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P2P and Porn

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New study says more searches for porn than for music on P2P networks:

    While much has been reported about the billions of free music and Hollywood movie files on the file-sharing services, there’s been far less attention paid to the abundance of pornography available for download.

    According to a study of an 18-day period in February by Palisade Systems Inc. of Ames, Iowa, about 42 percent of the 22 million searches on one of the main file-sharing networks were for pornographic video, compared to 38 percent for copyright-protected audio files.

    ….Instead of fighting file sharing, some in that industry — estimated to be generating $750 million to $1 billion per year in revenue — are quietly finding new ways to profit from it.

    “The porn guys are smart, they’ve figured out how to use the technology,” said Grokster President Wayne Rosso.

    ….But the adult filmmakers “know how to market themselves,” Rosso said. “You’ve got to sit there and say to the recording industry or the movie industry, ‘Look at what these guys are doing. Why can’t you take a cue from them?’ ”

    But given the file-sharing services’ popularity among the younger set, there has been a government outcry over children’s exposure to pornography through these programs. Recent reports by the General Accounting Office and the House Committee on Government Reform said half of the searches of words like “Pokemon,” “Britney Spears” and “Olsen twins” returned unrelated pornographic video and images.

    ….But it’s the legal adult films, along with video games, e-books and software, that may keep file-sharing programs popular, even if the new online music services succeed, said Aram Sinnreich, an entertainment industry analyst.

    The adult film industry is “leveraging the power of peer-to-peer,” which creates a large online social gathering of potential customers, said Sinnreich

    ….”The lesson I suggest (the recording industry) learn from the porn industry is: How do you use free to promote paid?” he said.

    One way is to embed short, free video clips with links taking the viewer to Web sites that sell more video that is of higher quality, said Scott Hunter, co-founder and chief executive officer of Exploit Systems Inc. of Palo Alto.

    ….”The adult industry is leading the way in peer-to-peer and begining to monetize it instead of fighting customers,” Hunter said. “Any smart merchant can’t look at a mall filled with 200 million people and not look at the opportunities to set up a kiosk.”

    One search conducted last week of Kazaa, the most popular of the services, using the word “sex” turned up hundreds of erotic videos, ranging from one- minute clips to full two-hour movies. The search included about 50 videos that required payment of $1 to $5 to view. [SF Chronicle]

Now that’s capitalism – if you can’t lick it, beat it, er, join it. Monetize the anarchy.

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About Eric Olsen

  • jadester48

    amen! porn for all! *ahem*
    but seriously, here’s hoping the music industry finally realises the potential of p2p, and using free to promote paid. I for one would be happy to get single mp3 tracks as album samplers, to determine whether i want to buy a particular album (i already use this kind of strategy for discovering new bands to like). I know there are a few sites that do this but they don’t hold a candle to the p2p networks

  • http://www.morethings.com/log Al Barger

    One good thing about the porn industry is that they are politically unpopular. No matter how popular smut may be privately, no politician will say anything good about it in public.

    The good thing about it, then, is that pornographers cannot buy a fix. If they want to succeed, they pretty much have to do it completely legitimately in the marketplace.

    Necessity being the mother of invention, then, it’s not surprising that the smutmeisters have turned out to be the smart, savvy entrepreneurs of P2P.

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