In an email exchange with Valleywag’s Ryan Tate last week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs touted the iPad’s “freedom from porn” as one of the device’s key selling points (along with “freedom from programs that steal your private data” and “freedom from programs that trash your battery”). Well, that freedom didn’t last very long, as at least one of the major adult sites — YouPorn.com (link not safe for work) — has begun encoding its videos to work on the Apple tablet and is now using HTML5 video for playback in the device’s browser.
Like most other video distributors out there, the adult video industry has pretty much standardized on Adobe Flash for delivery of its web videos. But since the iPad doesn’t support Flash, and since Apple has a no-porn policy when it comes to apps, that has left many of the largest adult sites on the web inaccessible to iPad users. Whether that was Steve Jobs’ intent is not clear, but up until recently it has been an effective way to control the type of content that users could watch on the iPad.
That could be changing soon, as more porn sites turn to HTML5 videos encoded in H.264 to reach the growing audience of iPad users. YouPorn.com became one of the first major adult video sites to launch an iPad-friendly version that has many of the same features as its PC version. But while videos are sortable by “top rated” or “most watched,” just as through the PC version of the site, the iPad version of YouPorn lacks browsing by category, although the search function seems to work just fine.
It also appears that YouPorn is only in the initial stages of encoding its video library, as many videos that are available on the main site haven’t yet become available on the iPad version. On video pages, YouPorn has written the following message:
“UPDATE: Welcome to our iPad site. We are now re-encoding our video archive to make all our videos iPad compatible. Please send us feedback.”
YouPorn might be one of the first adult sites to launch on the iPad, but we expect many more to come. Adult film studios like Vivid Entertainment and Kink.com are already working on making their content viewable on the iPad, but more so-called “tube” sites are bound to follow, particularly as the device gains market share.
Related content on GigaOM Pro: Can Anyone Compete With the iPad? (subscription required)