The Great Divide

Paul Lundgren
On Jan. 18, Apple Computer announced the results for the fiscal quarter that ended on Dec. 31, 2005 — and the figures that the Northern California-based company reported included a net quarterly profit of $565 million, with shipments of more than 1.2 million Macintosh computers and more than 14 million iPods. That quarter was, according to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, the best in Apple's history.

While Apple remains a small part of the overall computer market — the vast majority of computers sold are still designed for Microsoft's Windows operating systems — the company has enjoyed a loyal, enthusiastic niche that appears to be growing steadily. And one industry that has its share of diehard Apple loyalists is adult entertainment.

XBIZ contacted several Apple loyalists who were either employees or allies of the adult industry to discuss their reasons for embracing Apple products. And those Apple loyalists — who include attorney Gregory Rutchik, senior counsel for the firm of Liner, Yankelevitz, Sunshine & Regenstreif; Katy Zvolerin, public relations director for Phil Harvey's Adam & Eve empire; and DVSX production head/co-owner Alex Ladd – all described adult entertainment as a very Apple-friendly industry, especially when it comes to production, video editing and graphic arts.

Rutchik told XBIZ that while the more high-end Macs can be pricey (some Power Mac G5s have sold for $2,000 and up), many adult businesses that use Apple products — companies ranging from large adult film providers in California's San Fernando Valley to small mom-and-pop adult webmasters — are getting an excellent return on their investment because their productivity is greatly enhanced.

"The adult industry is so image-based and so video/editing-based, and Apple makes it possible with one computer and one digital video camera to be your own cameraman, director, editor and producer for much less time and money than a non-Apple solution," Rutchik, who uses Macs exclusively, said.

Not only is it easier to use because of the speed of the software that is specifically written for graphics and video — iMovie, for example — but also because Apple puts it all in one place. Apple enables you to take photos and video that you have digitized and literally make a movie right on your computer.

"Apple literally reduces the time between shooting and viewing from days down to hours or minutes, and the result is a lot more content," he said.

Zvolerin said that whether one finds Macs or Windows-based PCs at Adam & Eve varies from department to department; people on Adam & Eve's graphics/artistic side tend to favor the Macintosh OS X operating systems (the most recent of which is OS X 10.4 Tiger), while people on the company's accounting/business/sales side tend to be Windows-reliant.

No Macs at Retail Stores
"We do not use any Mac-based systems in our retail and retail franchise store operations," Nolan S. Williams, general manager for Adam & Eve's stores, said.

Zvolerin, who calls herself a "diehard Apple fan," uses an iMac at Adam & Eve. "I think that creative-wise, Macs are typically viewed as the standard in the adult industry," he said. "The Apple programs that are available are typically used to make the women look their best and to make the product look its best. But I would think that is more of a creative thing in general than an adult thing. I know people who are on the creative side in mainstream entertainment, and the use of Macs typically runs along those lines in mainstream entertainment as well."

One also finds a variety of Macs and Windows-based PCs at the San Fernando Valley, Calif.-based DVSX, where Ladd uses only Macs but notes that the company's accounting and merchandising people are more apt to go with Windows.

"I've been working on Apples since about 1993, and I've never switched," Ladd said. "I've been pushed in the direction of PCs; I've had people show me how to use PCs. But I've told them, 'Nah, I like my Apple.' In the beginning, when I first got into computers, I didn't know anything about them, and it was so easy to learn to use an Apple. Now, I guess that PCs are just as easy to use, but I'm so used to the way Apple looks and operates. I feel like PCs are always trying to catch up with the Apples."

A combination of Macs and Windows-based PCs also can be found at the Los Angeles-based Kick Ass Pictures, according to company president Mark Kulkis, who described his webmaster, Kick-Ass Vic, as "all Mac." And Dan O'Connell, president of the lesbian-oriented Girlfriends Films (also based in L.A.), told XBIZ that while he uses a Windows-based PC, the company's graphic designer, Marla Diamond, does all of Girlfriends' creative designing on a Mac.

"I have used Macs for many years now and much prefer them to PCs," Diamond said, adding that she thinks Mac OS X and Windows preferences in the adult industry are no different from what she has observed in other industries.

"I believe that the adult industry is probably no different from any other industry in that graphics people tend to prefer Macs, while Windows is the system more widely used in other areas," Diamond said. "I have worked in other industries in the past, and this has been my experience, although I have worked for doctors who used Macs and were also very loyal to Apple."

A PC Chamber
One adult company where Windows-based PCs are used exclusively is the Sin City Chamber of Commerce, which promotes erotic entertainment in Las Vegas. CEO Wayne Bridge and Executive Vice President Michael Russell both said that having an all-Windows policy at Sin City has enabled the company to function more smoothly and efficiently.

"I personally like Macs but feel the Windows-based PC is much more widely recognized and easier to interface with, so we have stayed away from Macs," Bridge said.

Russell added that Sin City's many reasons for preferring Windows range from readily available technical personnel to superior software integration.

"It really comes down to a turnkey solution," Russell said. "By offering integration between customer relations management software, shipping/receiving, e-commerce, marketing — including graphic design — inventory management and so much more, Windows and the incredible companies that produce software products for virtually every business need make the Windows-based solution the true choice by sheer marketing strength.

"There is no alternative to the return on your investment that is yielded from a PC/Windows solution properly implemented."

Mac's Niche
Addressing Apple's popularity among graphic designers, Russell said, "It is widely held that Macintosh has done a wonderful job catering to graphic artists and their specific needs, but that's not to say that a PC-based solution could not yield the desired effect."

One person who strongly disagrees with the belief that Macs are inferior to Windows-based computers when it comes to things like accounting, sales and budgeting is attorney Rutchik, who asserted that there is no reason why anyone in those areas should hesitate to use Apple's hardware and software.

"Accountants, lawyers and business people are very concerned about security of data," Rutchik said. "They're concerned about the stability of the machine, and Apple makes very stable machines. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using an Apple for business. People who don't use Apples are quick to say, 'Oh, Apples aren't business machines. They can't do the accounting or the business management,' but that's bullshit. The stability of Apples makes them excellent business machines."