A Message from the Founder of VideoBox

Hi, I’m Josh the creator of VideoBox. I was hoping my first post would be under more positive circumstances, but the voices I hear coming from our users are so loud that I have to respond.

 

You are right — we did not do a good job in rolling out the premium channels. Let me first explain why we created premium channels, and then what we’re doing to fix the various issues.

 

Reasons for Premium Channels


We want to add as much content for you as possible. The biggest studios have more restrictions on how they’ll license content, so we had to create separate channels for them. We have not (and never will) decrease the value of a basic VideoBox membership.

 

We are currently working with EA and Vivid to get more flexibility in pricing. I agree that when you compare VideoBox (with 6000 DVDs + 5 per day) to a premium channel (with 100 DVDs + 3 per week), the premium channel looks expensive. From the studio’s perspective, however, their site is $29.95, so they’ve come a long way in letting us sell their content for 1/3 the price and with no DRM. Nonetheless, we are working hard to bring the prices more in line with the rest of VideoBox.

 

I also want to reassure everyone that we will keep up the high quality of content on VideoBox.

 

Things to Fix

 

We will add a filter on the search page to remove premium content from your results.

 

You know how when you click “Top Scenes This Week” and you see all premium content? That’s not spam, that’s a bug, and we will fix it.

 

Also, I want to apologize for the perception that adding a Vivid title for DVD #6000 was a deceptive bait and switch. Those studios have given us a very small number of titles we can add to the main area of VideoBox, and we just wanted to display one in celebration.

 

I want you to know that what you say is really important me. My #1 goal is to create the best porn site in the world, and your comments help me do that. Please let me know if you have any other suggestions.

 

Thanks,
Josh

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43 Responses to “A Message from the Founder of VideoBox”

  1. doppyman Says:

    Josh – Thank you for your response. It is extremely reassuring. I am glad that you can appreciate why some of us have been upset. If you take the steps you have detailed in your post, I believe a lot of us will be relieved and will go back to enjoying your site, which has been excellent.

  2. doppyman Says:

    Some immediate other suggestions – Your post suggests that the cost of a premium channel is one third of $29.95. I am under the impression that EACH premium channel is $17.95. I think a clear explanation of the pricing of the channels would help a lot. Also, you need to get the billing situation straightened out. And you are limiting your potential number of subscribers by not having the service available to those who don’t use CC billing.

  3. badbenny Says:

    Thanks for clarifying your intentions, and the general idea behind the cable upgrade. You’re right, given Vivid and Evil Angel’s price for a subscription to their site, the Cable Upgrade is actually a pretty good deal. I, for one, am pleased to have the option to jump right into their catalogs.

  4. bigkai19 Says:

    Thank you, for your response Josh, it’s good to know the comments were heard. Before we get into more issues, I could not upgrade at all, did you block the premium channels till the bugs get kinked out. Evil Angel, I believe is a good channel to have a premium for, but Vivid is not worth it, maybe another major studio, like elegant angel, or Anabolic, most would agree, over Vivid subscription.

  5. sunbc Says:

    I’m w/ doppyman. Nobody can actually answer the billing questions. Is every channel an extra $17.95 per month on top of Videobox subscription? How much would it cost for Vivid, EA, and Videobox? How much would it cost for EA and Videobox? There is no explanation, and Support does not email members back, I have only received the automated reply. So far, not so good. There is a reason so many people have joined Videobox. Don’t let service deter people from joining and/or cancelling. Please put clear billing details up, it is not difficult to do that.

  6. lrae Says:

    Josh – While I doubt I’ll ever be persuaded to subscribe to the premium channels, I think your promptness in coming forward with an apology and more information is very commendable. I do wonder though how many people come to read this blog without prompting – is there a way for you to add a link pointing to this explanation on the main site?

  7. bobsipod Says:

    As long as i can filter out anything i don’t subscribe to, I’m likely to remain a member. simple as that. thanks for the stand up response.

  8. Necro Says:

    Yeah great response, and I am pleased with it. You never usually see people stepping up admitting to things. This was the email I totally wanted to see. Thank you very much.

  9. drudgereport Says:

    Thank you Josh – I think this is exactly what we all wanted to hear.

    I’m still a bit concerned about there being a slippery slope as far as new studios feeling left out, and ultimately us getting lower content, but I will take your word for it.

  10. drawstroke Says:

    Please have post a faq on the fees for current members. What are the scenarios that are supported? Monthly, yearly, till my membership expires. I do the 10 month, non-recurring bill. I think I have 3 and a half months left. If I upgrade at this point, what are the fees and will I be given the chance to extend the membership?
    This is the best site I’ve found. I’ll wait until things are sorted out before making a decision.

  11. davros Says:

    Thanks for the info, Josh. I was wondering what the situation was, but you explained everything and pulled no punches. It was a great response and was needed.

  12. xboxdude1 Says:

    This is why I will always be a Videobox member. It’s a great site and knowing that those running it are listening is a huge plus in my book.

  13. Papayaman Says:

    This is a gracious post from Josh and it reassures me that VB is the quality site I always thought it was. However, I would just like to reiterate the point I made in my post when the premium channels were first introduced (a point that I see many others also making). There is a pressing need for a clear statement of the pricing structure concerning the new channels.

  14. Teacher Says:

    As many have said here, thank you for addressing our concerns so directly.

    I hope that in the days to come things will be clearer about the pricing structure. I am guessing that there may be a flood of people wanting the new channels and so there may be a bottleneck somewhere, so I’m planning to wait on that (and to hear what the precise pricing structure is) before I make up my mind on adding that premium content.

  15. MacMan Says:

    I’m struggling how to subscribe to EvilAngel. This is a great price. My “upgrade” link doesn’t seem to work.

  16. meltedmoss Says:

    Another thing, I just read in one of the video reviews that all of the “Big Wet Asses”, “Cum Craving Teens” series’ among other previously posted material by Elegant Angel have been removed from the site

    Ya I don’t understand this either they are gone for sure they don’t show up in the searches anymore I did have them bookmarked as a user before. Now I can’t find them through the star search or the DVD search. Did they say anything about taking them down?? or is this just a bug?

    As far as the premium channels go I think they need to reduce the price or make a bundle or deal if you sub to more then one. if this is going to be the normal model they work from this will get very expensive in a matter of months depending on how fast they roll out new channels. Hopefully we will not be paying for any old content put back into the site either.. And are we getting some Vivid videos with our Basic subs now? just not “alot” of new ones.

  17. garbman Says:

    Revenue drops in a bad economy. Pornsite business model? Post mostly bargain basement content, with a few good updates thrown in over a weeks time. Run with it until spring when revenue drops more. Then add Vivid, of which I could care less about. A week or so later add Evil Angel and we need more revenue so make both it and Vivid premium channels.
    Evil Angel content looks good to start. Except in order to look like 102 DvD updates they take 51 and split them into parts. After a month or so the Evil Angel content will probably become mostly a bargain hunters dream. Then at the end of the year give the people at the top bonus’s. Hell yes it works for Wall St. I may subscribe to Evil Angel, but will wait awhile and trust but verify. Oh yeah thanks for the post Josh, but damn you if I hear ya bought a new lear jet six months from now. Unless it’s for Alison, hope ya don’t send her around town in a beat up old taxi. Again thanks Josh, hope I didn’t stoke the fire to much with this post.

  18. ballzy Says:

    What is the use since you cant subscribe. Its been “processing” since inception.

  19. soleblazer Says:

    Josh, that clarifies alot. The filter will help alot and is my #1 gripe. I also am glad to hear the normal membership will still be worthwhile.

  20. Joe Says:

    Thank you very much for your prompt and sincere response, Josh. A succinct and forward explanation of the upgrade, along with a description of the bugs that need to be fixed, is exactly what all of your loyal customers deserved. I, for one, have had my concerns quelled and look forward to what Videobox has to offer in the future. Thanks again, Josh.

  21. FlopTheNuts Says:

    More good vids fewer bad vids imo.

  22. rayd 70 Says:

    thank you for your post it does clear the way some but what about concern over future content aquesitions will other ‘premium’ channels be on the way? what about content that has been removed from the site ?ie.Masons Dirty Trixx,Big Wet Asses

  23. littlebilly Says:

    good post, josh. it was the right thing to do. the content looks good, esp the EA stuff. the frequency of updates and the amount of material in each update (nearly all the films are split) could be better given the price. I am definitely concerned some of your existing studios will want to move to a premium channel model e.g. Red Light District which is basically as good if not better than EA, IMHO. Personally, I’m going to wait and see how the pricing works out with EA before i reach for my wallet but i’m inclined to pay for the upgrade after i get a better sense of its true value. Now if you got Anabolic/Diabolic especially their back catalogs that would be something worth paying for. And more Gauge! There hasn’t been a decent Gauge post in a long time.

  24. mistahleary Says:

    How is it a bug that the Premium stuff debuted in the top rated scenes of the week? Who rated them? How could you spend the time and $$ to do a re launch of the site, and not realize until afterwards that members who don’t upgrade would not want to see the “Premium” content. In my porn drenched fantasy world, I see this as a horrible, early April Fool’s Joke. In reality, it’s mealy mouthed back tracking bullshit. I don’t mind the premium stuff, if it is separate, but I feel like I am being worked. If it wasn’t a work, they would have been upfront and told us what was coming. I’ll be back sometimes for a month at a clip to DL my favorite Porn Whores, but as of next month, you need 2 premium upgrades to make up for my porn dollars going elsewhere

  25. VB Josh Says:

    Thanks for your understanding.

    Some responses:

    1) We will put together an FAQ on billing prices. This is the first time CC Bill has done such a complicated upgrade/downgrade system (and Epoch can’t do it at all yet), so we don’t have precise details. Give us a couple days to work out the kinks, and we’ll post something.

    2) Every now and then we have to remove some titles (like the “Big Wet Asses” series) because whoever licensed them to us didn’t have the authority to do so, and the studio requests that we take them down.

    3) We just added a filter so you can see VideoBox-only content. We’ll polish it up a bit so that you can save an account setting if you never want to see premium content, but for now it should let you browse like before.

    Thanks for all your comments!

  26. vigilante Says:

    I’m with littlebilly on this… I can see other studio’s wanting to go to this new model as well, and then this will no longer be just a way to expand what videobox is offering, but a way to charge us more for what we’re already under the impression we’re getting.

    I don’t want to have to say “Remember when videobox used to be so fantastic…” but these types of things give people a reason to venerate the past, and criticize the present.

    Nevertheless, you guys DO have a business model that works and I hope you guys can continue to realize your potential and offer us quality porn, at realistic prices (in a day in age when porn is free out there online regardless).

  27. TBiz Says:

    As one of the one’s who complained yesterday, I just wanted to thank you for getting back and clarifying the issue Josh. Not many companies (much less CEO’s) are willing to admit mistakes and so I respect that and appreciate the quick response.

  28. Draganov2 Says:

    Still my transaction is in “pending” status. It has been almost 24 hrs. now.

  29. albert Says:

    where’s my porn at!

  30. Breadwinner Says:

    Thank you Josh for your prompt reply. I appreciate that the comments on this blog are not falling on deaf ears. I am also glad that you are not censoring the comments as, if I am not mistaken, nonmembers to VB can also see. As for the quality of the titles, I will continue to give you business in the meantime and I encourage others to do the same based on the veracity of your comments. I do not think I need to tell you that if VB main site’s quality goes down AND the prices go up, so will your subscription base dwindle. I for one will wait, see and hope your site continues to provide outstanding content.

  31. straggler Says:

    Weathering the elements, does not allow for constant smooth sailing. But, whatever difficulties and indifferences we have been going through lately, you still have one hell of a site. Incomparable in every phase. I’m very pleased with a lot of the content you have made available, and I thank you for that extra dimension on the “reviews”, where we get to comment on the scenes. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the positive comments from viewers like me.

  32. Jeff Cleghorn Says:

    I think you’re sincere with your intentions, but I feel that the biggest appeal of VB was that one flat rate got you EVERYTHING (the only difference in price was for resolution). Once you add even these two measly studios as, “Premium Channels”, you take away one of the wonderful things about this site. People love VB for being as simple as 15 bucks gets it ALL. Even if the content of regular VB will not suffer, it will be a turn off to people knowing that there are new intricacies in their beloved source for porn. No matter what you do to justify it, VB subscribers will always be uncertain about how long a good thing can last.

  33. J Says:

    Jeff above has got it right. I still have no idea how Alison could write, after the posting of the first Vivid video for #6000, “This video is the first of several exciting things to come, so stay tuned for some awesome new developments at VideoBox!” And those developments end up being not actually getting Vivid with your membership, and ruining what made Videobox the cream of the crop with gimmicks like the addition of higher priced premium channels that are advertised all over the site and are part of the default search results.

    I mean talk about hyping up something and then not delivering. I am extremely disappointed.

    Now I appreciate the apology, but I can’t imagine this having being handled, overhyped, and rolled out any worse. And as much as you say current content won’t diminish, I’ll have to see that for myself. I certainly can’t take your word for it after this fiasco.

  34. febtober Says:

    ya, the response was fine except for the vivid thing. You can’t tell us you’ve added vivid as a regular, and than just pull it out from under us and tell us that we’ve misunderstood! We may watch porn but we’re not dumb!

  35. Garp123 Says:

    Josh, your quick response to the loud VB legion was smart, refreshing and the reason VB is more than just a site to smack it…here we blog, do screen cap reviews and then smack it. Good job. You have done well.

  36. Brian Says:

    Awesome, thanks for the filter. Now that’s some fast service!

  37. ILTK Says:

    So there will be a checkmark somewhere in preferences so these will not show anywhere? I notice only “search” is mentioned. What about regular listings, will I be able to remove them from there to.

  38. 1 Says:

    You should create a tag for lesbian anal content.

  39. Chuckwin Says:

    Josh, along with a few others above, I simply felt that members were not only exposed to bait and switch, but in the vernacular of the content here, double-anal fucked. Next time, try thinking through the effects of a new business model (which you have created) rather than behaving as though you were simply adding a new studio to the fold…

  40. bellator Says:

    Hi, I upgraded yesterday to add Vivid. If I don’t like it can I remove it? Or, switch to Evil to give that a try?

  41. Ben Says:

    I upgraded to Vivid by accident — i was looking for info about pricing — terms etc etc and upgraded.

    How can i take this off — i am not interested in upgrading right now.

    Thanks

  42. Chrism Says:

    I have been a videobox member for years now, I believe since 2006. I am pretty disappointed with the new change, but am not surprised. This is how most things tend to go – once a product reaches a mature stage, changes need to be made to capture/make-up new profits. Unfortunately, with the amount of free porn, that is only increasing, and the rough economy, I am going to be canceling my subscription. I just don’t believe the standard of content is going remain at the same high level.

    Good Bye VB and thanks for you years of high quality service.

  43. Tom Says:

    If you could add a filter to REMOVE certain content, that would be cool. I wish there was a way to filter out all anal scenes when i’m searching.