PVV – to VOD or not to VOD? …that is the question!!

Recently, I got a press release that told me this:

Exquisite Films proudly announces its division, Extreme Comixxx, will decline a video on demand (VOD) release of The Justice League XXX: An Extreme Comixxx Parody (2011).  The move is to help support the countless retailers, e-tailers, and distributors who are hurt by VOD and online piracy.  The Justice League XXX will release on DVD and Blu-ray Disc March 22, followed by a broadcast release later.

To further aid retailers, Exquisite Films is employing Takedown Piracy (TDP) to police the Internet for illegal copies of the movie.  Exquisite Films owner Jerry says, ‘While we see the value in VOD, the bottom line is it makes piracy of content easier and hurts adult retailers.  The Justice League XXX is going to provide consumers with fun, original porn they want to own, so we are committed to doing everything possible to ensure they go to stores and websites to purchase it. Helping us in our crusade is our own superhero, Nate Glass of Takedown Piracy.”

When I first read this little news snipette, I was super excited. You all know how much I love piracy (not at all), so anything that works to combat such sneakery is fine by me, aaand I absolutely love the idea of intra-industry support. I commend Exquisite Films for their attempt to build solidarity amongst different branches of the business.

In a summary nutshell, Exquisite Films is not releasing The Justice League XXX on VOD in an attempt to 1) combat piracy and 2) support retailers and distributors. The company is also employing Takedown Piracy (TDP), an anti-piracy service that monitors websites for clients’ pirated material (among other things).

Now I guess someone with pirate tendencies could buy a tangible copy of The Justice League XXX and upload it themselves (somehow? this scenario is well beyond my working knowledge of the interwebs and pirates and whatnot, but I was recently told that this type of jerkness is possible…); but by not releasing the film on VOD, these pirate punks will be forced to do more of the thievery leg work themselves. In theory, this will cut down on the availability of The Justice League XXX on porn tube sites.

This decision also seeks to ensure that, if you’re into the Justice League and porn parodies of superhero awesome…

[and incidentally, how could you not be?? check out this synopsis (somewhat truncated):

“When a great evil threatens porn’s very existence, The Justice League of Porn Stars Heroes comes together to battle The Legion of Poon. Can Batman and Robin tag-team Catwoman into submission? Are Wonder Woman’s truth juices enough to get the General talking? Can Superman get Zatanna to turn a trick? What are Lex Luthor and Poison Ivy scheming, and will the blow bang of Wonder Woman help the heroes focus on the mission ahead?  Only watching The Justice League XXX will reveal the answers…

Each new volume of The Justice League XXX series will reveal more exciting and sexy characters.  The acclaimed cast includes: Rocco Reed (Superman), Evan Stone (Batman), Chanel Preston (Wonder Woman), Scott Lyons (Robin), Shyla Stylez (Poison Ivy), Tom Byron (Lex Luthor), Jenna Presley (Lois Lane), Ron Jeremy (The Penguin), Andy San Dimas (Mob Boss), Kristina Rose (Zatanna) and Tommy Gunn (The General).”

doesn’t that sound fun??!!]

(pictured: I don’t care what the haters say, Chanel looks damn hott as Wonder Woman!!)

…you’re gonna have to buy an actual copy of the film (rather than just watch it stream somewhere). This obviously supports retailers.

But, in spite of the initial happy dance, my socio-steeped brain just wouldn’t let this issue go; and I started to wonder: Although I really love luv LOVE the industry solidarity and support shaping this decision, is Exquisite unnecessarily cutting off potential sales to smite its awesome face?

Because here’s the thing – If you’re a retail customer, in whatever capacity (rental or sales, online or neighborhood sex shop), then you’re likely …a retail customer – VOD is not your preference and, barring some catastrophe, you’re likely going to continue accessing content the way you like best. Similarly, if you’re a VOD customer, you’re likely not going to be corralled into retail consumption any time soon. And all that is fine.

But what if you’re a VOD customer and and you really really REALLY want to watch The Justice League XXX? What then? Might the film’s inavailability in your preferred format prompt you to attempt to access it elsewhere… maybe even elsewhere illegally? Or maybe just not watch it at all?

I didn’t want to be all gloom and doom about this, so I asked a pal of mine for his informed opinion. JR has worked for a chain of local Austin adult retail shops for years now, so I figured he could tell me whether or not I was being paranoid.  This is what he had to say:

“While it’s a nice gesture by Exquisite, it probably won’t affect [this retail chain] much. Your online people are online people.  Your brick-and-mortar people are brick-and-mortar. There’s overlap, but not enough to make a difference.  And it’s mostly contingent on the age of the customer.  Your younger customer is mostly online.  I don’t know if a video not being available on VOD is going to drive them to the store or just make them search harder online for free copies. But this could be an interesting experiment.”

Really interesting!! And because JR is awesome, he asked some of his coworkers about their opinions on this issue. They echoed his sentiments.

Now I know that some informal feedback from one chain in Texas is not enough to show/prove anything, but it does let me know that I’m not alone in my concern. My instincts tell me that Exquisite should rethink the “no VOD” idea and stick with Takedown Piracy. But maybe there’re other issues at play (I am going off information from just one press release here), and maybe this decision is part of a larger master plan that I’m not yet privy to.  I hope so because I would really really hate for this company to unnecessarily miss out on sales as a consequence of their noble efforts to combat piracy and support other branches of the industry.

What do you think?

…and because trailers are always fun, here’s the trailer for The Justice League XXX: An Extreme Comixxx Parody (2011).

(photos courtesy of Exquisite Films and Extreme Comixxx)

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