Geekwire Q&A About Virtual Reality Porn (unedited)

Could you briefly summarize the current state of porn in VR?

Virtual reality porn, at its best, illustrates the potential and promise of virtual reality better than any other medium. If you compare a good virtual reality porn video to any 2D porn video, the difference is so stark, so immediate, so undeniable, so visceral you can’t help but surrender to the possibility that this new tech is the next big mass communication medium. “VR is interesting, but everything seems like a demo.” One hears that sentiment a lot, and it’s not off the mark. Most VR programs hitting the market today are simply demos. With porn, that is not the case. VR porn videos are complete, entertainment products—with beginnings, middles, and ends. They don’t exist to demonstrate how interesting the tech is, they exist to entertain a mass audience through use of the tech.

Google Cardboard on Katie Morgan
Katie Morgan loves BaDoinkVR

Where do you think it’s headed?

At this point, no matter how impressive VR porn, or VR is, it’s impossible not to acknowledge that we are still in a stage of development that must be classified as “1.0”. The camera tech is feeble and limited. The platforms, even at the high end, are clunky affairs, and offer a less than stellar user experience. And let’s face it, no matter how sophisticated the HMD, you can’t help feeling like you’re wearing ski goggles in the living room. So as the gear improves, the quality of the productions we create will continue to improve. You’ll see better lighting, less scaling, fewer seams—in the case of 360° stereoscopic 3D—and improved 3D audio. Inevitably, the consumer will demand more than the 1st person POV style that is pervasive. Right now, that’s all they want, and we get taken to task by them whenever we deviate and produce videos with a more voyeuristic points of view. Naturally, you’ll see more standardization, and more interactivity. Volumetric experiences will become more commonplace, as well.

What will AR porn look like? 

It will look like, and more importantly, feel like, there is a porn star in your apartment. Consider anything you’ve seen using HoloLens: instead of a shark swimming, in mid-air, around your kitchen table, you’ll see someone like August Ames seated there. I’m certain that’s a few years off. Producing content like that is expensive, and requires a much bigger market than exists today, but it will happen.

Is BaDoinkVR a member-based content creator?

Indeed it is. It’s a subscription-based website, a walled garden. Subscribers have the option of streaming or downloading the videos, and each video is optimized for every VR device and platform.

If so, what kind of month-over-month member growth are you seeing? If not, could you provide some comparable metrics?

Without revealing too much, I can tell you that revenues, at this point, are in excess of $500,000 per-month, and active subscribers have increased by approximately 1000% over the past year.

 Do you think the adult industry will drive VR and AR innovation?

 I’ve long asserted that adult is driving VR. It will continue to do so until the market grows to a point that the gaming industry sees enough ROI that they’re compelled to begin developing truly rich games. At present, the best VR game can’t compete with the best non-VR game (there is no VR game that’s as good as Grand Theft Auto). That will change, and when it does, gaming will overtake porn as the VR driver. If VR is in its infancy, AR is embryonic. Porn will leverage AR for sure, but it won’t be the driver.

 What kind of adult films are most popular in VR? 

Not to come across as frivolous, but it depends on how one defines ‘kind’ and ‘popular’. There is an audience for every kind of porn, as we all know. Some kinds appeal to small audiences, others to much broader audiences. With VR porn, it’s much the same way. Overwhelmingly, consumers are most excited about 1st person POV productions. And I’d say, on a case-by-case basis, the most popular productions are those where the performer really knows how to make love to the camera. It’s all about the eye contact with VR, making the connection, and that starts with the eyes.

What do you think are the biggest problems or concerns with the adult VR industry?

For me, the biggest concern is that the VR platforms will continue to pretend publicly that we don’t exist. Porn is no longer taboo. It’s discussed freely, constantly, and at-length in the media. To consumers aged 18-34, adult entertainment is no more incendiary than soccer. However, the tech community is still very much holding us at arm’s length. We’ve a lot to contribute to the discussion, and to the tech. We have a working business model. We are in direct communication, have an ongoing dialog, with a massive base of users—from newbies to evangelists to hobbyists to early adopters—that is willing to pay for virtual reality experiences. No other industry can say that. As a company, we’ve produced more than 100 3D stereoscopic VR videos since launch in July, 2015. That means we’ve more experience creating virtual reality content than nearly anyone on the planet. Yet, nobody in silicon valley wants to give us a seat at the table.

 

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