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Story of the Day Replay: Berth Milton Raises a Few Eyebrows with Piracy Comments

from – Private Media Group, one of the largest adult entertainment companies and the first one that’s publicly traded on NASDAQ, has seen many new opportunities appear with the emergence of the Internet. However, it also has to deal with the many streaming and torrent sites where their material is shared freely.

Unlike other adult entertainment companies that sue individual downloaders or site operators, Private Media Group CEO Berth Milton is not going to put up a fight. On the contrary, he believes that piracy is a good thing as it serves as a promotional tool.

“We will be extremely happy the more people are pirating our content and the more they look at it,” Milton said in a recent interview with NewTeeVee.

An unusual comment for someone who heads one of the largest adult entertainment multinationals, but not a complete surprise considering the history of the company. In 2002, Private Media Group was the owner of Napster for a short while, before it was taken over by Roxio which turned it into a legal pay service.

Milton believes that entertainment companies should look beyond piracy, and explore alternatives business models as the battle against piracy is one that can’t be won.

“I think it’s a lost battle,” Milton said, adding: “I look at my own kids, because that’s the best way to know where the market is going. It doesn’t matter if I tell them that it is illegal to download. As soon as they close the door to their room, they download.”

“They are not afraid of someone who’s tracking their IP-address. They just don’t care, Milton said. “It’s a new world and we have to accept it.”

According to Private’s CEO, companies like his should use the enormous amount of traffic piracy generates. Give everything away for free and sell goods to those visitors that are harder to pirate.

In the video Milton says that his company will focus more on selling the ‘private lifestyle’ which includes luxurious vacations with an adult theme, and toys and tools that may come in handy while reenacting pirated videos.

With slow progress on human cloning and the 3D-printer, Milton’s bet on selling the sex ‘experience’ rather than videos seems to be a safe one for now.

from – from Just a few weeks ago, we wrote about an economist who tried to apply the whole CwF+RtB concept to the porn industry. Apparently, some porn execs have been doing exactly the same thing.

Private Media Group is a publicly traded, multi-million dollar porn company, that has been a leader in porn in Europe for many, many years. The company just went through a management shakeup, bringing back an old CEO, Berth Milton (the son of the company’s founder). In discussing his initial plans, he said that the internet “turned into the worst thing that’s ever happened to the adult business.” But, if you read between the lines, he isn’t saying that it’s the internet that’s the problem, but that the internet pulled the rug out from old business models. He immediately followed it up by saying:

But there are also plenty of opportunities. There are ways of making money from non-paying traffic and that’s what Private is going to do. I can’t reveal anything more about our strategy, but we’re going to be more and more free, which will help us recruit paid subscribers.

That was just a few weeks ago… but he’s now moving forward with those plans, and is saying that he wants to embrace “pirates,” in a new interview with NewTeeVee:

“We will be extremely happy the more people are pirating our content and the more they look at it.”

Why? Well, it looks like Milton has come to the same conclusion as many others in terms of content business models: set the infinite goods free, and look for ways to sell the scarce. He realizes that fighting unauthorized access is a losing battle, noting that he just has to “look at my own kids, because that’s the best way to know where the market is going. It doesn’t matter if I tell them that it is illegal to download. As soon as they close the door to their room, they download.” As NewTeeVee explains:

In short, Private wants to go from making money with porn to monetize actual sexual experiences. It recently teamed up with a San Francisco-based swingers club to shoot a movie, and it wants to turn some of the lessons learned into a business, connecting people involved in alternative sexual lifestyles through exclusive websites. This will first be tested in Europe, where Private is already in negotiations with a swingers community site as well as a hotel property, but Private could eventually import it into the U.S. as well.

Milton also expressed optimism that advertisers will eventually start to embrace adult traffic, and said Private would offer adult toys and other additional products for sale. Private will make 95 to 99 percent of its revenue in these areas in five years, he predicted, adding that DVDs will be dead by then.

He makes some key points in the interview that really apply to so many other industries as well. He admits that, in the short term, this is a challenge and that “our easy way of getting revenue will disappear,” but in the long term, it’s a huge opportunity, because: “there’s never been so many people watching adult content.” He points out that the focus is on making money from “things you can’t copy.” Unlike execs in so many other content industries, it seems like Milton really recognizes why this is an opportunity, rather than a threat. It’s amazing that so few entertainment industry execs have figured out the same thing.


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