The adult VR market is very, very green, largely because the entire VR space is even greener. Honestly, if you’re someone with a $.99 pair of Google Cardboard, you are an Early Adopter. Early majority? That on-ramp is miles down the road.
Is it ripe to be pursued vigorously by affiliates and content producers or are some other things needed before real growth will be possible?
The unedited transcript is posted here in VRBlunt.com. They asked about Todd Glider’s background, and career in the porn industry, as well as the history of the BaDoink brand, as well as the history of new product BaDoinkVR.
Kiiroo’s Onyx, for those who don’t know, provides a haptic component to the VR porn experience. This is awfully important since the key to virtual reality is immersion, or presence, or telepresence, and one can’t say they’ve achieved any of these three things when only two of one’s five senses are experiencing a virtual reality.
When compared with traditional forms of entertainment, how many users are currently already using VR gear to watch adult entertainment?
It’s impossible to provide accurate data. Anyone who says they have that data is being somewhat disingenuous. The market at this point is very, very small because the number of consumers in possession of a VR headset is infinitesimal, compared to smartphones, desktops and tablet computers. Broadly, it’s important to remember that, for all the fanfare, hype and truly inspiring VR programming available, VR as a tech is still incredibly embryonic. All of the excitement it garners is worthwhile and valid and appropriate, but what we’re most excited about, what’s worthy of all that excitement is the signals splintering off the tech. It’s not about what’s here now.
How will this change in the near future? When do you expect that VR will reach user numbers close to what we see today with computers, TV or smartphones?
The release of PlayStation VR is worth celebrating. Google Daydream, even more so. The levee breaks once eye-tracking comes to town. That makes foveated rendering possible. And once video resolution can be managed in a manner that does not require everything in your field of view to be displayed at max resolution, the demands on processing power will drop enormously, and many more consumers will be in the position to afford higher-end devices. When will VR gear be as commonplace as computers, TVs or smartphones? I think we’re a decades out, honestly. Consider that we all know one or two people who live without TV, live without a smartphone. They’re curiosities. They’re noteworthy. We’re still at a point where it’s noteworthy if someone owns a VR device.
Let’s talk a bit about the hardware. The most widely used way right now for VR could be solutions similar to Google Cardboard, since these are the easiest, and by far cheapest solutions. Is the quality of such devices good enough for VR porn?
At BaDoinkVR, we were the first to give away Google Cardboard with every subscription to our VR porn site, but these are, to put it colloquially, gateway drugs. They don’t deserve a place on the shelf alongside your other gadgets. They’re here to give you a taste, and encourage you to purchase something better—like Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive. That’s what makes the release of Google Daydream so exciting. Most people are not going to jump from cardboard to Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. They’ll jump to a mid-range device. Up until recently, that meant Gear VR, and Gear VR, good as it is, works with only a few Samsung phones. With Google Daydream, we see many, many more manufacturers agreeing to release phones supporting the platform. That gives the entire market a nice kick.
What art the minimum requirements a VR headset and the hardware should have to create an enjoyable experience for the user?
Any smartphone released in the last two or three years, with Google Cardboard, or cardboard equivalent, is sufficient to enjoy VR porn. However, the average consumer is not going to watch VR porn in lieu of non-VR porn until, at minimum, they’ve acquired a device that is mid-range or higher.
Other solutions from Oculus, Sony or HTC are far more pricy. Does the user see the difference? And will he be willing to pay the higher price to watch adult entertainment on these devices?
The experience on HTC Vive and Oculus Rift is, hands-down, superior to the experience on Cardboard, or Gear VR, or any smartphone-driven solution. As far as willingness to pay a higher price, I believe that anyone considering the purchase of one of these high-end devices, when listing the pros and cons of purchasing, he or she definitely puts ‘VR porn’ in the plus column.
I doubt that those companies actively support porn on their devices, if they not even try to obstruct it all together. How easy or complicated is it to enjoy VR porn on Rift, Sony VR or the Vive?
Watching VR porn on the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift is as easy as watching VR porn on a smartphone, if not easier. In fact, BaDoinkVR even offers its own desktop player to subscribers. Watching VR Porn on PlayStation VR is also possible with BaDoinkVR, though, at this point, the process is a bit more convoluted.
Will the consumers readily pay for VR content?
They will and do. BaDoinkVR is already profitable, and consumers, at large, see VR content as something separate from ‘normal’ porn. At this point, scarcity certainly has a hand in that. But it’s also an acknowledgement of the quality. Video sharing sites, which are the reason that consumers haven’t expected to pay for porn for nearly a decade now, are lowest-common-denominator channels of distribution. They’re McDonalds and Taco Bell. VR porn, by comparison, is sitting down at the best steakhouse in town.
How will the market for VR porn develop within the next year?
It will continue to grow, the result of more devices hitting the marketplace, the result of more people experiencing virtual reality for the first time. Once you’ve tried it, VR porn leaves a lasting impression. The challenge for everyone in the VR space is convincing people to put those goggles on for the first time. Once he or she does, there’s no going back. They never look at porn the same way again.
In a general sense, and speaking specifically to the US audience, where sex ed is non-existent, the realization was always there. Where it is taught in the schools, it’s not taught with much rigor. And at home, it’s one of the most uncomfortable subjects for parents to cover with their kids. Simultaneously, you realize—and there’s no shortage of punditry on the subject—that too many adults are getting their sexual ‘education’ by watching porn. That’s a problem, of course. Pornography is not educational, and pornographers are not educators. It is entertainment, and we are entertainers. That said, the idea of using VR to help adults improve their sex lives came to me well over a year ago. I was attending a VR/AR MeetUp here in Barcelona. Among the startups in attendance was a company offering an exposure therapy program for sufferers of acrophobia. You donned a pair of VR goggles and were instantly transported to a freight elevator, outside a skyscraper a mile high. The experience was convincingly real. So, that got me thinking about what we could do. There are no shortage of sexual hang-ups out there. We thought, with the right guidance—we hired a proper sex therapist to help with the script and direction—we could produce a program to help people become better, more attentive lovers.
Our goal with BaDoinkVR has been the same since we first launched in July 2015: to be the premier VR porn brand, and to do so by leveraging our tech acumen—manifest in the native, mobile and desktop VR apps we’ve developed—and our production skills and experience.
We are informed that Badoink VR has added several new features that were requested by users, can you tell us about them?
New features and refinements are constantly being introduced, thanks in large part to the ongoing dialog between us and the consumer. It’s a conversation that takes place inside the BaDoinkVR Feedback Forum. This engagement has inspired improvements in everything from frame rates to scaling and beyond. We see all of this feedback as crucial to the evolution, not only of BaDoinkVR, not only of VR porn, but of VR tech in its entirety.
Published in Maxim August 12, 2016, and big thanks to journalist Zeynep Yenisey for the coverage. This article in Maxim focuses on VR porn and our virtual sexology product. He expresses support for the effort rather than skepticism. We hope to deliver, Yenisey, and thanks for the support.
I attended a VR MeetUp in Barcelona about a year ago. A startup was in attendance demonstrating its new solution, an exposure therapy program meant to help people overcome their fear of heights. As a result, I began thinking about VR’s applications for addressing other phobias, specifically sexual hangups.
This article is the result of an interview held in Vienna, Austria at Pioneers.io in May 2016. Michael Leitner, the author of the piece, and I sat down in an opulent room at Hofburg Imperial Palace and talked, at length, about the company, BaDoinkVR, VR porn, and the larger VR space. Really happy with how this article came out, and only wish my German language skills were better. Alas, while living in Vienna, my German was feeble, and six years later, it’s only atrophied from the weak point.
Among the many topics discussed, we talked about the position of porn being the killer VR app at this point. I made the point that while this in reality is fine for the time being, with VR still being so new, so nascent, it will be a problem if porn is still the torchbearer two or three years from now.
What a thrill. I subscribed to the print edition for years, going back to my high school days in the 1980s. And now, here we are, published in Rolling Stone August 5, 2016. This trumps the quote I got in another article in RS about Palmer Luckey since this is a complete profile focused on VR porn and virtual sexology. Quotes from Hernando Chavez are prominent, as are quotes from my content manager Dinorah.
Writer John Gaudiosi ruminates on porn past, its penchant for creating unrealistic expectations about sex. He doesn’t say he agrees, but it is certainly arguably true. He walks the reader through the process of the creation, and direction of the virtual sexology production–as he was on set for it when we were all gathered in LA for the shoot. He references Masters & Johnson. Flattering stuff, to be mentioned in the same breath with such legendary, and influential figures. Anyway a great piece, and a true honor to be featured in Rolling Stone.
Published in The Guardian August 1, 2016, this article penned by Olivia Solon discusses BaDoinkVR’s efforts to throw its hat in the sex therapy ring. And while it’s disappointing to see the program described as ‘for men,’ one can’t argue that point too much. It is from the male POV, and while things like Kegel exercises and breathing techniques, target both sexes, it’s hard to argue that this program is equally ‘for women.’ The subject matter is handled evenly, and it’s a good read. August Ames is quoted; Hernando Chaves as well. And there are some nice points made about why VR sex therapy is going to trump non-VR sex therapy. With VR, you can achieve exposure therapy. 2D not so much.