Getting paid to watch porn might be a fantasy for some, but the Vice Industry Token (VIT) is attempting to make it a reality.  The ERC 20 token, which has recently received a vote of confidence from porn star Stormy Daniels, plans to change the adult film industry’s economics with its innovation. It is built on top of a blockchain fork off Steem, a chain that similarly rewards users for content, and has been adopted by the likes of Playboy Enterprises Inc. for their online wallets. VIT concluded its token offering recently. (See also: Playboy Rolls Out Its Own Cryptocurrency Wallet.) 

A Race to the Bottom 

As outlined in VIT’s whitepaper, subscriptions to online content account for a minority of revenues in the adult film industry. Producers mainly recoup costs through traffic (generated from Google and affiliated websites) and advertising. Ad rates depend on engagement with content measured through an assortment of factors, from viewing time to clicks on a site or a video. The revenue split is mainly a result of the peculiarities of the internet’s ad-supported business model, which rewards free content over subscriptions. (See also: Steemit: The Disruptive Blockchain-Based Media Community.) 

But it is a not a successful or profitable model. Free content has resulted in a proliferation of websites and a race to the bottom in terms of content quality and advertising rates. According to the VIT white paper, adult content creators and affiliated websites and programs generate only 24% of total revenue. “Advertisers earn very little of overall adult revenue, content producers earn even less, and viewers earn nothing,” the white paper says. VIT’s token is an attempt to rectify this state of affairs. 

How Does the VIT Token Work?  

Here’s how the system works: Each stakeholder in the adult industry value chain uses tokens to engage with the product. Viewers are rewarded for watching and engaging with porn videos through VIT tokens. The folks behind VIT claim that these tokens are a step up from traditional metrics used to measure viewer engagement in that they also record metrics from other silos, such as social media interactions, comments and likes. Instead of relying on third parties for this data, adult film producers can use token data to find out more about viewer preferences and tailor future content accordingly. The direct connection between producer and viewer through blockchain technology will help result in an “ongoing feedback loop” beneficial to the adult movie ecosystem. It will also provide content producers with another stream of revenue in the form of viewer engagement data that can be resold to other parties, such as advertisers interested in such information.

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