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Summary:

P2P video startup Vuze quietly launched an adult video download service called StudioHD earlier this year. StudioHD offers an unlimited number of HD porn video downloads for a monthly fee that are subsequently facilitated through Vuze’s BitTorrent client. The company told me that StudioHD is a […]

P2P video startup Vuze quietly launched an adult video download service called StudioHD earlier this year. StudioHD offers an unlimited number of HD porn video downloads for a monthly fee that are subsequently facilitated through Vuze’s BitTorrent client. The company told me that StudioHD is a template for other premium services it plans to launch.

A premium adult outlet seems to be logical step for a company like Vuze, given the popularity of porn on P2P networks, but it’s also another indicator of how difficult it is to monetize P2P. Vuze has raised a total of $32 million in funding. Plans to sell rentals of major TV networks didn’t work out, and Vuze was forced to lay off 24 people last year as well as move out of its costly downtown Palo Alto, Calif., office space. And while Vuze (aka Azureus) used to be the most popular BitTorrent client, it has lost steam to competitors like uTorrent.

StudioHD is advertised alongside the “Sexy” video section of the Vuze content platform, which can be accessed from within the Vuze client. Users that click on such an ad are asked to verify their age, after which StudioHD is available as a second content destination within Vuze. The service offers its users “unlimited” downloads from a catalog of a few hundred HD clips for around $25 per month. StudioHD can only be accessed on three computers at a time, but the content itself is not DRM-protected.

A company spokesperson told me that Vuze decided StudioHD was “the right first step in entering the market for premium channels” because its audience consists mostly of males ages 18-44, adding that Vuze is in discussions with additional content owners to offer sports, music and other premium channels.

Adult content has always been popular with P2P users, with some market researchers estimating that up to 60 percent of all P2P video downloads are porn. Vuze has been catering to this market for a while, with lots clips featuring bikini beauties and the occasional bare breast. StudioHD, on the other hand carries far more explicit content, with categories ranging from “Girl-Girl” to “Orgasm.” Vuze’s spokesperson was quick to point out that traditional cable and satellite TV vendors also include premium porn channels in their offerings.

Vuze previously tried to monetize DRM-protected download rentals from TV networks like the BBC and Showtime. The company has since switched to an ad-supported model and revamped its client to regain traction with traditional P2P users that frowned upon the idea of DRM-laden content store.

That strategy seemed to have worked: Vuze.com now attracts almost 11 million active users per month, as opposed to roughly 6 million a year ago, according to Quantcast.  Vuze also makes a significant part of its revenue through a bundled tool bar. Premium channels like StudioHD, according to the Vuze spokesperson, are now seen as “one more tactical revenue line in the company’s portfolio going forward.”

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  1. Why not? Porn pays big time!
    Anyway, what’s a P2P network without porno? Most P2P users are either looking for porn or illegal stuff (music and videos)!

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  5. As goes porn, as goes the video industry. Usually once you can prove you can make money doing something with porn, the rest of the video industry follows suit. Usually that audience is the bleeding edge, so we’ll see if it has legs.

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    [...] download “unlimited” adult video in HD from Vuze’s “StudioHD” lineup, NewTeeVee reports. The company is also trying to launch “sports, music and other premium [...]

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  10. I think i heard that Azureus or a similar bittorrent client was a part of vuze……nice to see them stepping into the adult industry. finally they can earn a lot and improve their software.

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