Paysite Power: Why We Wait

Last month I posed the question, “What will be the next big thing?” and then answered it rather anticlimactically by simply saying “nothing.”

I promised that future articles would focus heavily on specific ways that paysite owners can optimize the user experience and how to present sites and content in ways that attract customers and keep them coming back. Before I go there it seems fitting that I address a topic that came up during the recent XBIZ 360 show in Los Angeles.

Right now, my advice is to be aware of the new things you hear about but treat them as little more than words because right now that’s really all they are.

At the XBIZ 360 show I had the pleasure of speaking at a seminar appropriately titled “Next Web,” where the discussion spanned several areas ranging from content to censorship to new technology. There were five of us who spoke on the panel and the majority agreed that new technology will play a major role in the future of online adult entertainment. This ranges from apps to mobile and tablet compatible sites, to responsive designs and new content formats and delivery methods.

Historically, since the old days of VHS tapes when the industry became infamous for leading the technological push, our industry has remained a few years behind its mainstream counterparts and is now very much taking its cue from big business and big entertainment sites. If I had to summarize things in a single sentence I would say that adult is quick to accept new technology but slow to implement it.

This is generally a good thing. During one of my turns to speak at the show I suggested that everyone familiarize themselves with emerging technology but that no one rush out to begin implementing it just yet. For example, among other things we discussed IPTV and 4K Ultra HD TV, both of which show tremendous potential and a lot of promise and may very well become mainstays in the years to come.

There was some on-stage chatter and some shared opinions among panelists about moving in the direction of 4K TV now being a wise choice. This prompted someone to pose the question of supply and demand — more specifically — can a market for something be created simply by offering something in high-tech fashion? We already know the answer is yes, but the size of market will not allow for enough ROI to justify the high cost of prospecting with emerging technology when it comes to content production. That’s why we wait.

Right now we’ve got a lot of new terms being thrown around and most of them are nothing more than buzzwords. We can expect to keep hearing them over and over again and just like “HD” and “mobile” and “live” and “VOD” and “MP4” and all the others we had crammed down our throats over the years, we don’t have to rush out and implement them. We’ve got a good two, three and maybe even five years before consumers come to require a site to be 4K before they’ll consider buying content.

Do you need a responsive site? Absolutely not. It’s a nicety, not a requirement. Do you need a mobile and tablet compatible site? Absolutely. Do you need your site to have 4K content? No way, but if it does, you’ll surely stand out. Do you need to have HD content as a minimum? Yes. You get the idea ….

My personal feelings aside, my professional opinion is that every site owner should be slow to implement new technology but should always be ready.

This means having the production and web site management infrastructure in place so that when something new does come out be it the next super high-def format or some new delivery method, you’re not scrambling about and spending the next 18 months and a bunch of money updating your operation to be up to date.

Right now, my advice is to be aware of the new things you hear about but treat them as little more than words because right now that’s really all they are. They’re terms used by techies and salespeople who are marketing related tech services. When customers start using the words is when we know it’s time to move in a new direction.

You don’t need to become an expert but it’s a good idea to get familiar with the basic concepts behind IPTV, 4K TV, responsive design, bitcoins and anything else that’s billed as new and exciting or has people stirring. Just by knowing what these things are, by the time the day comes to begin implementing them you’ll already be well ahead of the rest of the pack.

AJ Hall is a 12-year adult industry veteran and the co-founder and CEO of Elevated X Inc., a provider of popular adult CMS software for the online adult entertainment industry. Elevated X powers more than 2,000 leading adult sites, has been nominated for industry awards 11 times and won the 2012 and 2014 XBIZ Award for Software Company of the Year.