Naughty America CIO Places Focus on Innovation

Naughty America CIO Places Focus on Innovation
Rhett Pardon

Naughty America is one of adult entertainment’s venerable brands.

The company, going on 16 years in business this year, can easily be called a “powerhouse” purveyor of porn by the number of adult releases it churns out each month, and it can dish out servings of its erotic entertainment to users in almost any format for viewing convenience.

Naughty America has historically adopted new technologies early on. VR has been no exception and we are indeed seeing a steady stream of new customers.

For the past few years, Naughty America has particularly become focused and intent on becoming a market leader in virtual reality adult content — so much that it releases VR movies twice a week, and has done since July 2015.

Naughty America last year tapped Ian Paul, a former IT consultant with the company, to help steer its traditional business, along with its immersive efforts, including the latest announcement in late January made about its partnership deal with Kiiroo.

That deal combines Kiiroo’s haptic technology with Naughty America’s adult VR content to bring viewers one step closer to a fully immersive 180-degree, sense-of-touch VR experience.

After jumping back into the Naughty Americafold, Paul — whose official title is chief information officer — has been at the center of decision-making for the company’s marketing efforts while at the same time getting the word out about its products and current initiatives.

XBIZ recently sat down with Paul to find out more about Naughty America and its latest projects in this Presidential Suite interview.

XBIZ: For the past couple of years, virtual reality has been the trending technology and Naughty America has jumped all over the platform. Can you conclusively say there is now a steady stream of consumers embracing and willing to purchase VR adult content?

Paul: Naughty America has historically adopted new technologies early on. VR has been no exception and we are indeed seeing a steady stream of new customers.

New sales revenue attributable to VR grow 350 percent year-over-year with much of the growth happening over the past holiday season.

XBIZ: Naughty America’s deal with Kiiroo to add its technology seems to be what many VR aficionados have been waiting for. How excited are you with the partnership?

Paul: Kiiroo lets us add the dimension of touch to our videos and delivers to users an immersive adult experience that looks and now feels real. We are extremely excited at the prospects of our new partnership.

XBIZ: Word is out that Naughty America plans on a number of augmented reality projects this year. What are those plans?

Paul: I’ll be satisfied if we release one solid augmented reality proof-of-concept by CES 2018.

AR will be a lot more difficult to get right than VR was. I can’t provide any more details other than we’re looking at a few different concepts right now.

XBIZ: Naughty America announced in October that it planned on creating a blockchain-based digital rights management solution for intellectual property protection. Has that project, which Naughty America paired with blockchain provider Decent, come to fruition?

Paul: It’s still early days for this project as well. One of the ways we are influencing Decent is by pushing for the ability to scan for and take down content that is illegally shared on their network.

If this capability can be realized, then we will have a system that is capable of allowing content producers to directly sell content to end users, with little overhead or middle men, that has the speed and scalability of a torrent network but without the piracy concerns.

XBIZ: How and when did you get involved in the adult entertainment industry?

Paul: I owe my involvement in the adult entertainment industry to [Naughty America CEO] Andreas Hronopoulos, who loves technology as much as I do and who pushes our company to continually innovate further and further.

I provided him with technical assistance during his initial years in the adult industry. We reconnected several years later, and he offered me a position at his company.

XBIZ: What will the world of online adult commerce look like in two to three years?

Paul: It will look largely the same but with percentages of the pie adjusted. Subscription will take some market share back from the tubes, with ad blocking continuing to hurt their business and with subscription sites catering to a plethora of new devices and technologies like VR, AR, and smart toys.

Live cams will still be holding strong and will expand to include elements of live interaction typically found in adult dating sites. Live cam sites will also adapt technologically like subscription sites will.

There may be regulatory changes as well.

Right now, there are equal chances of a greater acceptance of the adult industry, due its ability to drive technology adoption and spur economic growth, as there are of increased attacks against the adult industry, due its susceptibility to be used as a political scapegoat.

I see the business community becoming more friendly to adult at the same time as the political environment becomes more unfriendly to it.

XBIZ: Technology must have been one of your favorite interests. What was your first computer?

Paul: I love technology. I started my career in the early Internet days and I worked for several years at IBM before coming to Naughty America. My first computer was a Commodore 64!

XBIZ: What’s a typical day like at Naughty America?

Paul: Naughty America is like a cross between a start-up and a law firm. We spend an equal amount of time being tremendously creative as we do reviewing contracts and making sure we are positioned as soundly as possible from a legal perspective.

XBIZ: When not thinking about the biz, what do you like to do?

Paul: I love drinking craft beer, listening to techno, studying political theory, and going on backpacking trips in the wilderness.