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Adult Content Going Mobile, Cautiously

20 Jan, 2006 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Just as mobile entertainment in general is exploding, the business for mobile adult content also is growing.

By 2009, image- and video-based adult entertainment on portable devices will grow to $2.2 billion in worldwide revenue, according to Jupiter Research.

Xoble.com is an adult content provider for Apple Computer's video iPod, Sony Corp.'s Playstation Portable (PSP), cell phones and PDAs. Through the first quarter, the Charlotte, N.C.-based company is offering registered users free selections of two-minute video streams of adult content for Internet-enabled portable devices. In the second quarter, Xoble will begin offering individual scenes for 99 cents via a standard protocol computers use to access the Internet.

“We have reformatted the way our Web site appears on portable devices,” said Xoble CEO Harvey Kaplan. “This subjugates us to the rules of the Internet, not the rules of the FCC.”

Still, adult content, long a trailblazer in entertainment distribution, is attempting to play catch up in the burgeoning U.S. portable media arena. Content providers must circumvent telecommunication companies leery of directly offering adult content for age-verification and moral concerns.

“We have no intentions of carrying the stuff,” said a Verizon spokesperson. “As a business matter, it is probably more trouble than it is worth.”

Waat Media in Los Angeles distributes adult content from Vivid Entertainment, Girls Gone Wild and Digital Playground via European telecommunication companies such as Vodafone in the United Kingdom.

Waat CEO Ian Aaron said age verification is something telecommunication companies are going to have to deal with regardless.

“A lot of the TV networks are going to have to manage age verification for some of the content they plan to distribute on mobile,” Aaron said.

Xoble's Kaplan remains nonplussed. “In the next three years, you will see mobile adult content putting a dent into the DVD business as producers look to cut cost and time to market,” he said. “You can get the content to the consumer without replication, producing a glass master, screen-printing and proofing. A graphic designer and digital signal is all you need.”

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