When Even Sailing Fails to Scale
I hate to say it, but this piece entitled “Tough times in the porn industry” in L.A. Times was the most interesting article that I read today.
The so-called democratization of all professions, lowering of barriers to entry, etc. via technology is pure bullshit. It has only created an environment where the disparity in earnings between industry superstars and everyone else is even greater. Others (e.g., Taleb) have already talked about this characteristic of so-called “scalable” professions. Thus, what technology giveth (by way of example, to the historically non-scalable trade of prostitution), technology taketh away.
And consequently there’s less pie to be divided as well.
The adult entertainment business, which was previously in the vanguard of home video, satellite and cable television and digital distribution, now finds itself leading the rest of the entertainment industry in losses from them.
“The death of the DVD business has been more accelerated in the adult business than mainstream,” said Bill Asher, co-chairman of adult industry giant Vivid Entertainment, who estimates that his company’s revenue is down more than 20% this year.
“We always said that once the Internet took off, we’d be OK,” he added. “It never crossed our minds that we’d be competing with people who just give it away for free.”
In the old days, a pretty girl couldn’t stop for a pack of smokes at a 7-11 in North Hollywood without being offered $700 by a total stranger to be in a film with someone’s dog.
Not that it needs or deserves to be saved, but the only way to save pornography (and all other forms of copyright protected expression) is to destroy the internet and all of its functional equivalents.
Artists of the future are going to require a syndicate of some sort. A powerful organized religion will do.
More than ever, we need quality control and toll booths. And someone to vigorously disinfect the chrome poles.