Cell Phone Users Put Porn in Their Pockets

 
 
By Carol Ellison  |  Posted 2005-03-03 Print this article Print
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Opinion: Sex talk? Adult content? It's coming to mobile phones—and in full-color video. Jupiter Research says it's a $1 billion business. Can it be stopped?

Youve read all about mobile content. Its the hottest thing in mobile and wireless right now. And whats hottest about it is streaming video. Well, its about to get a lot hotter, and whats setting it afire is the demand for … ahem, let us gently describe it as adult content. A recent report from Juniper Research found that the adult industry is not only alive and well, its booming in Europe and Asia, where 3G technologies have long supported the kinds of colorful graphics and streaming video that are only now beginning to arrive in the United States.
Worldwide adult revenues are poised to top $1 billion this year and double to $2 billion by 2009, according to Juniper.
While this comes as a sober reminder that the adult industry is still out there pushing the technological envelope, it isnt exactly news. The adult industry (I call it porn, although many of those in that industry tend to frown on that word) has been with us a long time. So long, in fact, that many of those in it seem to believe their real rainmaking days are behind them. Last year, when British magazine Total Telecom explored the issue in an online forum, Jacques LeDisco, a content developer with Radicaltek, expressed doubts. His company, he said, now markets "orgasm ringtones and adult color logos, as well as mobile betting," but he added, "as for porn, the volume of free content now available on the Web makes this an unappealing business on mobile phones." Well, theres probably a bit more to it than that. Juniper sees the growth in the business coming in Europe and Asia—partly because those continents lead North America in their adoption of 3G technologies capable of delivering interactive video, and partly because nudie flicks delivered to a handheld device just hits a little too close to American homes. Researchers believe, nevertheless, that U.S. customers who want such content will find a way to get it. The North American market, researchers say, could reach $400 million by 2010. But, in all likelihood, aficionados of the stuff wont be ordering it up from mobile operators in quite the way they get other mobile services. Next page: Why will US carriers shun XXX-rated services?



 
 
 
 
Carol Ellison is editor of eWEEK.com's Mobile & Wireless Topic Center. She has authored whitepapers on wireless computing (two on network security–,Securing Wi-Fi Wireless Networks with Today's Technologies, Wi-Fi Protected Access: Strong, Standards-based Interoperable Security for Today's Wi-Fi Networks, and Wi-Fi Public Access: Enabling the future with public wireless networks.

Ms. Ellison served in senior and executive editorial positions for Ziff Davis Media and CMP Media. As an executive editor at Ziff Davis Media, she launched the networking track of The IT Insider Series, a newsletter/conference/Web site offering targeted to chief information officers and corporate directors of information technology. As senior editor at CMP Media's VARBusiness, she launched the Web site, VARBusiness University, an online professional resource center for value-added resellers of information technology.

Ms. Ellison has chaired numerous industry panels and has been quoted as a networking and educational technology expert in The New York Times, Newsday, The Los Angeles Times and The Wall Street Journal, National Public Radio's All Things Considered, CNN Headline News, WNBC and CNN/FN, as well as local and regional Comcast and Cablevision reports. Her articles have appeared in most major hi-tech publications and numerous newspapers and magazines, including The Washington Post and The Christian Science Monitor.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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