San Diego-based adult entertainment provider Naughty America, which operates a network of 30+ porn websites, is now accepting bitcoin payments.
CEO and founder Andreas Hronopoulos spoke to CoinDesk about the announcement in an exclusive interview:
"We're in the business of helping people find their fantasies, and our goal is to turn that fantasy into reality without reality getting in the way. For us, that applies to how you're going to process the transactions as well as the type of content that is available."
Hronopoulos indicated that Naughty America first considered accepting bitcoin after discovering the virtual currency through mainstream news coverage of Silk Road. Six months later, Naughty America will follow the Sacramento Kings and The D and Golden Gate hotel-casinos in Las Vegas to leverage the services of Georgia-based payment processor BitPay.
Websites available on Naughty America's network include: My Friend's Hot Mom, Naughty Office, and My First Sex Teacher – among others.
Bitcoin will go 'industry-wide'
The announcement provides further evidence that Porn.com's decision to embrace alternative currency has marked a turning point in the adult entertainment industry. Hronopoulos is particularly bullish about bitcoin's potential to impact the adult entertainment market, as well as how quickly the industry will adopt bitcoin payments en masse.
"I think it will become an industry-wide thing within 45 to 60 days ... Naughty America really sets the bar for where the industry heads."
Of course, this migration could depend on whether Naughty America is able to replicate Porn.com's initial earnings. Porn.com's sales increased by 50% in the immediate aftermath of its bitcoin payment services going live, before settling to a 25% uptick over previous levels.
These strong numbers have resonated in an industry that is increasingly fighting against low- or no-cost competitors empowered by innovations that have allowed amateurs to more easily produce professional-grade pictures and videos.
The bitcoin community may very well have more income to offer the adult industry. Past research suggests that 96% of bitcoin users are male, and that nearly half (46%) are not in a committed relationship.
Opening up the International Market
Hronopoulos indicates that the chief benefit of bitcoin – in addition to fighting piracy – is its promise as an international draw, one that can allow the privacy and anonymity for global purchasers to become more comfortable buying adult entertainment.
"In the United States, we can use our credit card to go out and buy things. We can go use our credit card to buy adult entertainment, we can use our checking account, all these different things. But, when it comes to these other countries ... look at India, they don't even have kissing in the movies. So, think about those countries and what could happen with something like bitcoin."
Naughty America offers three-day and seven-day trial subscriptions, as well as monthly and yearly memberships. Alternatively, users can pay for content by credit or debit card, check or phone.
On the cutting edge
This isn't the first time that Naughty America has ventured into uncharted tech territory before its peers.
On 14th January, Naughty America revealed plans to invest in Ultra HD (UHD) content, the proposed successor to the current HD format that offers four times the pixel resolution. The company indicated it would charge UHD users $35 a month for 24 days of premium content, compared to the $25 fee for regular content.
Similarly, another recent Naughty America incentive saw the company begin accepting unwanted Best Buy, Macy's, Target and Walmart gift cards for subscription purchases. The incentive aimed to help Naughty America cash in on the estimated $2 billion in gift cards that go unused each year.
When asked about the potential concerns about accepting the sometimes volatile currency, Hronopoulos remained confident: "If there are any problems in the beginning, we expect that they'll work out: the ball is rolling."