Interview with Tube8 about streaming phenomenon

By | 9 January 2010

1) Hi Mr. Braden, let’s introduce yourself and the role in Tube8
Mr. Braden. I’m Product Manager for Tube8. This pretty much means I have full ownership of the website. I deal with everything from accounting, marketing, development and design. My favorite part is driving the vision of Tube8 in terms of the look, the features and so on. I really enjoy hearing feedback and suggestions from our community. They’re the reason we’re in business and if I can bring one of their feature requests to life that’s very rewarding.

2) Some actual numbers about the site? (videos stored, GBs stored, numbers of visitors and members…)
Tube8 is the #72nd largest website in the world according to Alexa’s 3 month average. We have more than 20,000 videos on the site representing 2.5 Terabytes of data. Users are uploading new videos at a pace of 150 per day. We just recently crossed the 3 million members mark and we serve close to 10 million website visitors each day. An interesting additional stat is that 1/3 of registered members are female.

3) Features that visitors mainly likes and their requests of feaures they will like?
There is a small amount of interest in community features like messaging between users, friend requests and such. For the most, as you might expect, people just want to find videos they’re interested in. Most requests are for better sorting, filtering and search tools. We are constantly working to improve in these areas and recently made a change to our category page to show the 5 most recent videos released in each category. Previously there was just an image that was representative of the category’s content.

4) Why lots of people like to watch streaming porn on internet? Because “mainly” is free vs traditional “classic” paid porn sites? Even if i see Tube8 and others have premium membership too.
There’s really no question that people want to watch video online and they want that video to be on-demand. In the age of high-speed broadband connections there’s no need to wait to download a video before watching it. The technology is there for streaming videos and there are many sites, both adult and mainstream, to satisfy the needs of consumers for video on demand.
From a consumer’s perspective, free is always a desirable option. There’s still room in the market for pay sites too though. Pay sites are differentiating themselves by offering high quality HD videos and exclusive content not available on the free tube sites.
Going back to free sites like Tube8, there is a high cost associated with being in the top 100 sites in the world. We represent 1% of all internet traffic and providing videos to 10 million people a day is an expensive endeavor. One of the ways we are able to make money is through a classic “freemium” strategy whereby we offer lots of free content and try to upsell users to a Premium membership to get HD and exclusive content like a pay site would offer.

5) At begin there was Youporn, now many others xxx-tube sites… i suppose the demand of this kind of porn is alway very high, right? They aren’t too much? So what differences between Tube8 and other sites? There isn’t a competition?
There is incredibly high demand for free content and, as in any market, there is room for competition. Competition is very fierce, in fact, to control the traffic in this segment. In the last 6 months, among the 4 top tube sites in the world, has overtaken Youporn for the number one spot and Tube8 has moved up from from 4th to 3rd and looking to take #2.

6) You make some kind of controls in the videos uploaded? If yes what is the criteria?
We have a zero tolerance approach towards copyright infringement and illegal content and as such prohibit any and all said content on our site without exception.

7) I have heard mainstream porn industry (pro pornstars and movies producers etc.) are against streaming porn sites because they say they kill the business by delivering their copyrighted material, what’s your opinion?

Certainly SOME in the industry are unhappy with sites like Tube8. The majority have learned that this is a natural progression in the same way that iTunes overtook the sales of physical CDs. Those that have adapted have learned to work with Tube8 and are providing content to us for free in return for a link back to their site. In this way they’ve found the perfect audience to promote their paid content and they are seeing signups through this channel.

8 ) The leading technology is Flash video, why is the “standard”? You think it will continue to be or it will possible to see also other technologies (for example Microsoft Silverlight) in future?
Flash video was around before Silverlight was developed and so Adobe has a huge headstart; that’s probably the biggest thing. You can also check the stats and find that Flash has much larger market penetration and people are comfortable with it. From a performance perspective both Flash and Silverlight are pretty equal on regular definition movies. I’m not a software engineer myself but I’ve been told that Silverlight handles HD videos better than Flash. When sites like Tube8 move to HD content, as they inevitably will, we may consider changing to Silverlight. Of course Adobe has time to catch up until that happens. It’s difficult to say.

9) The actual business models of Tube8 is to offer extra content or features by subscribing a premium membership despite the traditional business model of online advertising? Or they simply cohabit?

Tube8 takes advantage of 2 revenue streams. One is the “freemium” mentioned earlier where we entice a free user to upgrade to a premium membership. The second is ad-supported. We sell banner ads in several different sizes across our site, in the footer and on the video page beside the player.

10) If you should make an expectation, what will be in the future of Tube8 and in general of porn tube sites? I actually see for example HD option in many sites, just like Youtube did it recently.
I would definitely expect to see HD videos in the future on Tube8. The factor that will determine the timing of this move is technological.
Many users, even those on high-speed, have reported that HD video doesn’t stream smoothly for them.
Many point to mobile devices as being a big opportunity. I agree there has been a lot of growth in traffic to the mobile sites but tend to believe that in the near future devices like the iphone and even more advanced devices in the future will mean that there is no distinction between a user that visits from a computer and one that visits from a mobile device.
Beyond that, I’m not sure…maybe 3D movies.

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