Does the Summer Slowdown Still Exist?

Roy Karch
Wanna know how summers used to be in the jizz biz, back in the good ‘ol VHS and DVD days? Well, I’ll tell you.

Every year starting in mid-April just around tax time, as the sweet smell of spring beckoned the dog days of summer and companies got involved with mathematical machinations all pointing at the “tax season blues” — summer loomed and that meant fans viewed less porn. Thus began adult’s summer slowdown.

Those of us who have been in this game long enough, know the term. Those of you more recent arrivals can learn. Remembering, if you will, that the fans rule. That without the viewing public, we become but a memory. Whether it be downloadable, upgradeable, on PPV, VOD, payper-minute, not paid for at all, pirated, store bought, on your computer, in your DVD player, on your laptop, PC or Mac, no matter how they see it, the customer is always right. And, so if the fans are watching less, the video stores will be buying even less. No need to re-stock during the summertime. “I got stock I haven’t put on the shelves yet,” was a common cry of buyers at any one of the many mom and pop stores that the hundreds of salesman throughout all the sales rooms of all the manufacturers in the iconic San Fernando Valley, would hear daily.

Moreover, if the stores weren’t buying, well there was no real reason for the producers to shoot more product for a period which would last through mid-September. In the western states even a bit longer. Four or five months and everyone felt it; actors, actresses, producers, directors, writers, crew, make-up artists, salespeople, office staffers…everyone. Yes, indeed, the summer slowdown.

The slowdown didn’t hurt nearly as much. In fact it hardly touched you. They still needed movies for the 24-hour a day programming they were offering and it was worldwide. It was better than business as usual for the savvy companies that worked with and distributed the product through cable and PPV outlets and eventually through satellites. That’s where all of the good product was going. The smart producers knew that. They knew too that you could offer a “soft” version of the hardcore movie and extend not only your fan base but also your income. It paid to be smart.

Then something happened — the Internet hit hard. The four or five thousand video stores — most of which carried adult material slowly, at first, then, more rapidly — began to dwindle. Local video stores were absorbed by large chain operations. The mom and pop smaller local brick and mortar storefront was soon gone. It became obvious that technology would make the VCR and later the DVD player, a thing of the past. A new word came into the adult entertainment lexicon… content. Content for the masses. Easy access to everything — all at once. At the speed of click the planet gets a collective hard-on; and all the women are nymphomaniacs. It’s a technological orgy of flesh.

No more need to go to the store for porn. No need to go to the local smut palace to watch on the big screen. No need to even pay for it. Just click. What “Summer Slowdown? ... Don’t Get Me Started!