WebRTC Expert Feature

January 22, 2014

Are WebRTC and Porn Good for Each Other?


A friend paid me a visit the other day to have me help try to figure out the market for a WebRTC video testing product. Sounds pretty dry, yes? Not so fast. Historically, one of the earliest adopters of both IM and VoIP has been the porn industry, followed close behind by people adapting the technology to suit their own personal creative needs. Being early adopters, these audiences have a tendency to bleed on the edge, so the question that had to be asked was whether they have a need for some testing tools.

Hmm. So what is needed in the way of WebRTC test tools, and how does the need specifically apply to video? I got some feedback from a friend – a different friend – who believes that hardware is going to adopt VP8 and that some testing tools would be associated with that.  

Testing platforms are an interesting breed of company in that they rarely consolidate, and once they find a niche, they have a tendency to stay in that mode. I cannot say, though, that I understand why that is the case. After all, Oracle seems to know how to eat and assimilate, and I expected its acquisition of Sun would impact the testing market.

Our discussion continued, as my friend and I tried to figure out if the carriers wanted VP8 testing tools, and this led to questions about business models. At this point, carriers don’t seem to have a model for video. We pay for voice minutes and megabits but video minutes are not on the bill. And as we don’t have rendezvous servers from the carriers, testing something that is not in the line of business makes little sense. In fact, testing for the purpose of monitoring packet storms and traffic congestion may be the only specific interest the carriers have with regard to video. In theory, based on the SBCs adoption of WebRTC and the relationship to call centers, WebRTC video supported by SIP trunking makes sense, though I have yet to hear that such a discussion is driving any testing.

So then looking at the past, would porn be a logical place to find a need for quality? The industry adopted HD pretty quickly and it supports the latest codecs, though obviously its quality focus has been on broadcast and not IM and VoIP (chat on porn sites resembles an IRC solution from dial-up days).  

So does WebRTC offer such improvement that porn will be driven to adopt it? Typically, porn sites have an element of flirting that would lend itself well to WebRTC, though the quality of the video at this point is only part of the discussion. In theory, however, the data channel is once again the most likely place to gain adoption, and in order for the video needs to be tested the chat has to force a migration from watching broadcasts to separate channels.

I came away from all of this with the vision of a new opportunity for a scalable MCU, but not one for another testing tool. Of course, I am curious to know if you agree or disagree, so please don’t be shy about emailing your take to me at carl@crossfiremedia.com.

Image via Shutterstock 




Edited by Rachel Ramsey




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