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Porn Industry Ready To Drop Flash 249

Posted by Soulskill
from the stiff-competition-for-market-penetration dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Here's an interesting new angle to the ongoing Flash-HTML5 debate. Digital Playground, one of the major adult film studios, said it would drop Flash today if all browsers were HTML5-ready (*cough*, IE8, *cough*). The company's founder said, 'Flash brings everything to a crawl and has an impact on battery life. With HTML5, there is no reason to show our content in Flash.' Digital Playground also indicated that it does not expect 3-D to gain mass acceptance any time soon."
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Porn Industry Ready To Drop Flash

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  • Obligatory (Score:4, Funny)

    by JustinRLynn (831164) on Monday June 28, 2010 @04:31PM (#32722018)
    [insert stupid flash pun]
  • by wjh31 (1372867) on Monday June 28, 2010 @04:32PM (#32722036) Homepage
    untill you can get all workplaces to upgrade their browsers, the porn industry is never gonna drop flash
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by yincrash (854885)
      the porn industry caters to workplace browsers?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 28, 2010 @04:35PM (#32722074)

      Think you have it the other way around ... porn has driven tech industry and consumer electronics for a very long time. No other vendor has the power that PORN does , if porn industry unilaterally decided tomorrow to adopt HTML5 .. in very short time, every computer on the planet would have upgraded their browser. period.

       

      • Re: (Score:2, Redundant)

        Where the porn industry leads, the rest of the tech world follows.
        It happened with the internet, it happened with DVD players, it will happen with 3DTV, and it might happen with Flash.
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by bonch (38532)

          The porn industry hasn't led anyone (VHS didn't win because of the porn industry). If anything, they've always been behind the curve. Porn is about quick, ultra-cheap production--sometimes with nothing more than handheld camcorders. The industry held off on going HD for years because it was more expensive and required more work to make the performers not look horrifying.

      • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

        Think you have it the other way around ... porn has driven tech industry and consumer electronics for a very long time. No other vendor has the power that PORN does , if porn industry unilaterally decided tomorrow to adopt HTML5 .. in very short time, every computer on the planet would have upgraded their browser. period.

        Except Apple phones, of course. No porn allowed, or Flash. It doesn't matter if people want these things or not.

        • by hondo77 (324058)
          If you honestly think there is no porn available for iPhones, you really need to stop using the computer in your parents' living room
          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            If the latest iphone feature (that the phone works only if you hold it in right hand) is any proof, whatever porn you can watch on your iphone is useless for majority. Just because you are lefthanded does not mean everybody else is too.
      • Oh for crying out loud, you guys need to have your sarcasm meters checked. He was obviously joking.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by bonch (38532)

        This is a popular meme with no factual basis. It began with the claim that the porn industry chose VHS over Betamax and that's why Betamax lost, but that is not the reason it lost. People just like to repeat this because it sounds ironic and amusing to explain to people that some taboo industry is the driver of technology, but the truth is that there is no historical basis to make that claim.

        • by Lucidus (681639) on Monday June 28, 2010 @06:48PM (#32723934)
          People have somehow become confused about this over the past three decades. The correct and verifiable historical claim is that porn drove rapid initial adoption of video recorders in general. Porn has been a major factor in the introduction and acceptance of a number of technologies.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Anonymous Coward

          No factual basis? The porn industry did not choose VHS. Sony banned porn on Betamax. This is a known fact, and they almost did the same thing with Blu-Ray. If you think porn was not a factor, then obviously you never saw those walled off areas in just about every video rental store in the 1980s. Rows apon rows of VHS porn, and not a beta tape in sight!

          Sony on Betamax:
          http://www.mediacollege.com/video/format/compare/betamax-vhs.html

          Sony on Blu-ray:
          http://www.eetimes.com/news/latest/showArticle.jhtml?articleI

      • by JWSmythe (446288)

        I totally agree with most of that. Yes, porn does drive adoption of new technology.

        As for users though, it's hard to get them to upgrade for arbitrary reasons. Microsoft and Firefox both pushing out updates has been very helpful in recent years. Way back, it was difficult to keep the users happy, with a variety of browsers that had to be supported, sometimes dating back to ancient versions.

        It'll be a little while before HTML5 is adopted by everyone, because it

    • No, you'd have to get all workplaces to block google images first.

  • Apple (Score:5, Interesting)

    by hazmat2k (911198) on Monday June 28, 2010 @04:33PM (#32722048)
    READ: "We realise the iPhone market is massive and we want iPr0n portable"
    • by fermion (181285)
      It is also a matter of vendor lockin. With Flash one is at the mercy of what Adobe feels like this week. For advertisers there is little risk. Macromedia and Adobe have consistently shown that Flash is there fore advertisers, and no changes will made to jeopardize that relationship. The fact that MS was able to get silverlight on Netflix shows that Flash as a container for videos is all that it is cracked up to be. In particular the DRM is not at all secure.

      Of course it does not seem that the p0rn in

    • by vlad30 (44644)

      READ: "We realise the iPhone market is massive and we want iPr0n portable"

      Add and the iPad makes that portable device useful without squinting

    • "We realise the iPhone market is massive and we want iPr0n portable"

      Spot on. Start-ups are already advertising for girls for iPhone 4 FaceTime video sex chat services [yahoo.com]. From a Craigslist ad:

      iPhone 4 FaceTime Video Sex Line Chat - free iPhone 4 (NYC/LI) Date: 2010-06-27, 12:06PM EDT Reply to: job-dqsyj-1813619670@craigslist.org

      Starting an online interactive pornography firm where woman will use the iphone 4 to video chat with potential customers on a pay as you go basis. Hours are flexible, pay will incr

  • by Pyrus.mg (1152215) on Monday June 28, 2010 @04:33PM (#32722052)
    So Flash really is almost dead and 3D really is a just gimmick. Now this doesn't seem like such a shitty Monday.
    • Whatever you think, I agree with the Pr0n vendors; flash is ancient technology, and as long as you have to wear special gear to view 3D, it ain't ready yet.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MBGMorden (803437)

        Regardless of what people may think of them, for some reason the porn industry does seem to have a much better picture of technology and how to utilize it versus the more mainstream market.

        Back in the days of VHS and such naturally there are good examples, but even in modern times it's clear. The porn industry was doing online distribution of content long before mainstream media was. The few porn companies that were utilizing DRM early on seem to have dropped the idea. Heck it seems like the de-facto met

        • The few porn companies that were utilizing DRM early on seem to have dropped the idea.

          This may be due to the fact that porn has a *very* short half-life. People are always seeking to see more, different porn. Not the same peices repeatedly, so there is no point in spending money to lock it up. The money is much better invested in producing more porn.

        • by bonch (38532)

          Back in the days of VHS and such naturally there are good examples

          The myth that VHS won because of the porn industry has no historical basis. The porn industry is not some huge driver of technology. It's just an ironic claim people like to make because it's amusing.

        • by harl (84412)

          Porn dropped DRM because a DVD-CCA license costs $10,000 when I checked a few years ago.

      • by Locke2005 (849178) on Monday June 28, 2010 @06:30PM (#32723770)
        On the plus side, the 3D glasses do keep you from getting stuff in your eyes!
  • No 3d? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Talderas (1212466) on Monday June 28, 2010 @04:34PM (#32722062)

    Why would 3D gain faster acceptance? Who wouldn't want tits to basically jump out of your screen and nearly hit you in the face?

  • by Superken7 (893292) on Monday June 28, 2010 @04:37PM (#32722124) Journal

    Yeah, everyone seems to be ready to drop flash for video playback, but what codec will their videos be encoded with?
    As it stands today:
    - Use h264 and all firefox users will be left off
    - use theora and almost everyone will be left off
    - use VP8 and most browsers won't support it
    - use X and Y browser will not support it.

    use flash and... 99% browsers will support it. Having said that, I hate flash, but I guess the world is not ready for HTML5 just yet, mainly because of the codecs issue.

    Lets hope VP8 is a success! :-)

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You realize that HTML5 allows a content provider to provide his videos in *all* formats at the same time? The browser decides which one it picks and plays.
      Granted. This consumes more space on the server and costs time for encoding. But should it really be that much of a problem?

      • by Superken7 (893292)

        Sure, that is a theoretically valid solution, but in practice its probably not possible for most cases. I even doubt google would agree to have more than 1 or 2 codecs for all its videos... but its great HTML5 allows that :)

        Even if you could afford having all videos in different codecs IMHO that would be an ugly solution.

        • by Ant P. (974313)

          Google already serves most of its videos in the old Flash codec + H.264 + WebM, probably more for mobile too and that's without even counting the multi-resolution encodes for 1080/720p videos.

    • by ahankinson (1249646) on Monday June 28, 2010 @05:09PM (#32722608)
      Easy. Use h264, with a fallback to using a Flash player to play the same MP4 file. Firefox will be the only browser that will fall back to Flash, while all the others will present theirs in h264.
      • by Superken7 (893292)

        Yep. Exactly :)
        But that means they are not "dropping" flash, they are just not making it the default player. But it sure is a big step forward. Next step is bye-bye flash :)

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Randle_Revar (229304)

        WebM+Flash fallback

    • by jonbryce (703250) on Monday June 28, 2010 @05:23PM (#32722846) Homepage

      You will be able to install a third party theora codec for ie. You will presumably be able to get a firefox plugin for h.264. Chrome supports both. Opera users can install a different browser.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by spitzak (4019)

        Both IE and Firefox are pulling asshole arrogant moves by not making their HTML5 video playback call a library where codecs can be added. In both cases it is an attempt to promote their codec of choice by making alternatives impossible.

        Although we are used to Microsoft doing this crap, it is annoying to see the supposedly "open" Firefox do it too.

    • by Tumbleweed (3706) *

      Methinks you haven't been reading the news lately - VP8 (i.e. WebM) will be supported by most browsers.

    • by owlnation (858981)

      Use h264 and all firefox users will be left off

      use flash and... 99% browsers will support it.

      A lot of porn producers do use h264. Frankly, not supporting h264 is going to be the end of Firefox, not a reason not to use h264.

      The thing most people developing with Flash seem to forget though, is that while 99% of browsers may theoretically support it... it runs like shit on any Mac, it's not available on iPad or iPhone, many business users don't install it in work systems, and many people deliberately don'

      • by cjb658 (1235986)

        A lot of porn producers do use h264. Frankly, not supporting h264 is going to be the end of Firefox, not a reason not to use h264.

        The thing most people developing with Flash seem to forget though, is that while 99% of browsers may theoretically support it... it runs like shit on any Mac, it's not available on iPad or iPhone, many business users don't install it in work systems, and many people deliberately don't install it on their home systems.

        So Flash will be the end of Apple!

    • by cjb658 (1235986)

      A lot of web sites used to use WMV instead of flash. It gave me 4% CPU usage and even worked on Linux.

      Flash almost always gives me close to 100% CPU usage.

      If it aint broke, don't fix it.

  • by cognoscentus (1628459) on Monday June 28, 2010 @04:38PM (#32722130)
    What the batteries are for...?
  • by tomcode (261182) on Monday June 28, 2010 @04:44PM (#32722224)

    That the iPad would revolutionize online porn as we know it.

    Also, it wipes clean with a damp cloth.

  • One guy says... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sweatyboatman (457800) <sweatyboatman AT hotmail DOT com> on Monday June 28, 2010 @04:47PM (#32722266) Homepage Journal

    Wikipedia says this company is pretty influential in the porn industry, though not the only player. I suppose it's sort-of interesting to hear what he thinks. Though there's no real meat to the article, it's almost like an anti-Flash astro-turf.

    I think all content producers are generally looking forward to moving to HTML5 video. That doesn't mean that Flash is dead. It could potentially mean that in 3-5 years Flash will not be used for video. Right now, Flash is pretty much the only option. In a year or two, HTML5 video will be a reasonable competitor. After that, well I guess it's up to Adobe to figure out ways of making their product more appealing than the baseline (which is HTML5). But they have a dominant position now, support of major players, and seem committed to improving their product. It's hard to discount them on the word of one porn producer.

    • Re:One guy says... (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Rockoon (1252108) on Monday June 28, 2010 @05:20PM (#32722776)

      I think all content producers are generally looking forward to moving to HTML5 video.

      Without DRM, most content producers arent even entertaining the thought.

    • by Archon-X (264195)

      As a head's up - they're not influential, and they probably wrote their own Wikipedia entry.
      Digital Playground may be a large content producer, but it's for the DVD (read: offline) markets.

      They don't have a single website that's even a blip upon the radar.
      Having invested their all in what is a rapidly dying industry (Porn DVDs) - I wouldn't take a thing this guy says with a grain of salt.

    • by CAIMLAS (41445)

      It doesn't matter what the content providers package their video in.

      If it's not the default format for youporn.com, then nobody cares.

    • by owlnation (858981)

      I think all content producers are generally looking forward to moving to HTML5 video. That doesn't mean that Flash is dead. It could potentially mean that in 3-5 years Flash will not be used for video.

      That very much does mean Flash is dead. Other than video, there's no sane reason to use Flash as a developer.

      Sure, you can use it for laying out websites -- but since a good, and growing, percentage of potential site visitors either can't use the site at all, or can only do so at risk of crashing their br

  • Fortunately (Score:5, Funny)

    by spamuell (1208984) on Monday June 28, 2010 @04:53PM (#32722338)
    the two minutes of battery life that my N900 can run flash for have so far proven sufficient.
  • ..Nonsense (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Archon-X (264195) on Monday June 28, 2010 @04:56PM (#32722388)

    Seriously, this is just nonsese.

    1. Digital Playground are nobodies in the online porn market. Yes, they produce a lot of content, but it's all for the DVD market.
    2. One studio saying something isn't representative of an entire industry. It's actually called a 'Press Release'
    3. The vast majority of adult sites allow you to pick your poison in terms of video. Streaming is normally done via flash [.x/h264 mp4 being the norm], and allowing downloads in AVI/DivX/WMV/MPEG formats.
    4. What porn does provide is a solid statistics cross-section of internet users - and from the figures I see, flash usage is 96% or higher. The vast majority of purchasing users aren't high tech, they don't use noscript, they don't think flash is evil.
    5. Porn (and any commercial) sites aim to make their sites as available to as many people as possible. Forcing users to upgrade browsers, attempting to change browsing habits, etc, is only going to lower the bottom line.

  • Who says HTML5 video is any easier on batteries than Flash? If anybody has done a study on that, I haven't seen it.
    • by bcmm (768152)

      Who says HTML5 video is any easier on batteries than Flash? If anybody has done a study on that, I haven't seen it.

      Flash will not use a GPU's hardware video acceleration, will not use it's decoding acceleration (on cards that have that), and perhaps more importantly, also does not use the dedicated DSPs which an increasing number of mobile devices use to avoid doing video decoding on the CPU. Instead, everything is one on the CPU, which is typically much less efficient at those tasks.

      As a real-world ex

      • In short, studies are not needed here - it is common sense that flash will kill the battery on many devices, and it can also be easily observed.

        mistaking what one thinks is "common sense" for a benchmark is what separates amateurs from professionals.

      • by hitmark (640295)

        err, not true with flash 10.1, tho i dont think the n900 will get a update.

  • I work in the Adult Industry on a Content Management System [elevatedx.com] for paysites. We just demonstrated support for the iPad at the recent Xbiz show using H.264.

    It's fine and dandy that one company has proclaimed that they'd get rid of Flash given the chance. That doesn't say much for the rest of the industry, now, does it?

    I know there are a lot of Open Source Advocates on Slashdot, but let's face it: Paysite operators are in the game to maximize their profits. This is done by:

    a) Reaching as many people and devices as possible.
    b) Decreasing bandwidth
    c) Minimizing disk space and hardware.

    They don't care about the war between WebM and H.264. They only care about having their sites work with as many people as possible. In this case, HTML5 brings iPad support to their sites.

    The problem here ultimately is that the codec war with HTML5 is still undecided. If you're going to use HTML5's video element exclusively, you're going to end up being FORCED to use two formats of video for all the browsers - one for WebM and one for H.264.

    That's all well and good, but multiple formats takes up space. Granted a lot of pay sites offer multiple download options like WMV, DivX and Quicktime, but when it comes to watching a full movie in a browser, only one format is needed here - H.264. Let the browsers that support H.264 use the video tag. Let browsers that don't use a Flash player backup.

    This still won't change after WebM has support within Flash because of the iPhone and iPad. As the mobile arena heats up, WebM will start to appear lacking without Apple support. Even though the iPhone is a small percentage of the total phone market, it says a lot when the CEO has one and wants his websites to work on it.

    So in sum - flash isn't going anywhere. It will remain as a backup player for 5 years mininum.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      How much porn is served these days in GIF format?

      Flash could disappear in a couple of months with a couple of browser rollouts.

  • Remember the porn industry backed HD-DVD, too.
  • People still pay for porn on the Internet? There's basically an unlimited quantity available for free. You can spend 15 minutes on a free porn site with downthemall and collect more porn than my buddies and I had combined when we were teenagers 20 years ago. And it will be waaaaaaaaaaaaay dirtier.
    • by blair1q (305137)

      We're all paying for porn on the Internet.

      Between the costs for regulatory compliance and extra bandwidth, and the demand pressure from porn-addicted users, the price of an average internet connection is bound to be higher than if porn just wasn't an issue.

      And then there's the cost of dealing with the malware served up by porn sites. It might live somewhere else, but there aren't many "somewhere else's" that could proliferate like porn does and still get enough traffic to make them a proper honeypot.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Locke2005 (849178)
      Sure, but then all your porn is in 30-second out takes, which leaves little room for clever dialog, plot development, character development, or artistic camera work!

      Wait... am I the only one that actually watches these movies all the way to the end?
    • You can spend 15 minutes on a free porn site with downthemall and collect more porn than my buddies and I had combined when we were teenagers 20 years ago. And it will be waaaaaaaaaaaaay dirtier.

      Just watch, this is going to represent a MAJOR generation gap between those of us who were teenages prior to the Internet, and those who grow up afterwards.

      When we were kids, porn was a very timid and meager thing, maybe a playboy or if your dad was really a perve, a Hustler here and there. We had no video, no hardcore sex, no girl/girl, no monkeys, donkeys, etc.

      Now kids get instantaneous access to unlimited depths of perversion at a whim. This is going to have VERY real results in sexual expression

    • by bjourne (1034822)
      That's like saying there are billions of pages on the internet so why would anyone need Google? They serve basically the same funciton.
  • Flash is hawking an advantage in DRM etc, whereas HTML5 might allow greater ripping of content.

    Unfortunately, this argument is falling away for Adobe as it can be noted porn sites push downloadable and unrestricted content as it turns out consumers want that.

    The one area where streaming is an advantage is for those that wish to skip to certain points in the film and are not interested in the rest of the film.Flash and HTML5 allows easy seeking obviously.
  • If that wasn't a death kiss, nothing is. As i predicted, in 2 years flash will be a distant ( bad ) memory. And its Adobe's own damned fault really, they had the market, but threw it away by being pig headed.

  • I guess I'm just dense. But I still don't understand the big deal about HTML5 and how it makes Flash go away. Yes, I hate Flash, but HTML 5 doesn't magically play video all by itself. You still have to have some sort of player/codec installed on your computer. Everyone doesn't have h264, theora or whatever. Almost everyone has Flash. I fail to understand how HTML 5 changes this.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ledow (319597)

      Because instead of having a Turing-capable, complete independent virtual machine sitting in a browser just to look at a few pictures, I can just have a "link" to a bog-standard video that plays just like the old "embed" tags for a standardised video codec that people can include direct in the browser. Instead of the security nightmare of constant Flash updates, forced toolbar installations, breakage of old Flash sites just because you upgrade to new Flash versions, integration with webcams, microphones and

  • Porn Industry Ready To Drop Trou and Flash?

  • iPad ready porn (Score:3, Informative)

    by gig (78408) on Monday June 28, 2010 @05:42PM (#32723092)

    Many porn sites are already iPad ready. I've heard (cough cough) that the experience is much better.

    http://youporn.com/ [youporn.com]

    http://pornhub.com/ [pornhub.com]

    http://extremetube.com/ [extremetube.com]

    A big part of this is how cheap and easy it is to do HTML5+H.264 video. The video editing tools all have H.264 encoders, including batch encoding at least in Final Cut, and a standalone encoder is $29. Of course any HTML coder can learn the video tag. Flash is unreasonably complicated by comparison and also $599 a seat.

    • by Archon-X (264195)

      Or, more to the point, all of these sites were already using mp4/h264 as their format of choice, and for flash, using out of the box players (jw player / flow player)
      It comes down to increasing / maintaining hold on of their audience.

      It has nothing to do with cost - especially for for YouPorn and the ilk.
      They run *nix based encoding systems built of ffmpeg / mplayer - did you really think they were sitting down cutting each clip in FinalCut?

      The entire YP staff base is about 6 guys in total, with about 3 bei

    • Re:iPad ready porn (Score:4, Informative)

      by nyctopterus (717502) on Monday June 28, 2010 @06:58PM (#32724046) Homepage

      Looking at it the other way, Flash SWFs import the very same h.264 file that you can serve raw. Adding h.264 support is as easy as serving up the file you already had without the Flash wrapper. It's a no-brainer.

  • FTA: "Flash brings everything to a crawl and has an impact on battery life"

    I've heard similar sentiments in other quasi-news tech articles, but haven't all actual test done so far found that HTML5 is about the same as flash on battery life and cpu usage? where does the idea that it will be better in these areas than flash come from? I think HTML5 has merit as a standard, but whats with the marketing spin?

    • On a Mac, at least, CPU usage is about double for the same H.264 file played through Flash as through a tag. This is especially noticeable on machine like mine, where 720p videos play just fine in a browser, but 720p Flash videos stutter.

  • No Reason?! How about....

    Adaptive bitrate streaming?

    Sparse Caching in CDNs?

    Standardization of Codecs - knowing that the browser that's play the video will have the codec you need?

    Being able to fast-forward (think: Moneyshot) without downloading the whole video first?

    HTML5 is a very weak video solution.

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