Adult Video News’ Senior Editor Peter Warren has been called the Price Waterhouse Coopers of porn awards, while agent Mark Spiegler has been likened to Ari Emanuel. And now, SkweezMe.com is poised to become the adult industry’s amalgamation of Netflix and iTunes.
Skweez Media is an adult internet television network launched in January, 2014. At SkweezMe.com, users can access a wide variety of high-quality streaming adult content from third-five (and counting) studios including Sunlust, Wasteland.com, Harmony Films, and DreamZone. Everything from parodies and features to transsexual, queer porn, and BDSM content is available, with approximately thirty new titles added per week.
The things that really set Skweez apart from other online adult sites, however, are its micropayment options and daily, nonrecurring billing. Users can purchase packages of tokens – with tiered choices ranging from three for $2.97 to ninety for $86.65 – via credit card or Bitcoin. One token equals 24-hours of streaming access to everything Skweez, and users can activate them whenever they want. And, as an added bonus, tokens can be used in three days or three years or whenever – they never expire.
(pictured: the fine print)
I liked this idea when I first heard about it and wanted to know more. So I talked to Skweez’s Co-Founder, Mike Kulich. Kulich raised all sorts of important issues related to diversity, access, and his desire to benefit the entire adult industry community.
You may not know this, but the vast majority of porn available on tube sites is stolen – pirated by third parties operating outside the adult business. Piracy has resulted in staggering losses of revenue and work at every level, from performers and producers to office workers and editors. But people don’t seem to want to subscribe to things these days, and tube sites are fairly noncommittal, with great variety.
Skweez is like a bridge between the old “$29.95 per month for one studio” model of online porn viewing and the new tube/thievery one. Ideally, nonrecurring billing, no expiration date, and micropayment options will ease contemporary consumers back into the idea of paying for their entertainment. Via Skweez, users refrain from being pirates-by-proxy and get access to high-quality content in a reasonable, current manner. This obviously also benefits the entire adult community; and according to Kulich, that’s exactly the point.
“If I can take 0.01% of people watching porn on tube sites and get them to pay a dollar a day on Skweez, then we’ve done something that’s good for everyone,” Kulich said.
Skweez also levels the playing field amongst producers by paying dividends on the basis of what consumers watch.
According to Kulich, this is how their “most valued content” monthly payout system works: at the end of each month, 25% of the site’s total generated proceeds go into a rev-share (revenue sharing) pool. Then, the total number of minutes viewed is divided into that rev-share figure. This determines a “time increment value,” or what a Skweez minute is worth during a particular month. Producers and studios are then paid per minute, all at the same rate, for the total number of minutes their content was viewed.
In other words, say a minute ends up being worth $1 this month. Now pretend that Producer A’s content was viewed for 100 total minutes, while Producers B’s was viewed for 1,642. Upon payout, Producer A will get a check for $100. Producer B’s will be for $1,642.
In the Skweez model, consumer demand drives compensation, not some predetermined percentage established on the back end. This encourages studios to pay attention to content quality and puts more power in the hands of viewers. What people actually want to watch, verses what producers think they want to see, becomes paramount.
Skweez seems like it’s going to crush the market and kill all competition, but according to Kulich that couldn’t be further from the idea.
“My main goal with Skweez is not to put others out of business,” he said. “My goal is to offer lots of good quality content at a price point people don’t mind paying… and to give back to producers who’ve been hit by piracy and the recession.”
The thinking behind Skweez sounds both strategic and community-minded; and according to Wasteland.com CEO and founder Colin Rowntree, it is.
“The Skweez payout system creates an environment in which participating studios are actually working together to create a great overall library,” Rowntree shared. “This payout model encourages studios to build large, high quality libraries with the collective goal of keeping consumers on Skweez as long as possible, watching whatever they are interested in, regardless of the studio source.”
SkweezMe.com is currently compatible with all PC, Mac, and mobile devices, as well as all Roku players. Its user interface is clean and simple, with no ads or obnoxious pop-ups.
Skweez Media will also soon be launching the gay exclusive site, SkweezMen.com. Interested users will be able to bounce seamlessly between SkweezMe and SkweezMen, using their never-expiring cache of tokens on both.
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