Pornography is spreading from the computer desktop to the small screen, to pocket-sized devices such as cell phones, digital music players and portable game players. The phenomenon is being pushed not only by alternative-culture sites such as SuicideGirls but also by old-school skin traders such as Playboy and Penthouse, which this month announced plans to offer movies for viewing on portable devices.
Almost as quickly, a trade group for wireless carriers has responded with a plan for a rating system, such as that used in the movie industry, to help prevent children from seeing inappropriate content on mobile phones. The Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association last week announced that member companies agreeing to the voluntary proposal will not offer adult-oriented images or programming until such a system is in place, though they cannot prevent users from getting material on the Internet.
The sale of adult entertainment for downloading to cell phones is a multimillion-dollar business in Europe already. In Japan, adult film companies released movies to watch on Sony’s PlayStation Portable within weeks of the gadget’s debut this spring. Though still in its infancy in the United States, the portable porn market could grow to nearly $200 million a year here by 2009, according to Boston-based research firm Yankee Group.
More: Last week, gay porn media company Lucas Entertainment Inc. announced that it would make trailers for its films available on the iPod. Founder Michael Lucas, who also acts in his company’s films, said he sees the move as a key way to build awareness of his company’s products in the gay community — a community that especially prizes the iPod.
“I don’t have one gay friend who would not have the new iPod,” he said. “Gay people are much more technologically advanced.”
All this is just one more reminder that the peddlers of pornography will take advantage of every new technology — as will its users.