the Charlotte, North Carolina-based AEBN, emphasized that accommodating the many different types of mobile devices is an ongoing challenge for adult companies. And in 2016, Bishop said, maintaining a multi-device outlook will be a high priority for AEBN.
Bishop told XBIZ: “In the coming year, one of our objectives will be to further optimize our code to support an even broader range of devices — from desktops to mobile devices and TVs — in one site through the use of adaptive design and detailed device detection.”
Bishop added that mobile optimization does not mean forgetting about customers or affiliates who are still using desktops or laptops. Rather, Bishop said, the goal for adult companies in 2016 should be to reach them on whatever device they are using. If someone is, for example, using a desktop part of the time and a smartphone or tablet part of the time, it is important to accommodate all of their technological needs and preferences.
“In 2014,” Bishop explained, “we rebuilt our mobile environment to offer our affiliate partners a brandable mobile solution and to improve the consumer’s experience. Just like our white-label VOD theaters, the new mobile version provides consumers with access to the same vast catalog of content, but with an interface that optimizes the experience for their device.”
Ler Khodaverdy, vice president of operations for mobile services provider Twistbox Entertainment, asserted that as mobile technology continues to advance in 2016, mobile traffic will continue to grow in importance for adult companies.
“Better filtering and targeting of mobile traffic will drive the value of mobile users even higher than they are now,” Khodaverdy told XBIZ. “Mobile is no longer the little brother and will lead the way in 2016 for the best new products and innovations.”