Many, many months ago a gentleman approached me via Email, curious as to whether BaDoinkVR was interested in sponsoring an event in Europe. We talked about VR porn, our progress, my hopes. When I alluded to our formidable traffic volume, and subscriber base, the guy immediately changed the subject, away from sponsorship, and into data commercialization. The sale of data, more
Data commercialization is not something my company ever considered. It was never on our radar. Perhaps, a blind spot. More likely, the fact that we haven’t, historically, had user data that would be of any commercial value played a key role.
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.
My interview with Trusted Reviews bears more fruit. My opinion: Gear VR is the best headset right now for the everyman. This, we all hope, rapidly changes, and becomes any of a number of headsets developed by non-Samsung manufacturers in support of the Google Daydream platform.
But I do love my Gear VR. So practical. On my desk at home, I have a Gear VR and an Oculus Rift, and even with the latter in striking distance, I frequently reach for the Gear VR first. It’s just easy. Now, ‘easy’, I admit, may be the result of my being a Mac guy at this point, and the Oculus is connected to a Windows machine. I’m not comfortable on Windows anymore, having made the switch in 2010, and Windows 10 feels so foreign when you’re expecting Windows XP.
VR porn requires a headset. This applies to all virtual reality media; you need a virtual reality headset to experience virtual reality immersion. There are two types of virtual reality headsets for watching VR porn.
Smartphone-Driven: Smartphone-driven headsets rely on your smartphone’s display and processor. Your phone snaps or drops into the headset, and via a pair of duo-convex lenses in the headset, you are able to enjoy a very satisfying, immersive VR porn experience.
Proprietary Display: Virtual reality headsets dispense with the smartphone. They contain a dedicated display and processor, and connect directly to your desktop computer. As a general rule, these are more expensive than smartphone-driven headsets, largely because when you buy one, you’re also paying for the most expensive component, which is the display screen and processor.
Virtual Reality Porn is shot differently from normal porn. Different cameras are used. The lighting is different. And your favorite porn stars must perform differently. For example, in a normal porn movie, there are numerous takes. The directors shoot, cut, then shoot from a different angle. This occurs several times over the course of a non VR porn shoot. With VR porn, it’s more or less all done in one take, so the performers must rehearse the scene in advance of recording.
Virtual Reality Porn is the future of porn. Normal porn videos are great. There’s no denying that. VR porn, however, takes it to a whole other level. When done properly (BaDoinkVR.com is a good example), VR porn makes you feel like you’re in the scene. You aren’t observing. You’re part of it. In this YouTube video, you can watch young couples in San Francisco watch VR Porn for the first time. It’s funny, and gives one an accurate representation of how amazing it is.
Virtual Reality Porn is not free. Thanks to the Internet, we’ve all gotten used to free music, free porn, free movies, free everything. VR Porn, because it is so new, so scarce, and such a high-quality form of entertainment, is not available on tube sites like PornHub.com or TnAFlix.com. It is, however, affordable. Sites like BaDoinkVR.com offer dozens of exclusive virtual reality porn videos. Most are 15 to 20 minutes in length, and new videos are added to the site every week.
There are 360° VR porn videos and 180° VR porn videos. A 360° Virtual Reality porn movie is going to have multiple sex scenes occurring simultaneously. It’s sex in the round, even behind you. 180° porn offers half the viewing area. Turn your head and look left. Turn your head and look right. However, since the video is 180°, there’s nothing going on behind you. Of course, many will say that for VR porn, all you need is 180°, and there is some truth to that statement. The simple fact is that most of us watch porn lying down, and if you’re watching porn lying down, it doesn’t really matter what’s happening behind you.
Virtual Reality Porn must be experienced. This poses a real problem for marketers and advertisers, because it is impossible to describe virtual reality porn accurately without experiencing it. You can say, “It puts you in the scene.” You can say, “This is as close as you can get to fucking your favorite porn star.” But those are just words, and words are not enough to convey just how unique, different and hot VR porn is. The CEO of BaDoinkVR explains it in this article in The Hustle: http://thehustle.co/virtual-reality-is-the-new-billion-dollar-frontier-of-pornIf cheeseburgers were your favorite food, how would you explain them to someone who has never had a cheeseburger? Somebody who’s never experienced that combination of meat, cheese and bread? Somebody who’s never even tasted meat or cheese or bread?
VR Porn is more than just video. Sex toy makers are stepping up to the virtual reality porn table. Called teledildonics, these products provide a haptic response to the experience of watching virtual reality porn. If you’ve used a console gaming system in the last 10 years, you’re familiar with the concept of haptic response. It’s that shaking of the controller you feel when the car you’re driving rubs up against a wall, or when your character begins taking damage. With teledildonics, it’s a different kind of rubbing, but conceptually the same. Companies like Kiiroo create devices that enclose and attach to your genitals, and integrate with VR porn videos produced by companies like BaDoinkVR. Kiiroo’s Onyx (for men) and Pearl (for women) can be seen here (link to kiiroo).
You don’t need to be a tech geek to enjoy VR porn. There is no denying that the technology behind VR is complex and deep. If you’ve read anything about the new format, it’s easy to be intimidated. Buzzwords like parallax, interpupillary distance, magnetometer are bandied about, and that’s just scraping the surface. Fortunately, you don’t need to know what any of that means to start watching VR porn movies. Here’s a video that shows you how simple the process is.
It’s only the beginning. The future is unwritten, and virtual reality is an entirely new entertainment platform. In the months and years ahead enormous advances will be made. You’ll be able to don a headset and walk across a virtual room. Displays will go from 4k to 16k, where 16k matches the resolution of human site. You’ll see headsets replaced by glasses, and then replaced again by contact lenses. As for where VR porn will go, the same goes. The frontier is vast and evocative, filled with possibility, driven by creativity and limited only by our capacity to dream and imagine.
Journalist DJ Pangburn covered one of our porn shoots recently, and this article was Published October 22, 2015 in Vice Motherboard. He begins the article with a humorous quote from The Big Lebowski, where character Jackie–accurately, it turns out–predicts porn’s virtual reality future. It’s an incredibly rich and humorous article.
He describes the atmosphere in the palatial Hollywood Hills estate, introduces readers to Nick Melillo and myself, touches on the elaborate camera technology that’s part and parcel for a VR porn scene, and acknowledges my habitual ‘chain-vaping.’
Pangburn acknowledges Melillo’s storied past, as the man behind the look and shooting style that made Brazzers a household name.
He takes the reader on a great, in-depth tour of the VR porn production experience, and a get a few great quotes in there, too.