MyPorn.com Rethinks Free Porn, Offers Refreshing Concept

May 2, 2016 3:25 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — The recent widely anticipated rollout of MyPorn.com is creating quite a stir among members of the online adult industry and poised to change consumer’s perceptions about the value of free — and premium — porn.

In full disclosure, I have to confess that I don’t use tube sites. Lingering piracy issues and industry politics notwithstanding, most tubes tend to be cluttered with non-relevant advertising, offer inconsistent video quality and lack the type of refined user experience that I prefer as a discriminating consumer.

With that said, however, despite their shortcomings, tubes have drawn the masses away from traditional paysites by offering similar content but without the bill.

Enter MyPorn.com, a next-generation site that combines free tube-style entertainment with a paysite-level user experience, which raises the bar for other sites that follow.

This author recently reviewed an invite-only version of the site and discovered a lot to like about it.

Upon entering, users are presented with an overlay allowing them to select their preferred movie type: gay, straight or transgender (a setting that can be later changed at any time). A pristine responsive interface presents a variety of clips, along with basics such as up- and down-voting, plus niceties such as the ability to bookmark or ignore videos — actions that refine the presentation of suggested content.

A sidebar features menu selections such as new releases, most commented, most liked and more, while other menu items allow for further customization and content surfacing. Flexible thumbnail options and a variety of other features, such as forums, model-based browsing, easy navigation and search tools all add to the user experience.

Overall, MyPorn.com shows the result of experience and thoughtfulness, and indeed a lot of love obviously went into creating and massaging it. This is no canned tube site script with a hacked front-end template.

Watching a video was pleasant via the streamlined ad-free interface and a great user experience where even the mild marketing for the studio on the player page, and unobtrusive one-click upsell button to unlock the second half of the video for $3 did not detract from the viewing pleasure — unlike the mess of big flashing ads and other distracting advertisements adjacent to many tube site video players.

While the free half of the video was only 480p, it was of good quality, even when full screen on my HD display. The paid version of the clip is at a full 1080p. This quality is more consistent across the platform than other sites offer because all videos are re-encoded, providing another feature for picky users that care about the details.

From the tagging and micro-tagging that allows for easy discovery and related video surfacing, to the little peace sign near the word “free” on the player page, the site benefits from many design synergies that make the whole greater than its parts. It is, in a word, ultra-polished. I love that.

But these are the things that every visitor sees. For a behind-the-scenes look at the website, XBIZ asked founder Rick Moby for his exclusive insider’s insights and here’s what he had to say:

XBIZ: The internet is awash in free porn. What inspired you to create MyPorn.com?

MOBY: Two things… the freedom to buy nice things and the industry’s dependence on ads.

Adult found a business model that consumers relished in the form of tube sites. They were the Napster years of porn you could say. A user no longer needed to pay money to stream adult movies that were often the same movies they were formerly paying to access. Ever since then, the industry has vilified tube inventors and those who followed a similar path. Unfortunately, no viable alternatives have broken through, and eventually, businesses had to adapt, pivot or die.

A challenge and opportunity of this kind is pretty rare. The challenges are obvious. On the positive, we have the luxury of a blank canvas and modern technology that we can refine with before scaling up, and I’m fortunate to have a strong team with experience, so the minimum ingredients were in place. We simply needed a well-thought-out recipe.

The concepts took more than a year to refine, and it continues to evolve today. If the formula works, the possibilities are potentially endless. Change is long overdue, and this is a huge leap in the right direction.

XBIZ: MyPorn.com takes a highly sophisticated approach to free porn. Do you have a target audience?

MOBY: You nailed home the answer for me. “Sophisticated” might describe our target, or more specifically a consumer who often pays for the added conveniences in life. A true enthusiast would take full advantage of our platform, versus a more casual user who’s not as picky about quality, features or details. We’ll never compete with tubes in terms of quantity, and that’s part of the charm.

XBIZ: The one-click full scene unlock is a standout feature. Why haven’t we seen more of this?

MOBY: The VOD platform has been around for a while and to that extent, we’re modernizing the purchase process. We call our concept “first half free,” but in terms of comparing it to anything else, it’s Spotify with a side of iTunes. Only in porn does this really make sense.

We believe giving away the first half of every porn scene is a fair sweet spot. It’s enough to delight users, it’s simple to understand, and it leaves users wanting more. Not to mention, it’s 100 percent transparent.

XBIZ: The business model is intriguing, with a few twists on revenue sharing (with producers) and a unique approach to the amount of material being featured. What are the benefits for studios partnering with MyPorn.com?

MOBY: Our unique sales funnel makes a lot more sense than current options, and if successful, it will result in both quality referral traffic and improved per-scene share of revenue for content providers. For sites that already post content on the tubes, this is a no brainer. 

Exposing the first half of movies is arguably on par, or better, than a 10-minute condensed version that includes the cum shot. Everything else is a net positive and the additional revenue sharing is an obvious plus. Websites are also branded far more effectively, with quality branding not only visible on each profile page and movie page, but also below each thumb on the movie homepage.

We carry a long history of record-breaking conversion rates to paysites (from TheBestPorn.com), so make no mistake, pushing membership sales will be a major focus as well.

Finally, we also do all of the work from start to finish. We create all necessary profiles, download the movies directly from each site’s members area, and then handle all updates along with tags and titles. We believe in providing a high level of service in everything we do.

XBIZ: Big data is a hot topic in mainstream, and its thumbprint is obvious on this site. How does data acquisition and analysis play into content discovery on MyPorn.com?

MOBY: Data analysis is extremely valuable, and we’ve had a lot of content partners inquire about this topic. Much respect to Pornhub — their insights are truly valuable and they’ve leveraged it perfectly. We know there will be our own opportunity to leverage the data down the road, but at this early stage all we can ensure is that we’re properly storing all the necessary information to parse through later.

With regards to content discovery, we’re confident that we’ll figure out a clever way to suggest content that’s fun and unique during this first year.

XBIZ: The video timeline scrubbing is impressive as is the consistency of picture quality. How challenging is it to offer such a refined user experience?

MOBY: It ranges from not too difficult to “what were we thinking?!”  The timeline scrubbing and video quality required tooling but is now fully automated.

Our MyThumbs feature is an example of going the extra mile. This feature allows users to select their preferred thumbnail — from undressing to type of cum shot — and then display the matching videos with that corresponding thumbnail. No site we know of offers this convenience, especially on a free site. This feature adds about 30 minutes of labor per scene, which adds up quick!

XBIZ: What can you tell us about the video streaming technologies powering MyPorn.com and how compatible is the site with mobile devices and alternative platforms such as smart TVs and game consoles?

MOBY: We use a modern cloud encoding platform to output near lossless quality in very highly efficient 720p, 480p and 320p streams. Our HTML5 player is pretty standard and works great with modern web browsers.

Someday we’d love to create applications outside of the web like many others have done. I’m a big Roku guy, and it would be perfection to stream MP conveniently on a big flat screen.

XBIZ: Top tube sites were clearly in your sights when you benchmarked MyPorn.com. Were there other sources of inspiration?

MOBY: Beeg.com deserves a lot of inspirational credit. This was my go-to when I needed to “get away” from reality for a few minutes. I’m a no nonsense kind of consumer, and that’s exactly what they offer. MyPorn is a grand extension of this approach.

XBIZ: With two decades of industry experience, you’ve formed definite views of what constitutes a premium adult site. How have your past experiences shaped MyPorn.com?

MOBY: That’s a great question. With our previous endeavor, we deep throated useful knowledge like nobody’s business. At TheBestPorn.com, our job was to be intensely critical of every major paysite on earth. This quickly become repetitive, but it proved very insightful. With respect to my reviewers, they did all the dirty work.

Beyond that, my passion for clean product design played a large role. I’m always looking to streamline and re-streamline that thing I already streamlined before. It’s exactly why you can do so much from our homepage. So much time is saved clicking from video to video, and it’s a lot more enjoyable.

XBIZ: What are your near and long-term goals for MyPorn.com?

MOBY: Near term, to prove the concept and build excitement. Long term, to listen to our audience and reward my team. 

While it is still too early to determine the level of success that MyPorn will attain, it is clearly a new idea on an old concept, which throws the gauntlet down for competitors and provides an up-market option for quality-conscious consumers.

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