We received a new DVD in the Young Harlots series from Harmony films today. The Young Harlots series is very popular so it was no real surprise to find another instalment of the series on the mat. It would be naïve to think that Harmony films wouldn’t produce another title in this particular genre. The public obviously love them and that means the adult retailers do too.
What many buyers of pornographic DVDs don’t realise is that margins on porn have never been as narrow as they are now. Yes, successful studios are still making money but the advent of free porn online that can be streamed straight to your PC, tablet or even phone has meant a distinct drop in demand for DVDs. That’s not to say that the DVD market is dead but it has meant the economics of producing porn like this have changed drastically.
In 2008 Michael Ninn and the company Ninn Works parted company when he and its new owners (Spearmint Rhino) fell out over what Ninn would probably describe as “artistic differences” but they would characterise as Ninn’s inability to reign in his high budget productions to match the lower production costs demanded by current market conditions. Ninn was often accused of self-indulgence in his productions and while the audience for his films started to look elsewhere for their thrills he kept producing more expensive titles.
But despite the shift in the economics of producing pornography there is still a place for physical media. Amateur porn streamed from one of the “tube sites” serves a purpose – i.e. predominantly male masturbation material. There are those who would prefer not to be tied to their PC when consuming porn, add to that couples who want to view porn together and DVD or Blu-ray disc is a far more convenient and infinitely higher quality option.
The difference between one camera of low quality, often fixed in one position with a fixed focus – and that of a professional camera and lighting setup is huge. Add to that true HD video, editing and story telling (even in its most rudimentary forms) and professionally produced porn beets the tube sites in every way.
The next year to 18 months will show whether or not Bu-ray takes off as a medium for porn, some within the industry hope it will, particularly with the addition or 3D titles to their catalogue. Professional video on demand (VoD) is also pushing 3D with Dorcel and Penthouse both offering content with an extra dimension. Time will tell if the extra bandwidth required of a consumer’s DSL connection will mean that only a proportion of potential customers will be able to access this new product.
Even if streaming fails to kill off physical media the budgets for each porn production will not increase leading to titles without the polish of some of today’s productions. Even worse there may come a time when many talented and inventive producers and directors abandon the industry because it’s impossible to make significant money out of the porn biz.