How to Plan Your Adult Mobile Strategy.

Buying erotica

What’s the RIGHT strategy for YOUR business?

When you combine the constantly changing landscape that is the mobile industry with the renowned innovation that the adult entertainment industry is famous for, how on earth do you identify the right business model for YOUR business?

Let’s face it; if you’re anything like me, you are presented with a cavalcade of potential business opportunities on a weekly basis. But with mobile, most of the time you are travelling on an unmade road. So much of it hasn’t existed before so you have no case-studies to refer to and only your gut instinct as to what you think will generate the big bucks and what won’t.

In theory, adult entertainment should narrow down the scope of possible outcomes. The sheer consumer demand for adult entertainment leads us to believe that if there’s a sure bet of earning money on mobile, then adult will deliver (after all, it always has before!).

In reality however, it’s not as simple as that. As I’ve pointed out before, the launch of the World Wide Web gave adult entertainment companies an uncensored distribution channel to sell their wares. With little more than a ‘Yes, I confirm I am over 18’ button to access +18 content, happy consumers had unlimited choice of erotic viewing without the embarrassment of placing a ‘Hardcore Gangbang’ VHS video cassette on the video store counter.

With mobile, this was different. Network operators controlled access to the end consumer and their on-deck portals were the only real way to reach them. Thus the adult entertainment industry was restricted by the whims of mainstream, high-profile network brands. Not the best partnership of mind-sets!

Now, thanks to the launch of the iPhone and surge of other smartphones quickly finding their way into customers hands, this wall has fallen as dramatically as the one in Berlin. Consumers are browsing off-deck and the opportunity is back on, albeit with some key differences in the scope of opportunity.

With all the options available and the local restrictions around regulations still very much playing a part in collecting money for your adult services, how do you create sustainable commercial success without breaking the bank to have it?

Adult Mobile Strategy

First off, what is your adult mobile product going to be? A mobile website? A mobile App? A VOD portal? An Affiliate Program? A combination? How do you know which one will bring the best results for your company in relation to the investment you will put in?

Secondly, which territories will you focus your marketing and sales of these products? Local billing options must still be considered because there isn’t a single billing solution or company that does it all for adult.

As we all know, WAP or ‘on-bill’ billing is by far the best converter for purchasing goods on mobile. In the second place you have Premium SMS billing, but both of these billing methods are reliant on what the local Operators allow in relation to adult entertainment and many don’t allow billing via their networks for even the slightest glimpse of nipple.

The lowest conversion rate billing method is Credit Card, BUT this doesn’t necessarily mean that the resulting revenues are any less. Credit Card billing works extremely well in the following cases:

a) You can bill customers anywhere in the world, much like fixed line internet, irrelevant of local operator restrictions, so one solution fits all.
b) It allows you more flexibility for charging, i.e. higher and multiple price points for subscriptions, per minute billing for chat. etc.

In our humble opinion, this myriad of questions and possibilities can be easily scaled down to targeted information from your current services.

Cherry Media works with two distinct types of clients:
1) Mobile companies looking to add an erotic or adult component to their offering
2) Adult companies looking to add a mobile component to their offering

In both cases, deciding on the right product and the right billing is based on a simple, but proven strategy. Where and who are your current customers and what handsets are they using?

If you rely on digital traffic for your revenues, you will undoubtedly already have some great analytic tools to ensure your current services are constantly optimised. Utilising the same tools to scope out your adult strategy is imperative before embarking on mobile or adult projects.

Depending on where your customers are currently coming from will ultimately define not only the best billing methods for your products, but what kind of adult content you should be selling. For example, if the majority of your traffic is in the US, you won’t be able to bill via WAP or PSMS billing for hardcore content, so you’ll need to incorporate credit card billing. However, users won’t want to go through the still cumbersome credit card billing process for a $2 video clip numerous times, so you want to be offering subscriptions, which accounts for about 90% of US adult mobile sales. Alternatively, if you want to offer PSMS or on-bill billing, you’ll need your content to be as soft as the lingerie section of the Sears catalogue.

In contrast, if most of your traffic is coming from the UK (where Network Operators offer both WAP and PSMS for adult behind robust Age Verification systems), you want to be charging Per Download or Per View, as only 20% of adult mobile sales in the UK are subscription. HOWEVER, because of the ease of adult billing, the market place is overrun with adult services, so your product should feature something different from the general ‘noise’!

If the majority of your customers are using iPhones, then forget a native App, because Apple won’t allow even sexy bikini apps in their store and there is no other way to sell iPhone Apps. Opt instead for a web app (html5) or an optimised mobile web portal for iPhones.

If current statistics are correct and you’re an adult company looking to go mobile, anything between 5% and as much as 30% of traffic could already be accessing your site via their mobile devices. When you consider that customer interaction and experience is very different for mobile than it is for fixed-line, what experience are you giving them? Have you tried to purchase something from your site with a mobile phone? Are your conversion rates the same for mobile users of your service?

If you’re not already thinking about mobilizing your current services, then take a look at this chart from Morgan Stanley, which predicts that as early as 2014-2015, more people will access web sites via their mobile handsets than via computers.

Adult Mobile Strategy

At the end of the day, combining adult entertainment (in whichever grading level is required), with the consumer demand it has, and mobile, which continues to demonstrate record usage growth, there is a solution for you to generate additional and sustainable revenue streams from this sector. The question is how and that will be based on results from your current services.

As a quick initial guide, below, you have a chart of current ‘best’ performing business models (although other models are available) in the leading adult mobile territories:

Territory Best billing method Preferred purchasing model On-deck or Off-deck? Grading Level (No AV) Grading Level (AV)
UK Operator Billing PPD or PPV On and Off T1 H3
US Credit Card Subscription Off H3
SA Operator Billing Subscription Off T1
India Operator Billing PPD or PPV On G1
Spain Operator Billing PPD or PPV Off T2 H3
Australia Operator Billing Subscription Off T2
Italy Operator Billing PPD or PPV On and Off T1

For Cherry Media Grading References CLICK HERE:

For a no-obligation chat on how you should approach your adult mobile strategy, or how Cherry Media can help you, please feel free to email us at

Julia Dimambro, Managing Director
© Cherry Media SL. 2003-2009. All rights reserved.

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