Whatever happened to porn leading the tech industry?

It used to be the case that the Porn industry was always the leader in technology, experimenting and illustrating how new technologies could be used to deliver content to consumers. Hell, even in 2010, CNN was willing to say that the adult entertainment industry was leading the technology world.

Sadly, that is no longer true.

Dan Rowinski, writing last October, says that Porn is no longer a leading indicator of web innovation and unfortunately, we have to agree with him. After attending Xbiz, Internext and AVN this year, we’ve had to shake our heads a bit because so much of our industry appears to be looking back rather than seeing the bright consumer future.

At MiKandi, we’re fortunate not to be plagued by dogma.  We’re embracing the new consumer world and seeing fantastic results because of it. Hundreds of thousands of consumers every month use our App Market for Adults despite the fact that we’ve spent ZERO on marketing.

These adults are downloading millions of amazing apps, viewing pictures and videos and interacting with one another in meaningful ways, all on their mobile devices. We’re learning more every day about the future of content and consumers.

There are some basic principles that lead to success

The adult industry deserves to thrive and grow. We have no illusions that this is something we can do all alone. We’d like to help lead the Adult industry back to its rightful place as the aggressive, innovative leader of technology development for consumers. Here are the things we find to be most important in designing content delivery for today’s consumer:

  1. Content needs to be mobile, because consumers are.
  2. Connectivity is the rule, not the exception.
  3. Being trustworthy and providing great service matters more than making a quick buck.
  4. Personalization is key.

Let’s dig into each of those principles a bit.

#1: Content needs to be mobile, because consumers are.

Consumers are consuming content on mobile devices in staggering numbers. Whether it’s finding out that the average mobile consumer spends 94 minutes a day in their apps or that mobile video already comprises 50% of operators’ data bandwidth, it’s obvious that consumers are spending their time with the brands and content they love on their mobile devices.

We have heard far too many studios discounting the mobile viewing experience, essentially saying, “Who would want to watch porn on such a small screen?”. We can tell you definitively that the answer is: “A lot of people, with more EVERY day”. People don’t care nearly so much about the size of the screen as the availability of great content and the ever present nature of their mobile device.

It’s worth noting that there was a time when people thought that porn on a PC or laptop was a silly idea in comparison to having it on your TV. Those people were wrong then too.

#2: Connectivity is the rule, not the exception.

Consumers expect to be able to connect to the network wherever they are, whenever they’d like to. Wireless providers continue to expand their offerings and to increase the speeds they’re delivering to consumers, leading us to an environment where everyone is constantly online.

Designing services for this highly connected world means that media can be more interactive, delivering experiences that are far more immersive for the consumer. Whether it’s the emergence of live chat services or the explosive growth in mobile dating, when people are always connected they expect more real-time services and we all need to embrace this phenomenon.

#3: Being trustworthy and providing great service matters more than making a quick buck.

Today’s digital consumer expects to be able to vent about problems, tell their friends about services that are shady and to inspire grassroots boycotts of companies that are bad actors. Having a short-term view of your customer relationships in order to boost your bottom line might have worked when consumers weren’t as easily connected to one another and the average person had no public recourse, but it was still wrong.

These days, acting in this way is a recipe for disaster. Unfortunately, we see a too many companies in the industry failing to recognize that they need to reform their business practices and treat consumers with RESPECT. Tricking someone into buying a subscription might make you more money but it’s not going to win a loyal customer who sings your praises.

At MiKandi, we’ve embraced this connected environment and place a huge emphasis on our customer service by:

  • Making it extraordinarily easy to contact us and responding to EVERY customer request (yes, every one)
  • Refunding any consumer who has an issue with an app or our service. We’d rather be like Nordstrom than the 99 Cent store
  • Creating a virtual currency system, allowing us to handle refunds elegantly for the publisher AND the consumer

The results have been unambiguous: our chargeback rates are the absolute lowest in the industry (just ask our billing providers) and 1 in 5 purchasers purchases again with us, unprompted. That’s what happens when you develop a relationship with your customers predicated on mutual trust and respect and deliver excellent service.

#4: Personalization is key

A lot of companies are requiring usernames and IDs in order to know who a customer is, primarily for their own benefit. This is step one in developing a customer relationship, but it’s not the most important piece of this relationship development. When you ask a person to tell you about themselves, today they expect that they’re going to get a better service as a result.

From providing content recommendations to understanding their usage activity and delivering personalized messages, there’s a lot today’s content provider can do to personalize experiences. People these days have no time for generic results and services. Personalization is about delivering an awesome experience.


Onward to customer innovation

So, those are the principles we’re finding fundamental to innovating in this dynamic consumer world. We’re fortunate to be building something that consumers absolutely love and want to use every day. We hope that we can work with a lot of other companies in the adult industry in order to deliver amazing customer experiences on a daily basis.

Which brings us to the final point we’d like to make – it’s something we talked a bit about in Vegas. In the media business, the classic debate is whether Content or Distribution is the King.

The reality is this: Customer Experience is the King.

Nothing matters more than delivering extraordinary experiences.

At MiKandi, we’re proud to be part of an industry that is focused on meeting the desires of consumers, regardless of public perception. In many ways, our industry is the ultimate democratic endeavor: satisfying the needs of people, not public personas.

We hope to be a part of the industry’s future and we’re intensely focused on what people want. Our principles are derived from what people are doing, not what we want them to do. We hope that our peers will join us in innovating once again, delivering stellar content, connections and experiences that lead us into the next wave of technology breakthroughs.

Join us in a bright mobile future :-)


Sneak Peak: Honeycomb & Google Maps in 3D

Google’s mobile chief, Andy Rubin demo-ed a prototype Motorola tablet at the Dive Into Mobile Conference yesterday.  This sweet lookin’ moto-tabs runs on a dual-core Nvidia chip and the newest version of Android, Honeycomb.  Besides showing off some cool UI features, Rubin walked through the 3D version of the Google Maps App, which is said to be a forthcoming update for Android devices.  Some of the awesome-ness this upgrade will bring include: 3D Buildings, Compass Orientation, and Offline Capabilities.

For additional screenshots of this Motorola tablet, check out this article by TechCrunch.

[via ZDNet via All Things Digital]

Android becomes more kick-ass with Aro

Local Paul Allen funded Startup Kiha has just launched their new software Aro, which currently runs on the Android OS.  Aro makes it easier and faster to take action on your phone. Check out the interview to learn more.  Android FTW.

Video editing in real time: Diminished Reality

Researchers at Technical University Ilmenau in Germany have developed video editing software that lets you “erase” video objects in real time.  The opposite of Augmented Reality, which adds virtual computer generated sounds or graphics to your direct or indirect live view of a real environment (read: it shows you shit that ain’t there), Diminished Reality removes objects from live full motion video (read: hides the shit you don’t want to see).

How it works

The object that you want to erase needs to be detected and selected by drawing circling it.  Then at the rate of 40ms per frame, the above software reduces the resolution of the selected object, removes it, and fills the empty space with the analyzed immediate surroundings of the object.  For graphic designers, think lasso, clone stamp, and smudge.

Being the perv-geeks that we are, we couldn’t help but wonder how to apply this load of awesomeness to adult content.  The folks at Pink Visual have already pioneered Augmented Reality in porn, so we’re curious to see if anyone in the adult industry will be interested in taking DR on.