Adult Entertainment Expo 2015 Road Trip
by Bob Yunger
Photo gallery HERE.
So, in January 21– 24 Reviewer Magazine went to the Adult Entertainment Expo at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas to ask: “When was the golden era of internet porn and today how can individual webmasters make quick and easy money starting out in adult entertainment?” Yes yes, we all know ten years ago porn was said to be a four-billion-dollar a year business annually worldwide and now struggling pornstars are doing half-price lap dances at titty bars. Okay maybe it’s not that bad yet. Porn sites still exist and charge membership fees. But what gives?
At AEE 2015, Nina Hartley (Boogie Nights) said “nichification” is what’s funding modern porn. New companies find a specialty niche to fill. I also heard about niche-marketing in a panel discussion that included Joanna Angel. A guy sitting next to her said he’d “made lots of money by micro-niching.” Among the examples he gave were tan-line sites and “crack-humping” where the male actor achieves climax by frottage from humping a girl’s buttcrack without penetration. But he spoke in the past-tense. So what about the big-money days of before free tube sites like PornHub and xHamster? “If this business was still controlled by the mob like it was back in the 70’s legs would be broken!,” said Will Ryder (Not the Bradys XXX) emphatically, his eyes narrowing. Free tube sites stealinging content are still sore points few talk about and why many see industry profits as drying up. “In the future all porn will be free. The big sites will be paying royalties,” said Ryder, who told me he began working porn in the early 1980’s. The fall in small company profits began in 2003 when credit card companies made porn a “high risk” business transaction. Tom Hymes of the Free Speech Coalition gave some background on why higher VISA fees are required from adult entertainment companies for a merchant account. In 2003 Paypal stopped processing porn transactions and other companies began levying the annual VISA fees of between $750 and $1000 for a porn account. “In all fairness, there was abuse of the card services by members of the industry,” Hymes said, notably by “Israeli companies” by overcharging members and not closing accounts when asked. Rather than VISA cracking down on single offenders everyone had to pay. The easiest way to get paid for self-producing content now is through Clips4Sale.com and paying their 40% per-transaction fee. A 40/60 split may sound high but even at this percentage thousands of members pull in boatloads of dollars annually. Plus Clips4sale earns “$250,000 a-month” through banner advertising on its site, said owner Neil Orkin, adding that content-wise studios “can do anything as long as it’s legal.”