U.S. Carriers Could Allow Greater Access to Adult Mobile Content

Joanne Cachapero
MIAMI, Fla. — Industry attorney and XBIZ columinist Greg Piccionelli was quoted, along with ClubJenna president Jay Grdina, in a Reuters article about the future of adult mobile content.

Both men agreed that free adult content on mobile devices will become available in the U.S., despite concerns over under-aged users and potential for piracy.

The article also speculated that the development of new mobile devices, combined with added services and looser restrictions by mobile network carriers, could bring significant changes in 2008. The implementation of age verification systems, as well as filters to prevent access of adult sites, may also move the market toward adult faster than expected.

"It will be impossible to stop the adult business exploitation of mobile entertainment," Piccionelli said, predicting that consumers will be offered free content alongside paid services like live video or access to adult social networking services.

Grdina was preparing to deliver a keynote address at this week’s Mobile Adult Content Congress, held in Miami, Fla., and said that adult content producers need to be prepared to evolve into new mobile distribution platforms.

Noting that free ClubJenna content offered in Europe has helped to boost the brand’s visibility and created a “healthy” revenue stream, Grdina said that here in the U.S., mobile sales for ClubJenna are “pretty much zero.”

However, Grdina is hoping to ink a deal within the next 18 months with U.S. carriers to offer content of girls in bikinis.

Several developments may have the potential to persuade U.S. carriers toward allowing adult content.

YouTube is planning to expand its reach to 100 million “smart” phones, offering a variety of content similar to what is currently on the video hosting site.

Google is currently in development of a new mobile phone system that will support any type of mobile software, while other carriers like Verizon Wireless said that they will allow access to their networks from a variety of devices and software later this year, as well as Sprint Nextel, who will launch a new wireless Web service in 2008 that will be offered on several different mobile devices.

Sprint spokesperson John Polivka said that users will be able to view whatever content they choose on the new service and that Sprint will offer filtering options to prevent access to adult sites.

Software developer NeuStar has also developed an age verification system for mobile, and hopes to have deals in place with a U.S. carrier and a mobile content provider within the year.

"2008 is when the first people are going to be sticking their toes in the water," NeuStar marketing executive John Ticer said.