Porn to Decide HD-DVD, Blu-Ray Battle Say Industry Pundits

Posted Wed May 3, 2006 at 10:39 AM PDT by
Porn [Resolution Comparison Grid] The coming high-def DVD format war will mirror the '80s VHS vs. Beta battle -- with adult entertainment once again the deciding factor, say leading industry pundits.

At least according to a new story at PC World that surveyed key industry players, who say the highly lucrative adult industry is already plotting its strategy in the next-gen format wars. The porn home entertainment business currently accounts for over $57 billion in annual revenue -- outstripping the earning power of all the major Hollywood studios combined -- and its support will be crucial in crowning high-def DVD's ultimate victor.

"If you look at the VHS vs. Beta standards, you see the much higher-quality standard dying because of [the porn industry's support of VHS]," Ron Wagner, director of IT operations at E! Entertainment Television, told PC World. "The mass volume of tapes in the porn market at the time went out on VHS."

Wagner also says that buzz indicates "several major players in the porn industry [are] going the Blu-Ray route," which already has some analysts declaring the Sony-backed format the high-def victor before it is even due to launch next month.

According to Paul O'Donovan, an analyst with leading industry firm Gartner, even though initially the Blu-ray format will be more expensive and will come after HD-DVD, the "sheer support it is receiving from the entertainment industry, including pornography studios, will catapult it to victory within eighteen months to five years."

However, not everyone in the industry is convinced even the huge profits of porn can totally tip the scales in favor one high-def DVD format, with many other factors coming into play, primarily that of ultimate consumer preference.

"I love the whole pornography concept simply because porn is still the number one money-making use of the Internet," said Steve Duplessie, founder of research firm Enterprise Strategy Group. "But I don't believe the porn industry will drive the format. Like any other industry, it will [only] supply what the consumer wants."
Tags: Industry Forecasts (all tags)