That's A Lot Of Tiny Naked People... Or Is It?
By Mike Masnick, Sat Feb 12 02:00:00 EET 2005

While some have questioned whether or not mobile porn is really positioned to take off, some are claiming it now accounts for 40% of all mobile content. The evidence seems shaky, however.


While mobile operators are still trying to figure out the right balance in providing mobile porn and protecting the innocence of children, others aren't waiting around and are pushing forward with mobile porn efforts, on the assumption that the industry is going to be huge.

In fact, one outfit is already claiming that it's getting "1 million hits" to its mobile porn portal and that 40% of all "mobile content sold" is now erotic in nature. That certainly sounds good until you start poking through the details -- in which case both elements that the company is bragging about don't seem all that impressive. First, on reaching 1 million hits, it doesn't take long to realize that hits is a nearly useless metric that went out of fashion with 14.4k modems. Hits are meaningless, because on a page that has multiple images, each image counts as a hit. Unique visitors is the metric people look for these days. The only companies that promote "hits" are ones who don't have that many real visitors.

The second point is even more problematic. Not only is there no citation to back up the 40% claim, it's "demonstrably untrue" according to MocoNews (unless, of course, "you consider a very wide array of things to be arousing").

So what does this mean for mobile porn? Very little, unfortunately, other than the idea that providers of mobile porn are likely to hype the space up as much as providers of online porn have in the past. While many assume that mobile porn is a slam dunk in terms of mobile content, it's still not clear where the real market is. Obviously, some people will pay to see images of naked people. That's been proven time and time again, but is the mobile experience offer any real advantage over other options? Both the video rental business and some of the Internet were pushed forward due to the adult industry -- but in both cases it was mostly because it let people access or view this content in the privacy of their own home. When adult content goes mobile, it loses this benefit (and also loses the large screen). History suggests that it's never wise to underestimate the desire of some people to pay to look at other people naked, but it's still not clear that the mobile porn market is really going to be quite as large as some are predicting.