HOLLYWOOD, Calif.—ABC's Nightline tonight will deal with a problem that's haunted the adult industry since before the beginning of the Digital Age: How to make money from adult content when so much similar material is available free on the internet?
The Nightline segment is titled, "Why Would You Ever Pay for Porn?" and features interviews with several adult producers that were conducted during the Adult Entertainment Expo in Las Vegas in January.
"It's a huge issue and it's something that the entire industry is looking at—and not only the adult industry, but I think Hollywood is looking at it as well," said Vivid's Steve Hirsch. "We have two full-time people—all they do is they're out there on the internet looking for pirated content. When they find it, we send a notice, it comes down, then it goes back up, and it's sort of a cat-and-mouse game."
Hirsch also voiced some thoughts about how to attract advertisers to pages containing free content, but noted, "as of now, the economics don't make sense."
The ABC crew also got some quotes from AVN publisher Paul Fishbein.
"The adult business was the first to figure out how to make money on the internet, before anybody else. What they didn't foresee was the availability of all this free content," Fishbein said. "You can only do so much policing and so much ... trying to prevent your material from being pirated and shared. The very technology that helped bring the business into the 21st century is also killing it. It's hard to sell to certain consumers when they can get stuff for free."
See the full story tonight on Nightline, 11:35 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on your local ABC affiliate.