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BY JEAN-CLAUDE ARTONNE Virtual Camming Adult VR Is Growing as a Profitable Market Industry Interest, Sales Data Prove an Upward Trajectory A recent series of events is showing adult industry insiders that all the buzz about virtual reality is on a trajectory similar to the rise of mobile and unlikely to flame out the way 3D TV or cryptocurrency have over the years. When trying to identify trends that are real and those that are pure fantasy, it is essential to look for verifiable evidence and to discard all of the alternative facts marketers try to use in building hype. Fortunately, the January tradeshows and sales data from leading VR manu- facturers are now lighting up the runway for adult VR to prove itself very quickly. Alec Helmy, the president and pub- lisher of XBIZ, told me that through the years he’s seen all kinds of innovations come and go, but the interest in VR at the recent XBIZ Show was definitely real. “Over the past couple of years, we’ve seen more and more businesses enter the VR space and quite a few are already touting strong conversion rates, which is assuring from a viability standpoint,” he told me. “After years of stagnation within adult in terms of inno- vation, it’s very refreshing to see cutting- edge companies like Terpon break into adult with groundbreaking offerings.” T erpon was everywhere at the January events, and that huge splash was not an accident. We understand we have to solve the chicken and the egg issue for many in the market. On the one hand, there are content Jean-Claude Artonne, CEO and founder of Terpon, started his career as an officer and pilot in the French Air Force. He has since accumulated 30 years of successful entrepreneurial experience in a variety of sectors including optics, consumer electronics, biotech, aeronautics and real estate. A holder of worldwide patents, in 2001 Artonne first launched a Canadian company with roots from the south of France, leading the market in ultra-wide field-of-view optics and in 360-degree panoramic imaging. He then created a Swiss company that won the Best Innovation & Design Award at Las Vegas’ CES 2012 show for the first 360-degree digital camera of its kind. Now, as the CEO of Terpon, his goal is to provide the highest quality VR webcams for models, studios and fans. 10 XBIZ WORLD MARCH 2017 “ The January tradeshows and sales data from leading VR manufacturers are now lighting up the runway for VR porn to prove itself very quickly. sold since it launched in April. Leading market analysts at Superda- taResearch.com predicted 2.9B in VR gear sales by the end of 2016 and they expect that number to nearly triple in 2017. N ote that they are tracking the hardware sales only, not the ancillary sales expected for content creators in the mix. For that we would have to look to people with a more direct connection to the pulse of adult VR consumers. “Here is what I can tell you about YanksVR.com,” said Todd Spaits of Yanks. “We saw a major spike in sales after Christmas as consumers un- wrapped their VR gear from under the tree. What’s much more significant is that we have raised the join price of YanksVR three times since we launched creators waiting for a mass market audience to it, and have not seen any drag on our conver- arrive, and on the other hand there is a mass sion ratios. market audience waiting for publishers to create “When is the last time someone told you they compelling content to make their purchase of are raising their price on porn and customers VR gear viable. don’t mind because they are willing to pay more Our presence at the January shows wasn’t for the highest quality experience they can get. just throwing money around, I learned long ago Is VR a panacea for all the things that have that in the technology sector you must go big caused the adult entertainment industry to cool or go home. off in recent years, no I don’t think it is, but is VR a game-changing technological advance- hat’s why we have decided to focus ment that will move the market forward the way on the VR webcam sector first. In the mobile did in the past few years … absolutely.” coming months, Terpon content part- “I was skeptical of all the VR hype when I ners will create millions of hours of first started hearing it, but the facts are becom- live interactive sex shows that dem- ing undeniable at this point, even if you try to onstrate the true power of virtual reality when overlook them,” said Stan of ModelCentro.com it comes to creating an intimate and engaging “In this business lots of people claim they have experience that recorded material can’t match. the new best thing, even when what they have is What’s important for business owners to un- just a lot of hot air. derstand, is that when they say it won’t happen, “However, at the recent January shows, Mod- the truth is … it’s already happening!” elCentro teamed up with Terpon and we gave Fortune magazine in its October issue reported that 140,000 HTC Vive headsets were SEE ARTONNE, PAGE 101 T