As the global economy forces all kinds of industries to fold, downsize and restructure, the porn industry holds firm.
Well, at least that’s what Australian-based Atlas Media Services is hoping. They are distributing the AdultPrepaid card, which grants its holder anonymous access to the newly-founded pornography Web site adultprepaid.com.au.
The cards are priced by the amount of access they grant. For $10, you get 5 days of access to the Web site. For $15 you get 10 days, and for $25 you get a full month. The cards can only be used at the Web site and they don’t have an expiration date. Also, each card has its own user name and password hidden under a latex (no, for real) scratch panel.
Currently, the cards are distributed in about 750 retail outlets in Australia, including service stations, music stores and even restaurants. The ability to buy the cards at the same place you get gas offers anonymity, which the company is marketing as a major advantage. Because no credit card details have to be given up to use the Web site, the buyer doesn’t have to worry about spam, monthly billing or even the issuer finding out where he or she spends money.
“[The launch of adultprepaid.com.au] eliminates the need to disclose your identity, personal details or credit card details and protects you from the viruses, spam and unwanted pop-ups associated with ‘free’ XXX-rated sites,” says Simon Gronow, sales director for Atlas Media Services, according to SmartHouse magazine.
More than $2 billion was spent on Web-based adult entertainment in Australia in 2006, according to statistics from AdultPrepaid, which I’m afraid to verify on my work computer. The company also claims Australia as a country has the fifth highest spending on adult entertainment per capita.
“It’s a well documented fact, although they won’t usually admit it, Aussie men and Aussie women love their online porn, but what they don’t love are the risks currently associated with accessing it,” Gronow says.
So I guess the company is filling a niche market. But will anyone go for it? Atlas Media Services says retailers can expect to receive a 65 percent markup on the cards, and the distributors will get about a 100 percent to 300 percent return on their investment. Also, the company says they are also planning a “huge monthly advertising campaign” that includes magazine and billboard advertising, as well as a competition to attend the Playboy Mansion with the Australian porn star Kiki Vidis.
Is this where the prepaid market is going? Should we expect to see these cards float over to United States? I think it’s too soon to tell. But as long as porn remains a hot-selling item, people will look to capitalize on it any way they can.
See related: Prepaid card use rising as credit cards stutter