And Now There’s A Kickstarter For Porn

Posted on February 24, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Screen shot 2012-02-23 at 5.58.43 PM
Well, Kickstarter, it looks like you’ve finally arrived. And I don’t just mean that you launched 27K projects, saw $99 million pledged, or attracted 30 million+ visitors last year— all of which equalled a sizable increase in activity on your compared to the year prior. No, I mean that your winning crowdfunding model has been adopted by the adult industry. Clearly. Indeed, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and Groupon certainly saw its fair share of flatterers after its launch, but it didn’t inspire a response from porn, at least not in the early days. (Though there are those that are trying.)
Yes, according to Xbiz, “the adult entertainment industry’s leading source for business news and information,” a new startup introduced itself today, called Offbeatr, brought to you by the marketplace for adult digital products, Extra Lunch Money.
Offbeatr claims to be “the first crowdfunding resource specifically designed for the adult industry,” and all chuckling aside, it’s attempting to be a serious business. In Kickstarter mold, Offbeatr essentially wants to build a platform where adult content creators can go to raise money for their projects, whether that be movies, books, photo albums … I’ll leave off there.
Content creators get to keep the rights to their content and gain new fans in exchange for a dose of seed capital. While, on the flip side of the coin, Offbeatr offers everyday people a discovery platform for indie adult projects and gives them the opportunity to earn unique rewards in exchange for their support.
It really seems as if it were created by “Now That’s What I Call Startups,” as Offbeatr allows project creators to receive their own dedicated page to describe their project, how much they hope to raise, and what rewards they will offer in exchange for monetary pledges from adult content enthusiasts. Just like Kickstarter, if the project reaches its proposed goal by the deadline, supporters’ credit cards are charged, and if it doesn’t meet the goal, users go on their merry way without paying a dime.
I don’t know how Kickstarter’s lawyers will feel about this — it’s not as if they own the rights to crowdfunding — but Offbeatr’s model does seem a pretty aggressive copy-and-paste job. That being said, it seems that Extra Lunch Money’s CEO Ben Tao is aware of this fact, saying “I would love to say Offbeatr was a totally original idea, it’s not.”
Not only that, but, the liberal in entrepreneurial spirit might even detect a whiff of market opportunity: “While there are hundreds of crowd funding websites online, there are exactly zero which allow projects of an adult or sexual nature,” the CEO continued.
And certainly, for those whose interests or artistic muses fall outside of the mainstream, funding can be difficult to find. Offbeatr is just seizing a smart business opportunity and offering the supply to what has to be a fairly large demand among independent, amateur content creators.
After all, it’s not like there isn’t a precedent here — just ask the bevy of “Pinterest for porn” clones. It’s actually kind of an ambitious project, going up against the mountain of free porn out there on the Internet, and if it’s actually serious about providing a viable alternative to BitTorrent. Connecting content creators directly with fans is a powerful thing, something one-hundred-and-one sites that don’t deal in adult content know very well.
It’s also somewhat humorous to note that Offbeatr even provides a quote from Michael Masnik, the Editor of Techdirt on its site. (It’s not about adult content, however.)

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