Cordcutting

Cable Companies’ Solution to the Internet: Guess We’re Gonna Have to Sell Better Porn?

picture 132 Cable Companies Solution to the Internet: Guess Were Gonna Have to Sell Better Porn?It is a truth universally acknowledged that a cable company once in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a new revenue stream. In fact, cable and satellite companies have lost such a sizable chunk of the self-pleasuring market that they’re finally admitting, out loud, that they have a pornography problem.

The Wall Street Journal reports that recent weak pay-per-view and video-on-demand earnings reports from the likes of Time Warner Cable and DirecTV are prompting the companies to disclose that, when it was good, porn was a highly-profitable business for them. The paper says that cable companies used to have their own dirty little secret: they once commanded margins of over 90 percent on renting “generally interchangeable” (i.e. ho-hum) porn titles.

And charged more because they could. On Time Warner Cable in New York City, adult movies still cost $9.98 to rent, while your standard Hollywood fare is only $4.99. Online, porn is cheaper to create and consume, with little demand for better quality, even as the clicks roll in. The average time spent on adult websites during each visit has increased 26 percent since 2008, up to eight minutes and 35 seconds and ten of the top 11 adult sites have watched their share of overall internet traffic grow fourfold, according to Experian Hitwise.

Cable’s strategy for competing, according to Vivid Entertainment co-chairman and co-owner Bill Asher, is to offer better prices and more exclusive content, like celebrity sex tapes. Celebrity sex tapes? Mr. Asher knows you can get those for free on the internet, right?

Follow Nitasha Tiku on Twitter or via RSS. ntiku@observer.com

Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    Average time spend on adult websites up 26% = as shock value decreases the porn is less effective.

  2. Anonymous says:

    And seriously…zero comments?  Am I not allowed to take vacation?