The influx of new digital technology is drastically changing how users seek entertainment – and how they pay for it, a trend which shows no sign of slowing.
Over the past 15 years the internet has increased ease of paying for entertainment services and allowed for diversification of subscriptions catering to users’ needs. In 2015, however, a further shift is underway in customer habits, one in which Bitcoin is already carving a niche.
Each to their own
While previously it was the norm that professional TV and online entertainment services were paid for in bulk via a subscription, new research suggests the ability to pick and choose not only individual services but individual sessions, paying only for the exact material required, is what the consumer will be demanding in future.
A survey by Irdeto released to coincide with the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas last January found that young adults in the US and UK are expecting to use internet-based services for the majority of their entertainment over the next five years. Changing are habits of using pay TV bundles; now, it is ‘a la carte’ internet streaming using smart devices which is becoming the standard.
According to Irdeto, 27% of US consumers are “expecting to watch most content through Internet TV services like Netflix or Amazon Prime.”
This is true not only for mainstream entertainment, but likewise for niches such as adult entertainment, this market having also conspicuously benefited from Bitcoin over the past few years. Venues such as online casinos and even escort services have increasingly experimented with the added flexibility and control that Bitcoin offers.
Initial forays into offering customers a more tailored experience through Bitcoin began with simple ‘adoption’ for payment. Appropriately, in Las Vegas, Bunnies of Las Vegas escort agency made waves by becoming the industry’s first to accept Bitcoin. This was followed by a huge rise in crypto-only gambling options in the online realm, but just as with other industries, Bitcoin usage for adult entertainment is evolving.
Change of image
In an effort to break away from the ‘traditional’ traits of the adult industry – many of which mirror the payments industry and include fees, middlemen and unclear charging – this year has even given rise to a Bitcoin-only adult chatroom service. Unlike those which have gone before, however, the service, Xotika TV, is seeking to run entirely on Bitcoin with no involvement of fiat currency at all.
Its creator and CEO, Cristian Cora, views Bitcoin as the key to creating both more fairness for workers and customers, allowing for the kind of transparency which so far the adult industry has not been known for.
“We think that for Bitcoin to succeed it needs to end up effectively in the hands of cyber-girls, not only tech-savvy enthusiasts,” Cora told Cointelegraph. “Even if initially most of the models will convert their bitcoins to fiat, they will do so by using independent exchanges, localbitcoins, etc., our goal is to provide an entirely Bitcoin-powered platform.”
Xotika allows for users to fund an account with Bitcoin and spend it with a model of their choice, funds being sent directly to the model’s corresponding wallet which can then be accessed and used almost immediately.
The goal, Cora explains, is to become the adult version of Amazon’s on-demand and broadcasting service Twitch, where anyone will be able to broadcast in exchange for bitcoins. As such, the service is attempting to build out for the longer term, banishing advertisements and building its Bitcoin infrastructure in-house.
“When we first announced Xotika, we were approached by various wallet providers or Bitcoin processors but we respectfully declined their offers,” Cora notes.
‘Not reinventing the wheel’
Cointelegraph reached out to Cora for more detailed information on Xotika’s plan within the adult market, as well as to get additional perspective on how consumer habits regarding entertainment are shifting into new territory.
Cointelegraph: The consumer entertainment market is evolving to include more demand for a la carte services. Why do you think this is and how are you ensuring Xotika retains a unique selling point as the market intensifies?
Cristian Cora: I’m not an expert in the consumer market but I can say I'm an old-school internet addict and from that point of view, I can confirm the increasing demand for premium services in all categories. This being said, Xotika TV is not an original idea which plans to reinvent the wheel... but rather a response to the requests of Bitcoin’s community.
It has been generally discussed that for Bitcoin to succeed in adoption it needs to reach directly in the hands of our dear cyber-girls and this is exactly what we are trying to do.
With an active developer team we’re dedicated to pioneering Bitcoin technology and embed it with the adult streaming industry – we are confident it’s a win-win situation.
CT: What made you decide to focus entirely on Bitcoin as a means of supporting the site? How do you view Bitcoin usage changing in the mid to long term for the kind of audience likely to try Xotika?
CC: Like I said before, my team and I are early Bitcoin adopters. At first we used to mine, we even traded for a while, developed an exchange platform, etc. Over the last few years we had the opportunity to witness with our own eyes the evolution of cryptocurrency and the blockchain concept and in our opinion up until now, Bitcoin is by far the most promising digital currency.
Alternative cryptocurrencies have emerged but they remain in Bitcoin’s shadow. At one point, Bitcoin itself will disrupt the consumer market and Porn is one of the best domains we can approach right now.
CT: Xotika’s payment system is being constructed entirely in-house. What made you decide not to use a payment processor or popular wallet? What features does Xotika’s have which differ from the experience offered by services like BitPay or Coinbase?
CC: Bitcoin is still at an early stage and from our personal experience, most exchanges or payment processors depend on relations with their bank, country or state regulation, etc. This dependency is unstable and history shows us about mood swings in government decisions regarding Bitcoin, cryptocurrency, etc.
Since we want to help spread Bitcoin adoption, our goal is to create a system fully powered by Bitcoin. This way we avoid any complication that may occur if a certain exchange or payment processor stops working.
We can guarantee our users high-end security and no hassle without the involvement of third parties. That way, users can choose freely from a variety of popular wallets and keep their bitcoins. My hope is that models across the world will start using Bitcoin on a daily basis for e-shopping, bills, toys, gifts, etc.
CT: What kind of plans do you have for expanding the service?
CC: The platform is still in a beta phase. In the near future we want to finish the affiliate program at which we`re working right now. We are all involved with all our resources in this project and we will keep a very close eye to see where this goes. Our most sincere hope is, of course, “TO THE MOON!”
Nevertheless, with projects like Xotika’s still in the design phase, it is safe to say that Bitcoin’s practical use for consumer entertainment remains low outside gambling communities.
With the weight of the community palpable as prices continue to be lackluster, in 2015 it is as much about increasing Bitcoin usage in general as it is about providing mainstream consumers with a cutting-edge experience.