For those of you interested in the business of porn, Ms. Naughty has posted an interesting ten-year retrospective. I haven’t been around quite that long, but I found myself nodding along. Especially when I got to these paragraphs about the relatively recent past:
In 2006 I remember going on to one of the adult webmaster boards and asking my peers: “What do you think of this Youtube thing? Should I embed this code on my page or will it break my site?” At the time I didn’t see that Youtube would become the future of porn. I don’t think many of us did. Yet it felt like only days before flash video was everywhere and porn tube sites sprung up like mushrooms, many offering full-length movies for free. Of course, it hasn’t ended well.
2007 and 2008 saw the Russians and the cheaters move into traditional webmastering in a big way, much to the frustration of the rest of us. A huge influx of new webmasters began catering to a dwindling number of surfers. Free porn was everywhere. The gold rush was over.
In the last two years I’ve seen an awful lot of old-timers sell up and leave the business, frustrated at constantly having to fight cheaters, liars, content thieves and scammers, seeing major companies beginning to rely on dodgy billing practices to keep themselves in profit. In the meantime the audience has come to expect that porn should always be free.
I think YouTube marked my first big “old fart” moment. You know, the one where you suddenly stop being the guy who falls in love with every new innovation, and instead you hear yourself saying for the first time “This newfangled thing will never catch on, it’s a buncha crap!”
And then you shake your cane at the clouds.
Four years later, I still hate YouTube (and embedded streaming Flash videos in general). They’re disgustingly linear, they create link rot when hosted by unreliable third parties (as they usually are), and until fairly recently, they didn’t generally look very good. But mostly I hate them because they turned me into this: