2017 Outlook: Viewpoints of Top Industry Trends
Executives from the leading businesses of the online adult entertainment industry recently weighed in the question, “What do you see as the likely top trends that will influence the industry?” Here's what they had to say:
Gregory L. Clayman
President/CEO of VS Media Inc. (Flirt4Free)
One of the biggest trends I see in the cam market for 2017 is the proliferation of interactive devices such as Ohmibod and We-Vibe just to name a few.
Although these devices are currently only uni-directional technology for most, customers are finding it persuasive enough to get them to participate in the live shows.
There are many ways these devices can be used and in this upcoming year we should not only see mass adoption of these such toys by both the models as well as cam companies but we should also see the testing of new types of toys that do similar things.
With many companies offering similar services, most are trying to separate themselves from the pack by researching different technologies that will hopefully bring the consumer into a more interactive/immersive experience.
Founder of Grooby Productions
I don’t really see any new trends setting new standards in the coming year. VR is continuing to grow as is the quality of content (and the delivery of it to the end-user). Without wanting to be overly negative, I believe the main points of business for 2017 are going to be based on political or legal issues, with both the U.K. and the U.S. having potential changes and the instability or uncertainty of customers finances being something that we’re going to have to be aware of.
We’re going to keep a wide view of the overall world landscape for working in adult and how we can be ready for potential changes, as well as to try and use them to our advantages. There is always going to be a customer for the content we offer, but getting it to them may prove to be a larger challenge.
President of Mobius Payments
The top trends that will influence the coming year are virtual reality and chargeback mitigation programs. With the proliferation and increased affordability of the technology and content for virtual reality entertainment, we find ourselves in a rapidly growing niche of the market. Everything from educational mobile applications, video games, and adult entertainment is becoming more widely available in a virtual reality platform.
Concurrently, the increased stringent chargeback ratios being implemented by the card brand associations in the last year has lead to a growth in our chargeback mitigation program. Our chargeback mitigation and prevention service has grown exponentially over the last six months and continues to grow as our merchants see and experience the benefits of this system.
President/CEO of Segpay, Inc.
Cam sites and VR programs continue to be the hot buttons and growing niches for the industry. Those merchants that focus on good content and providing their consumers with a quality product will always have success.
From a compliance perspective, Visa is starting to dig in on merchant location. Merchants utilizing “shell” corporations to process will have to step up to the plate and add some structure to their corporate set up to include a physical address, local directors and follow the local accounting and tax regulations.
CEO of TrafficPartner.com
One of the biggest technical innovations we saw in 2016 was virtual reality, as more sites promoting this type of content and technology came on the market.
In 2017 we are expecting this technology to go even further. We hope VR will become a major industry for hardware manufactures (more devices), online and games companies (more paysites, video games, apps, etc.) as consumers push it forward. There will be more devices in the market that are capable of providing user experiences for services like AliceX.com.
With the expansion of ad networks and the diversity of the traffic available out there, one of the challenges we think will influence the industry will be the control of traffic we acquire and monetize.
Our ad tech teams at Digital Performance.com are working on several new features, among one of them is the focus on the set up for a mechanism preventing the acquisition and mostly the payout of fraudulent traffic sources out there.
We are more than happy to pay the right amount for the traffic we acquire, but we need and want good quality traffic that will help businesses grow while increasing revenues.
Of course, we think that networks are still be a big part of the industry so we will also seize this opportunity by giving a major push to TrafficPartner’s performance network, SGMPro.com, by offering high monetization and traffic quality to all our partners from not only first-tier but second- and third-tier geos.
Another hot topic that will for sure influence the trends of our industry is Visa and Mastercard. I expect them not to be friendlier with their merchants and chargeback ratios in 2017. That has already opened doors in 2016 to primary payment providers like Webbilling.com as I see this part of the business to become even more relevant for the bottom line of every service provider.
These topics and challenges are what makes this industry so exciting and pleasant to work in, and I am looking forward to this coming year for TrafficPartner.com and its 400-plus employees. They will make the best out of it.
I really think the transsexual market will continue to grow and cross over. I see more trans models working for mainstream porn companies and more models crossing over to work with us. I have been in the business 15-plus years and every year we inch closer and closer to broader audiences and companies.
Founder of Terpon
I foresee a great year for the virtual reality business space in 2017. A major step for consumer adoption will be the availability of good quality, less than $150, stand-alone VR headsets (using a smartphone is so complicated that it is a nightmare for the end-user).
Farther away, the next major step will be in two to three years when mobile GPU next generation will be on the market.
A challenge for VR content producers in 2017 will be to find new way to use this specific media. I expect to see a lot of innovation in special effects, which will lead to augmented reality.
Regarding haptics and other connected toys/tools, I think that before the end of 2017 we will see a totally new generation of devices — a lot more smarter, a lot more like “real life” kind.
2017 will be a nice warm-up where performers will adopt massively connected devices. But I think that it will be only in 2018 that it will really explode on the final users side.
I think that sites that will develop and use bots and will increase the use of AI.
The last trend I will not be surprise to see in 2017 will be an integration of live camming and dating.
Community Manager (Latin America) of Stripchat.com
I think one of the biggest trends for 2017 is going to be video sharing or video mobile broadcasting. We see this in the day-by-day use of our mobile devices.
We and our friends and family are sharing our lives (content) through small videos shared in Instagram or Facebook and Snapchat. 92 percent of mobile users share videos watched on their device with their friends.
The trend is unmistakable: in 2017, content will still be king, but video will be queen.
If we want to have a successful website, promoting video content is a must. People do not read as much; instead they are watching videos. I am sure that adding a video to your landing page can increase the conversion rate by 80 percent.
Interactivity with videos is going to be a big trend in 2017.
I think we’re are going to see a growth in more independent cam modeling. And not on the big-box sites but on our own sites through chat clients. There will be more model-owned directories with higher payouts and model control.
I think some of the smarter companies are starting to realize that many of us are willing to do own our own legwork in regards to generating traffic and creating campaigns. So now they’re starting to create or rebrand older services to make it more attractive to independent models.
Senior Manager of Business Development at Hustler
Today’s talent is much more likely to take their career into their own hands; camming is just a natural progression as it allows the model to really tap into his/her fanbase.
I also think we will see less mega sites and more specialized content sites — i.e. Blacked.com (one of my favorites). Content is king, we know this but we have seem to forgotten it. It’s time to get back to it! I believe it is the only way to really deal with the influx of free porn.
I hope more content producers keep doing their own affiliate program and not going to the mega companies, so their brand gets lost in the mix of the other 40 sites they rep.
Owner of Penthouse
Penthouse launched the first HD channels in the world, the first 3D channels, and we are now offering a 4K channel. We pride ourselves on anticipating the technological evolution. Adult content has evolved from a singular group experience in a movie theater to an increasingly personalized private experience in your home. It’s now on your phone or tablet but, fundamentally, the content itself is the same. It’s simply delivered across different technologies, which make the viewing experience different.
VR changes all of that. It changes the chemistry of the brain and our perception of the experience. I think it is and will be as profound of a shift in how we experience sexual content as anything we have seen before it.
President of NetBilling
For 2017, we hope to see even more of a shift towards merchants obtaining their own merchant accounts because of the cost savings, flexibility and control. One-click purchase functionality will continue to be utilized more heavily, and sales analytics will get even more extensive as merchants try to squeeze more sales from every customer. Of course, customer service is a huge factor for all online shopping including adult. Even over the past few months, we have seen a spike in clients utilizing our call center services and feel this trend will continue to expand.
As the shift from desktop to mobile continues to rise, merchants and web designers will further their design creativity to captivate surfer and expand sales.
President of Falcon Studios Group and Nakedsword
I think there will be continued expansion into mainstream media and entertainment outlets in 2017. The industry will keep reaching new audiences online as studios continue to seek out new customers via mainstream outreach whether it be by creating content that the mainstream will talk about and/or creative PR efforts, social media etc. Big-budget productions and high-quality creative products will continue to dominate in 2017.
Managing Director of Affil4You
I believe that 2017 will bring some interesting changes within the adult industry.
Virtual reality content will continue to see growth as technology is improved and marketing for VR is heightened, encouraging consumers to buy.
Mobile-device use will see an increase as it has done every year for the past several years after the holiday season and the industry as a whole will become even more close knit than ever before as companies seek out more strategic partnerships or mergers due to complicated times with the ever-changing international laws and increase in fraudulent behavior, making it more difficult for smaller entities to survive.
Founder of JuicyAds.com
We are entering a year where the explicit will be more mainstream and accepted. You can claim to grab women by the pussy and be elected president. The tolerance of people is shifting further in adult’s direction, or people are just not phased by sex and adult themes like they once were. Porn and adult will draw closer to the mainstream, and the consumption of porn will become more accepted than it already is (which is pretty wide, especially in the younger generation). I’m not suggesting porn is vulgar (it’s not, for the most part) but clearly the acceptance of sex as a commodity is gaining momentum.
Director and Vice President of ICM Registry LLC
2017 will be another exciting year for the adult industry.
Virtual reality will start to take shape and gain a larger presence online and with it, the chance to start charging for premium products and services.
The new U.K. law for all adult sites to comply with the Digital Economy Bill and place age-verification layers will have an impact on anyone that gets traffic from the U.K.
Heavy investment in key new domains with fresh content and ideas will see several new premium sites launched throughout the year. All in all, exciting times with a few challenges thrown in but nothing the industry hasn’t adapted to before. A good year for the consumer.