Porn Paves the Way in The Business of Tech

Apple and Google have been wading into 'cloud computing' for internet video—but porn is jumping in head first.

Movies are a multibillion dollar business—and the big media conglomerates that run the industry are among the best known and best capitalized corporations on Wall Street. So a sea change in the world of video is something worth giving some thought.

Cloud computing may sound like an overblown marketing buzzword, but the idea is pretty straightforward: Storage—and the complexity of computing—takes place on the Internet rather than on the computer sitting on your desk.

What does all this mean for the future of movies and video? The basic idea is the metaphor of 'digital shelves'—where your information can be stored on the internet. This has a few advantages. First, you can access information you own from any device. That means you can watch a movie you've bought on your cell phone—or your iPad or plasma television.

(You also don't have to worry about backing up your data. Or locating it on a cluttered hard drive.)

With all these potential advantages, the porn industry is set to become an industry test lab, as Greg Sandoval writes.

An adult movie company—delightfully called Pink Visual—is pioneering the systems and processes required to make digital shelving a mainstream business model. As Sandoval points out, this shouldn't surprise us: The adult industry has been crucial in developing many of the technologies that have led to huge corporate windfalls—such as VHS and Blu-ray disc.

The concept of 'virtualization' of property is a fascinating idea—and a very different business model than the one we typically think about for most of our business transaction.

(In fact, Sandoval may have landed on the right metaphor to describe virtualization in a previous article: Your bank's ATM.)

Like most disruptive technologies, virtualization will likely result in winners and losers. Perhaps big winners—and equally big losers.

Will Wall Street have the savvy to pick the right horse?

Perhaps I should log on to Pink Visual and do some research of my own…


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