Network operators are beginning to think about how to gain money from a recently grown interest in mobile porn among U.S. mobile users. All over the world adult content is becoming more popular as content providers find a market for everything from titillating mobile games to hardcore videos. PhoneErotica.com is a leading adult WAP site in the U.S. market which has more than 12 million visitors every month.
However the U.S. market turned to be tough to penetrate for content providers. Carriers don't allow third parties to bill through their monthly statements for the naughty stuff and are unwilling to place on deck anything more indecent than a Maxim photo shoot. Mobile porn must use consumers' credit cards but there are still doubts that there is a potential market for wireless porn. Google Inc.'s mobile-search revealed that wireless users were twice more likely to search for porn on their phones than any other type of content.
PhoneBox Entertainment began charging American users $18 per month for access. "It seems the price itself is not much of an issue for people who want to pay, it's the technology and the interface. They're not used to paying on the phone with a credit card," Prieur said.
Prieur believes operators eventually will partner with providers of less graphic material, granting carrier billing privileges to content companies that deal risque offerings such as bikini-clad models and video clips no edgier than some cable TV shows.
As Prieur said while carriers aren't likely to embrace adults-only content anytime soon, they're also not going to alienate porn-loving consumers by shutting down third-party offerings that some may see as offensive.