NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Acid Rain owner Mitchell Spinelli is shifting his business from DVD to the internet.
"I made this decision about eight months ago, when my numbers started to plummet rapidly," Spinelli told AVN. "When I first started Acid Rain like four years ago, I was doing 3,000, 4,000 [pieces] ... it was decent. Then about a year ago, the numbers just hit the wall. I said, this is just bullshit! I'm working very hard, I'm using the top girls, whether it be Rita Faltoyano or Melissa Lauren or the new girls now, Maya Gates ... stores don't care. There's too much stuff. And if you're not Coke or Pepsi, you don't have a shot at the top shelf. You're gonna be delegated to the filler stuff."
And so he formed a new internet brand, the yet-to-launch GrindhousePorn.com, and partnered with XXXContentDirect.com to venture out into the new frontier of the direct-to-VoD market.
"I came to the realization that's just the way it is," Spinelli explained. "It's changing, and you try to embrace the change. It's more specific niche-orientated subject matter, versus the gonzo, 'cause I think gonzo has gone as far as it could go, at least for guys like me. Even though my Acid Rain shoots cost up to $16, $20, $30 thousand, it's Coke and Pepsi with the retailers — if it's not Coke or Pepsi, they don't want to know you. But on the internet, I think it's more of a wide-open field; Fresca and Diet Rite cola have a chance. It's content orientated, and they're not really driven by the label, so to speak. If your partners have a good relationship with webmasters, and it fits the right niche that they're looking for, it could say Joe Schmoe, and people will buy it if it's good. That's what I think."
Spinelli’s new business plan is to build websites with 20 scenes centering on one niche or theme — Broke Down Bitches and Interracial Cougar Hunt are two examples. Once the site has made its run, after about two to three months, he intends to break those 20 scenes up into four movies of five scenes each, and release them in streaming and DVD form.
"It used to go the other way, that out-the-door was your bread and butter, and the other stuff was the gravy," Spinelli said, "but it's kind of turned around now. I'm an old timer, so I've seen it from the loops to the theaters to the video. But kids today in their teens, they really don't buy music, they download it; they're gonna get all their information from the internet. So I think that you're gonna have to shoot with the internet in mind. And whatever happens in terms of DVD sales, it's purely gravy. My dad [Anthony Spinelli] used to make big, big features, but when video was born, it put the theaters out of business almost overnight. It's just changing again, is all."