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Mobile porn worth £1.7bn by 2011

According to a Juniper Research report, adult content on mobile phones is estimated to generate about £1.7bn by 2011. Is this all hype or are we really heading for pornomobia?

According to a report carried out by Juniper Research, adult content on mobile phones is estimated to generate about £1.7bn by the year 2011. A combination of mobile technological developments and progressively relaxed views on the consumption of porn are going to mobilise what was widely considered, not that long ago, something to hide in windowless shops.

The total global mobile market for all forms of adult content on mobiles is currently worth around £720m, according to Juniper, and there has been steady year-on-year growth with an increasing number of viewing options made available to adult entertainment consumers over the past couple of years. 3G connectivity made adult video streaming possible and now with HSDPA it takes even less time to download footage.

This phenomena is supported by a comment made by Graeme Ferguson, ex global head of content for Vodafone at the MIPCOM conference in October. "At Vodafone we denied this, but the fact is that 70 per cent of downloads are of adult content," he said. So what's behind this lucrative mobile phenomenon? We spoke to Steve Flaherty, business development director of rhythm.tv, an adult mobile content service, to find out.

"Adult mobile content is a natural progression from magazines, VHS, DVDs and the Internet. Men in particular are always going to access pornography whichever way possible, handsets are getting easier and faster to use, and data tariffs are rapidly dropping in price," said Flaherty.

Flaherty also mentioned findings from research carried out in December 2005 by Enpocket, the global mobile media company, and Harris Interactive. They established that 6 per cent of UK mobile phone users were accessing adult mobile content. Flaherty claims this figure has grown rapidly because of the increased quality of mobile phone content.

Some people have said that this is just analysts getting hot under the collar about another tech trend. Are people really going to look at porn on their mobile while they take the bus home? Can anyone really appreciate what is going on when viewing porn on a tiny screen. On the other hand, are young men so desperate for porn that they will stop at nothing to get their hands on it? We shall let you, gentle reader, decide. -AL