Do you hear that? It's the ringing of the death knell for DVD. Again.
For years, people have been writing the obituary for physical media like DVD, but it's still around. For how much longer, however, remains the question no one has an answer to. It won't last forever, so how can studios that rely on robust media sales to help their bottom line? Celebrity Sex Tapes.
According to XBiz (link below), celebrity sex tapes may well be the only thing that can save the DVD struggling market.
If the most recent "jump on the bandwagon" move by studios to entice shamed L.A. Clipper's Donald Sterling's companion, V. Stiviano to star in her own sex tape is any indication, the appeal of the fresh celebrity having sex is in full swing, and something adult players want to cash in on. Vivid Entertainment, Exile Distribution and Monarchy Distribution all recently offered Stiviano sex tape deals within a matter of days, giving some credence to the potential power of the genre.Yeah, or not, because three paragraphs later, a revealing interview with an insider reveals that this is more than likely the answer to their problems.
But despite the clever marketing push, Vivid's founder and co-CEO Steven Hirsch told XBIZ that his studio makes "very little money" from celeb titles. "It was different when we had Kim [Kardashian] and even to some extent the first Farrah movie. Nothing will save the DVD business at this point. We distribute celeb tapes for VividTV and Vivid.com. That's where the majority of the revenue comes from," Hirsch said.
The entire conceit of the article is a pretty flimsy one, with very little evidence to support as specious a claim as celebrity sex tapes saving DVD. In fact, they take more or less every opportunity they can to shoot the theory down.
But Hirsch said Vivid does a good job of keeping its celeb tapes (and Vivid titles in general) off the tubes. "We may put up clips but that's just to drive traffic back to Vivid.com. The tubes have worked with us to keep off unauthorized footage." And along with anit-piracy measures, most poached celeb content appears as short clips, and in many cases just whets the appetite for the real production. But it appears that's still not enough to save DVDs, and companies seeking to concentrate on the slim opportunity need to think again.At the core of all this, however, is the fact that money hungry starlets and celebutantes looking to make a name for themselves will always line up to fuck on camera if it'll get their name in the headlines, or keep it there a little bit longer.
The bottom line today is unless there's an eight-figure deal on the table for any top celebrity, the majority of those interested will be from what Levine calls people who've appeared on "Celebrity Rehab" who are told, "We'll get you off drugs and into porno." Although Hirsch also admits most celebs today come from the reality TV world, fame is still fame, and noted that they don't make tons of money on their shows but are popular, and people know who they are. "This is a way they can cash in on their fame," Hirsch said. And that may be the magic formula that keeps the niche alive — and what spawns the next mega-hit for the right studio.
So yeah, nothing will save DVD at this point, but as long as there are stars to be made and dicks to be sucked, there will be celebrity sex tapes. They'll just have to call them something else. "Have you seen that new Miley Cyrus Celebrity Sex Streaming Video?" Just doesn't have the same ring, does it?