Archive for January, 2011

What goes on in Vegas, Gets onto VideoBox

It’s the start of a new year, which means it’s time for our annual trek to Vegas for the Adult Entertainment Expo (AEE.) This is the biggest porn convention of the year, complete with red carpet AVN awards show. It’s also where we meet with content producers and put together our content plan for the year. From the comments in my last blog post, I know that some of you have very strong feelings about what movies should and should not be on the site, so I wanted to open up a forum for input and discussion.

To illustrate the challenges and nuances of licensing content, I want to point out a site that has the exact opposite licensing approach to VideoBox: AEBN.com. For those of you who aren’t familiar, AEBN was the first adult pay-per-view website. They now have over 70,000 movies from virtually every studio.

Sounds great, right? Here’s the catch: it’s really expensive. $20 per month gets you 200 minutes of viewing time—about 2 DVDs. And, that’s for streaming only. If you want to download and own a movie forever, it will cost you an additional $20 per DVD! But on VideoBox, if you download only one of the five new daily DVDs, you get 30 DVDs per month for about $15. To download the same amount from AEBN, you would have to spend $600. SIX HUNDRED DOLLARS!?!? That’s the price of a new computer!

We made a decision a long time ago to honor the fact that our customers liked a good deal, don’t want to be nickel and dimed per minute, hate DRM, and want to be able to download and archive their own movie collections. However, this model limits the studios that we license from, and that list changes every year. For example, we used to be able to license titles from Elegant Angel, but they changed their mind. There are some studios that we’ve been close to inking deals with—like Hustler and Devil’s Film— but that have never gone through. We want to give you the best content that $10 bucks a month can buy, but it’s challenging and we’re continually working to get new deals.

The good news is that because of the porn recession, studios are more aggressively looking for additional revenue streams and thus more open to licensing to VideoBox—I look forward to 2011 being an exciting year in content! As we prepare to head to Vegas, we’d like to get your input on where we should focus our efforts: If you have studios you’d like to see on the site, please post a comment. If there’s any particular DVD title that you’d like to see from any studio, please post that, too.

Lastly, something to consider: it would be possible for us to integrate the AEBN catalog into VideoBox, so that you could easily browse all 70,000 DVDs in the VB interface; with a one-click option, you’d be able to stream or download any movie. It would cost extra and it would be expensive (though maybe we could negotiate a special price for VB members). I’d like to get your feedback on this possibility, too: Let me know whether or not you’d like to see the AEBN catalog integrated into VideoBox by posting a comment. The core reason that we’ve haven’t built this feature in the past is to avoid the perception that “VideoBox has gone downhill and all the updates will be complete and utter crap forever more.” You might’ve read some of comments that claim that this has already happened at VideoBox, so we don’t want to add fuel to the fire.

I’d love to hear all of your thoughts and, as always, you can e-mail me at david@videobox.com. Just like the Hair Club for Men, I’m not only the president, I’m also a client.