opinion

Untapped Goldmine

AJ Hall
Businesses either set or follow trends. The trendsetters always look for the next big thing. Those who follow are hoping to keep up and claim their share before saturation sets in and it’s time for something new once again. Round and round it goes like a dog chasing its tail.

Faced with new challenges and hit with piracy so crippling that it’s reduced video production to a fraction of what it was just three years ago, now more than ever businesses are seeking out new ways to attract paying customers.

The majority of the adult industry caters to the lowest common denominator — the visitor demographic of males between 18-34 years old. Going after this market always made sense, but it may not make as much sense anymore.

The problem is twofold. A decade of marketing heavily to these customers has resulted in the marketplace being flooded with copious amounts of strikingly similar product. Well before the proliferation of torrents and free tubes customers were drowning in an overflowing pool of content being aggressively pumped out of what seemed an infinite pipeline leading from at least two dozen studios. With the exception of different sets and themes, all of it was relatively the same product in a different package. When a market is saturated in this way, natural evolution pushes it to the point where the only way to compete is to offer something so drastically different or vastly superior that it defines its own market.

The Dyson vacuum is a great example. Who knows how many years the vacuum business was defined as blah blah, it sucks up the dirt, blah blah, empty this bag, blah blah blah. All design progress and functional innovation was subtle, it was linear. Then out of nowhere came something different. Dyson carved his own niche out of the vacuum market and has achieved success through marketing mastery.

Ironically, the group marketed to the most heavily are those most likely to be consuming pirated content – regardless of whether they’re aware of it or not. We then in turn ignore the groups who are far more likely to actually purchase hard goods, pay for VOD rentals and join membership websites. This group also consists of those most willing to spend freely on pleasure and recreation.

Those being ignored are the very same people who still go to video stores and pay $2-3 per movie. They’re well aware of the existence of Netflix but they don’t want a monthly service. They like to go to the store and look at the boxes and rent a DVD and have control over the purchase process.

They may have filed bankruptcy but millions of people are still going into Blockbuster every day…

As a collective, our industry is actively choosing not to market to the people who have the most money. This consumer base is far less tech savvy and the most fearful of visiting free sites or downloading questionable content from an unknown source. In other words, they’re more likely to buy it they feel safe and secure. Toy and lingerie companies figured this out long ago.

If by knowledge or skill or pure luck you can somehow carve out a new niche as Dyson did or identify a consumer demographic that isn’t being marketed to you’re sure to be rewarded. There are plenty of people out there ready and willing to buy porn.

They’re simply not being presented with a trustworthy source of content that interests them.

The beautiful thing about pornography is that no matter how bizarre a production might seem, there will always be people out there who find it appealing.

As more adult companies adopt new business models and change their marketing approach, consumer spending on porn will increase. Since the dawn of trade those daring enough to take the risks and patient enough to define their own market have always reaped the greatest rewards. Porn is no different. There’s still plenty of gold to be claimed by those who are willing to find it.

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