trends

Content Is King: Paysites Evolve as Porn Pushes Technology

Content Is King: Paysites Evolve as Porn Pushes Technology
Stephen Yagielowicz

Today’s adult content creators are coming up with not only a superior level of high-quality, tech-forward fare, but a new basis for production that puts the needs of consumers first, and guesswork about “what might or might not sell” into the realm of the also-rans, with top professionals using artificial intelligence to discover — and deliver — what porn consumers really want in 2017 and beyond.

To get a grip on the current trends in premium porn, XBIZ recently asked a range of industry insiders, “How is paysite content evolving?” Their expert insights covered a lot of ground:

At this point, the internet cannot handle true UHD streaming, but we are now shooting on Red Dragon in 5K which provides absolutely beautiful footage. We downsize it to 1080p but hang onto the 5K master for release when the internet and DVD players catch up and are able to handle it. -Colin Rowntree, Wasteland

AEBN’s Bishop told XBIZ consumer taste and content trends are ever-evolving.

“We are constantly monitoring user engagement and what our consumers are actively looking for so that we can select and present them with the best new content available,” Bishop said. “As we see new trends begin to emerge, we are able to pass this type of relevant information on to our content partners. We also provide our content partners with granular stats, based on our users’ actions, which show the scenes, stars and sex acts that are the most popular for any title they have in our system. We actively provide this information so that our content partners can use these data points to determine the most successful formula when planning and shooting future productions.”

When the subject of paysite content trends and the future come up, virtual reality and other fledgling consumer technologies naturally come to the fore.

“Recently, there has been much talk and interest in 3D/VR content,” Bishop added. “We have a solution to deliver and display this content in a unique way, and with a twist that other sites are not yet offering.”

Other sites have their own twists as well, with each evolving to fill the markets they serve.

“For us, the evolution of content on the flat site (Yanks.com) is to use it to bring the member into the Yanks story — not just a site or a list of videos and photos — but a place where our girls and they are invited to join and share in the sexuality of the Yanks girls,” YanksVR’s Todd Spaits said. “The evolution of our VR content will be fast and furious and revolves around allowing the user to strap on a device and be invited to virtually walk into Yanks and take a close look around. Most of the evolution of our content will take place on the VR side as the added dimensions add to the experience exponentially more than higher resolution or a great amount of footage ever could.”

The evolution of content quality and type is ongoing, with Grooby Productions president Steven Grooby telling XBIZ that higher quality images and 4K video are the minimum expected by consumers today.

“I see content production becoming more focused on the specifics — either shooting something that can tie in with a device (like what Kiiroo is doing) or something that is going to hit a good portion of the membership base (or perhaps requested and authored by them),” Grooby said. “We’re trying to work on getting more feedback on these specifics including models, type of content, scenarios, etc.”

Grooby noted the company is also experimenting with pay-per-sale, rather than the typical paysite monthly model, revealing “we’ve had really good results selling our VR content in this way.”

Cherry Pimps’ Jack Avalanche told XBIZ that the evolution of paysites is “all about the quality of interaction, whether it’s live, the interface or method of delivery,” while Vette Nation’s Vicky Vette says the biggest trend, as it has been year-after-year for a while, is to make everything more mobile-friendly.

“Surfers are using phones more than ever so we try and integrate phone user features as much as feasible,” Vicky told XBIZ. “The content itself I think [shows] overall better quality. People are shooting with better cameras and editing with better programs.”

Clement from Bang.com said it’s all about convenience, telling XBIZ the site’s content “is easily playable on any device, including TVs, Roku and of course, phones and tablets.”

As new devices continue to come to market, forward-looking producers are future-proofing their content by shooting above the bar necessary for competitiveness today — while ensuring compatibility with tomorrow’s technologies, preserving their library’s longevity.

For example, Wasteland CEO Colin Rowntree told XBIZ that the company’s content is currently evolving in two major areas: Ultra High-Def (4K-6K) and virtual reality.

“At this point, the internet cannot handle true UHD streaming, but we are now shooting on Red Dragon in 5K which provides absolutely beautiful footage. We downsize it to 1080p but hang onto the 5K master for release when the internet and DVD players catch up and are able to handle it,” Rowntree revealed. “We have also begun shooting VR content, which we include in our members’ areas as bonus content to go with the traditional HD videos.”

JamesDeenCash.com chief James Deen told XBIZ he sees a lot of people moving towards “a quality over quantity mentality.”

“There are still plenty of companies that can survive off the ‘mouse trap’ type model, where they focus on primarily getting new members in through the door, then capitalizing on the user data and add-on sales to maximize profits,” Deen said. “However, even a lot of these companies have been launching new products that are quality-focused.”

“I believe that with the prevalence of the tubes, paysite viewers require something that they cannot get for free, that seems to be quality,” Deen added. “Whether that is 4K or just better-made porn, as long as it’s something.”

CrakRevenue’s Jean-François Laverdière said high-quality niche content has continued to dominate the marketplace and owners of it are getting a nice piece of the pie.

“Without question, there’s a tremendous number of paysites with overly-specific niche categories that exist now than ever before,” Laverdière told XBIZ. “For example, family taboo, lesbian and extreme hardcore (just to name a few) are some current top-performing, niche-specific categories rising in popularity, and these also happen to be some of the best paying.”

Laverdière said this can be explained by users opting for more specialized and tailored content.

“If we circle back to our previous example, this means that users are now looking for lesbian fauxcest — which could be interpreted to be part of the family taboo sub-genre (for example, lesbian stepsisters or stepmoms),” Laverdière added. “Speaking of which, it’s worth noting that ‘family taboo’ and ‘fauxcest’ related search queries are on the rise, and we’ve seen a clear, notable increase in the number of users actually searching for content related to this — so much that it’s now the most searched-for term in the U.S.”

Looking at one of today’s top opportunities, CrakRevenue’s Maxime Côté told XBIZ that a flood of VR-based content has been popping up and making waves.

“We see an overwhelming amount of VR content being produced and designed with VR headsets in mind,” Côté explained. “Point-of-view (POV) themed content is crazy big right now, but it’s impossible to predict the future growth and exact numbers.”

Kink’s senior marketing manager Jesse Garza told XBIZ that more and more sites are making data-driven decisions on the kind of content they’re making.

“Whether it’s the search terms used on-site or through search engine data, taking feedback from tubes, or directly from the users, the sites that are staying on the cutting-edge are using data to define the content they produce, instead of just cranking out ‘Gonzo Interracial Gangbang #379,’” Garza explained. “Giving users a voice makes them feel like they’re part of the team, investing them in the site’s future, which helps increase retention and overall user value.”

Regardless of the specific offer, Kenny B. of YourPaysitePartner.com told XBIZ he’s a firm believer that people will always be willing to pay for a quality product.

“But that’s an easy answer that can be used for just about any product in almost every industry,” Kenny explained. “It’s the delivery method that has been evolving more than anything — with more live cams and models selling their content through various platforms such as OnlyFans, ManyVids and Snapchat.”

Lucas Entertainment’s marketing and affiliate relations manager, Rocky Andrews, said that creativity and brand identity are becoming more and more important for content creators seeking an edge.

“You need to stand out,” Andrews told XBIZ, “and not only know what your content is, but what makes it special compared to everything else that is out there.”

Yannick Ferreri, head of business development for Porndoe Production, said there is a shift between quality and quantity, “but diversity and healthy updates remain the life source of a valuable member.”

“Localization will also become more relevant, as it has with cams, which is why we still have a heavy focus on supplying specific groups with their desired content,” Ferreri told XBIZ. “VR is cool, but so was 3D … The interesting options to view content are without a doubt intriguing and fun to toy around with, however, we believe that consumption will remain in 2D (for the masses) for a long time.”

Ferreri added that in regard to VR, the company is “keeping our ear to the ground and collecting info, and we will definitely work on something when the technology has fully matured sometime in 2018.”

It is a stance other paysites will doubtlessly adopt as they move to a future focused on greater consumer relevance and satisfaction, with information and technology paving the way.

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