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The Netflix of Porn

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Oct 23, 2003 12:00 AM PDT    Text size: 
LOS ANGELES, Calif. – The new face of adult movie rentals recently emerged from a casual dinner between two friends in the Chinatown section of San Francisco.

Anh Tran and Danny Ting, two former Arthur Andersen consultants, launched Wantedlist.com, the adult entertainment version of the popular online video rental service Netflix.

Intent on removing the stigma attached to adult movie rentals, the two business partners founded an adult online DVD rental store where adults can browse and rent from more than 8,000 adult titles, place their orders, and receive the film of choice via standard U.S. mail.

"People actually doubted us when we were conceptualizing Wantedlist and starting this online business during the whole dot-com fallout," Tran told Pacific News Service. "For many, it seemed like a bad idea to start a business in a slow economy…In economic terms, sex is considered highly inelastic: the price can be raised and demand won't fall."

But both highly educated and tech savvy adult entrepreneurs plowed ahead, despite the uncertain economy and the tech-quake that had shaken the entire technology and Internet sectors in 2001.

"It wasn't so I could hang out with porn stars at the Playboy mansion," said Ting. "We knew that there was a market for this, especially the anonymity factor and the convenience. I didn't want to work for somebody else all my life. So we decided to take a chance."

Before long, their revolutionary vision to transform the way that consumers access adult industry content became a multi-million dollar enterprise, and the two adult entertainment entrepreneurs were tapping not only into the billion-dollar coffers of the porn industry, but into the burgeoning adult video market.

Similar to the Netflix business model which has maintained a steady and competitive stride alongside movie rental behemoth Blockbuster and WalMart, Wantedlist.com enables consumers to choose from several payment plans, including free shipping and no due dates or late fees attached.

When the consumer is done with the film, they can just drop it into a standard mailbox in the postage-paid envelope provided by Wantedlist.

Wantedlist provides the option of renting up to eight videos at a time and includes fixed rate plans like "The Rock Star" or "The Porn Star." The site's newest feature enables adult video renters to find their particular porn genre through the Porntron 6900, which fast-tracks access to straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender categories.

According to the two partners, Wantedlist was founded to fit a niche that was previously non-existent or at least improperly executed.

They have also tapped into the female porn niche by providing women with a more discreet and fun way of accessing porn than stopping by a typical adult video store, which traditionally has been off-limits for many women.

Wantedlist recently won an endorsement from Playgirl magazine for being a porn site for the modern day woman.

Recent statistics state that the amount of porn videos released has grown ten times over the past decade, and an average of 11,000 adult video titles hit the market in 2000 alone.

Wantedlist only includes adult films that are "legally produced and legitimate" in its adult collection. They don't offer bondage or S&M videos, and they are careful to avoid any video content that contains child pornography or bestiality.

The company also avoids shipping videos to states where pornography is outlawed, and they maintain a strict consumer privacy policy under which they do not disclose personal customer information to any 3rd parties.

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