Mobile Madness: Smartphone Market

Bob Johnson

Since mobile madness has infected every inch of the adult industry from small niche websites to giant film production studios, everyone wants to cash in on what will make users pluck down their hardearned dollars for sex on the small screen.

But what type of content is king and what’s the smartest way to conquer the smartphone market?

What is apparent is that like content on the web, users’ tastes run the gamut from hardcore gonzo to softer glamour to kinky fetishes.

It may come as no surprise to the more savvy, long-time content watchers, but according to some leading Internet and video producers there’s no magic formula for what kind of content will work best for the burgeoning mobile marketplace.

What is apparent is that like content on the web, users’ tastes run the gamut from hardcore gonzo to softer glamour to kinky fetishes. The trick is to create quality content if you’re starting out, and if you’re already in the game, make sure you keep delivering the best you can with the users’ provincial interests in mind.

Always ahead of the tech curve and one of the first adult companies to embrace mobile, Pink Visual maintains that asking what is “working best” in terms of mobile content is the wrong place to start, simply because what works best is likely to be a function of what any given company or studio does best to begin with.

The company says just because some other company is burning up the charts with MILF content in the mobile market for example, that doesn’t mean other studios should jump on the MILF bandwagon.

Pink Visual President Allison Vivas says, “While we do see specific genres that tend to do better than other genres where certain devices are concerned, I think what mobile content distributors should focus on is offering their customers a wide degree of options and choices without making the consumer’s mobile experience confusing.”

She continues, “There’s no ‘magic niche’ were mobile is concerned, in other words. Just as is the case with content on DVD or on the web, the type of content you offer is just one part of picture when it comes to creating an effective mobile presence for your brand, and it is arguably less important than some of the more logistical questions — like keeping load time to a minimum, making sure your site designs and user interfaces are mobile-friendly and intuitive for mobile users.”

U.K.-based turnkey mobile provider NightMobile whose network includes more than 180 adult brands throughout Europe and the U.S. and provides mobile platforms for a number of major video studios concurs with Vivas’ assessment.

JC, NightMobile’s vice president of business development, said that very few studios now focus on one single genre.

“In order to capture the market the trend seems to be to cover all of the angles, so there are studios creating gay, straight, Asian, trannies and a whole range of genres all at once. The big studios are still focused on what traditionally works for them like gonzo, big butts, amateur or anal,” says JC.

One NightMobile partner, Evil Angel is a prime example of a studio that plays to its “Buttman” strengths by offering its mobile users hardcore anal content that’s made the company a DVD and Internet success. However, Evil Angel points out that other considerations like geography and technology, or whether the content is being placed on-deck (provide by the carrier presuming the user has agreed to certain apps) or off-deck (coming from a remote server or system and accessible to), are also important considerations.

Evil Angel General Manager Christian S. Mann says that softer content needs to be created for off-deck platforms for game-changing devices like the iPad and other tablets that are quickly becoming the mobile equivalent to personal computers. Mann also points out that the geographic location of where the mobile content is targeted is a prime factor for producers to consider.

“Mobile viewers are not like their web counterparts for the most part. For example, some countries may be ahead technically like Scandinavia, so content needs to be created to meet their specific needs. There are also different tastes considering where the content is headed. Central Europe may require one type, where India’s needs are totally different,” Mann maintains.

NightMobile’s JC points out that from a global perspective Americans love parodies and that type of content will work for U.S. mobile customers while European data reflects a huge amount of search results for girl next door types, amateurs, MILF and mature scenes. Commenting on the amateur popularity JC says, “I guess it’s a case of ‘I have a better chance with her than a super model’ and that is reflected psychologically in the customers’ search.”

He adds, “I think content affects us in three ways; I can see myself with her / him, I don’t stand a chance but want to watch, or I just want to satisfy my curiosity.”

But there are also more focused geographic restrictions content producers must consider.

Mobile affiliate program SexGoesMobile’s Christian Kreul said his network is divided into three levels: hardcore, softcore and glamour depending on what region the content is to appear.

In the U.S. where surfers are used to a “Hollywood” feel in their porn, mobile customers are drawn to the brands of wellknown producers while in Europe, Kreul says, the type of content is more important.

Smash Pictures fits Kreul’s description. The company has a non-exclusive arrangement with SexGoesMobile and according to vice president Stuart Wall, Smash does customize some of its mobile content.

“For our ‘Stocking Secrets’ series we focus on shooting glamour models in solo and masturbation scenes with stars like Jelena Jensen, Cassia Riley, Jana Cova, Tall Goddess, Bella Starr, Justine Jolie, Kira Eggers and others,” Wall says.

The company also shoots strip tease “teasers” for their feature films that according to Wall are mobile fan favorites.

Sometimes mobile success can be as simple as one movie title being a runaway hit. Kreule says, “We have been very fortunate to work with some of the biggest names in the business. With 53,000 movies we carefully monitor what the people want and try to serve up the best mix. Our content manager, Omer, who has probably watched thousands of DVDs is always quick to alert me to a killer movie we know will keep the user very happy.”

And geography’s also important in billing.

“In all countries where we use credit cards we can charge people for hardcore content. In some European countries such as Spain, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria we can sell hardcore content via mobile billing as it is accepted by the carriers and country specific laws,” Kreul notes.

But he says other countries like Germany only permit softcore and very conservative countries like Austria and Denmark will only allow mobile bikini-type content.

Kreul says it’s very difficult if he had to nail it down, video content — depending on area — of teens, lesbian and amateurs is currently the most popular and still photos don’t measure up at all.

Other considerations for creating effective mobile content according to Kreul, is listening to the feedback from webmasters who are on the front lines.

And regardless of the type of content, Kreul stresses that mobile producers must also make content that’s formatted to fit numerous handheld devices. Producers must also support cutting-edge technologies like mp4, 3gp, different screen resolutions and different qualities for WiFi and 3G surfers because if surfers have trouble viewing, the content becomes secondary.

Although there’s no magic formula for a successful mobile strategy, most experts agree that the general ebb and flow of popular content in movies, websites and mobile universally reflect users’ tastes. In the last decade, some of the front-runners like anal, big butts, squirting, MILFS, parodies, Latinas, amateurs, teens and general gonzo work for all platforms across the board and mobile is no exception. The key is the quality.

So what will get users to hand over their money for a handheld sexual experience? As Pink Visual recommends, a producer’s mobile strategy should be “do what you do best and then optimize your content — whatever type it might be.”