Author Archive

How Do You Use VideoBox

I have a question… how do you use VideoBox?  In other words, how do you navigate?  What do you watch?  What do you wish were better about the experience?

 

I’ll go first.  I’m not a typical user, since I’ve been around from day 1 and it’s free for me :)   But here’s what I do:

 

First place I usually go is “Top Scenes This Week”.  Most of the time, I see something that is new and looks good.

 

If not, I’ll check out the recommendations.  One nice thing about recommendations is we filter out everything you’ve seen before, so you know it’s all fresh.

 

And sometimes I look at videos I found while at work.  Since I work at one of the few places where you get yelled at for *not* looking at porn, every now and then I come across something cool and add it to My Favorites, to be watched later.

 

Also, I always watch Flash.  I never download, unless I’m going somewhere without an Internet connection.

 

My Pet Peeves

 

There are a couple things that keep VB from being porn nirvana.

 

Sometimes I’m in the mood for a style of content that we just don’t have (and that’s cause we can’t license it — more on that later).

 

And sometimes what I’m looking for is so specific, like just the right angle and position, and there’s just no easy way to find it.

 

How about you guys?

Q&A On Premium Channels

I’ve read all your blog comments since the launch of premium channels.  Part of me is dismayed that there are many negative reactions.  But an even bigger part is thrilled that you guys care enough take the time to express yourselves.

 

Here are some answers to various concerns raised in your comments:

 

Billing Confusions

 

By far the biggest source of complexity in the launch of premium channels comes from our integration with our billing partners.  Put simply, Epoch and CCBill are really good at processing the standard billing model (i.e., charging the same price every month), but are new at doing anything more complicated.

 

When we planned out premium channels, we wanted to let users upgrade and downgrade their subscriptions.  We didn’t realize how much difficultly Epoch and CCBill would have in implementing this functionality until we were deep into the project.  In retrospect, we should have made premium channels available only to new users, and tested the upgrade/downgrade ability on small numbers of existing member until we worked out all the issues.

 

You can find more information on billing for premium channels on our FAQ:

 

http://www.videobox.com/beta/support/faq-s9.seam?subTab=home&mainTab=browse

 

Just know that we are working hard to provide a seamless upgrade and downgrade ability to all our members, regardless of biller.

 

Future Blog Posts

 

You asked lots of questions that are too broad to cover in this one post, but I’d like to discuss in more detail:

 

1)       How we calculate star ratings

2)       How we license content (strategy, legal issues)

3)       Issues with content encoding (aspect ratios, splitting DVDs into groups, etc)

4)       More on billing (different billing models, doing our own billing)

 

Action Items

 

Here are the steps I propose for improving the premium channel integration:

 

1)       We turn off the animation of the flash banner on the home page.

2)       We massage the search results to put all “premium channel” videos at the end.  I still think it’s useful to have the search results integrated in certain highly targeted cases.  For instance, let’s say you like Jenna Haze.  You might want to know that she has 10 scenes on Evil Angel.

 

Let me know if you have any other suggestions.  Thanks!

Follow Up to the Last Post

In case you missed my responses in the comments section of the last post, I just wanted to say:

 

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!

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