menu

Even Adult Film Industry Suffering From Shrinking Attention Spans

culture
Scott Lachut, PSFK Labs
  • 10 july 2009

We may have survived the MTV Generation with our attention spans mostly intact, but it appears the same can’t be said for the age of the Internet, where competing streams of information, multi-tasking and multiple screens are dissecting our withering focus into easily digestible bits. Add in our increased need for immediacy, and an old-fashioned idea like the narrative starts to seem a bit obsolete.

Nowhere is this more evident perhaps, than in the way we consume video online, where the average attention span is three to five minutes, hardly enough time for a classic tale filled with fleshed out characters, foreshadowing and the like. Instead we’re served abbreviated vignettes comprised of a bit of rising action followed by the resulting climax. Where’s the resolution in that?

Given the cluttered playing field where the competition is already stiff – YouTube alone receives 20 hours of footage uploaded every minute – the content providers have no choice but to cater to the whims of their audiences to ensure adequate ratings. And while this trend hasn’t yet altered entertainment standbys like the sitcom and feature length movie (arguable perhaps), the change in our viewing habits is showing a trickle down effect.

Though never known for being stalwarts of the well told story – think pizza delivery guys and well-intentioned secretaries – the adult film industry has historically found itself on the pioneering side of technology from VHS to handheld video cameras. A fact that points to their ability to anticipate or dictate these relative shifts.

But with DVD sales and rentals falling sharply, some estimates say as much as 50% since 2006, these studios have had to make an abrupt change of course in order to keep pace. Dropping the plot in favor of scenes that leave room for little else than well, sex. The industry is finding these pithy clips to be the ideal length for consumption on the web, where they can be uploaded and sold in several minute segments at lower price points. Not to mention, sparing audiences from an excess of questionable acting.

In the end, maybe this example speaks less about our shorter attention spans in general and more about our decreasing ability to maintain focus for long stretches on genres of a particular type. In either case, one hopes that the story (in whatever form) will find a way to capture our hearts and minds once again.

[via NY Times]

[image via Editor B on Flickr]

Related Posts:

The Cookie is the Hyperlink: Why Distraction is OK

How Our Brains Are Affected by Info Overload

Trending

Genetics Startup Is Working To Create A Completely Personalized, DNA-Based Range Of Products

Health
Travel Today

United Airlines Launches An Updated Business Class Program

The new Polaris product prioritizes customer service and updated modern amenities

Design & Architecture Today

Video Explores Complex Museum Architecture

A mini video gives a quick overview of the most beautiful cultural buildings built

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Sustainability Today

Smog Vacuum Turns Pollution Particulates Into Unique Jewelry

A large device was installed in Beijing that sucks up smog and compresses it into small centerpieces atop jewelry

Experiential Marketing Today

PSA Fashion Line Shines A Light On Victim Blaming

YWCA Canada is using fashion and sexist tweets to highlight how often we as a society blame the victim in cases of abuse

Related Expert

Bobby C. Martin

Designer & Educator

Syndicated Today

What PSX 2016 Tells Us About The Modern Games Industry

Nostalgia and big brands are defining how the console market is being shaped

Op-Ed Today

VP: Why Messaging Apps Are Issuing In A New Era Of Commerce

Matt Johnson discusses how mobile messaging commerce is creating a different modality for interaction between retailers and consumers

Technology Today

The PSFK Holiday Gift Guide 2016

Based on a year of research by PSFK Labs, we curated a list of innovative and unique holiday gifts

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed december 2, 2016

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

PSFK Labs december 1, 2016

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Food Today

Minute Maid Opens A Store That Sells Nothing

The beverage company opened a pop-up shop that encourages customers to write letters to their parents instead of buying a gift

Entertainment Today

Samsung And Viceland Partner For A Virtual Reality Documentary On The Syrian War

The White Helmets film uses VR to immerse viewers in the everyday conditions of the war-torn country

Design & Architecture Today

These Designs Bring Modern Architecture To The Humble Birdhouse

Artist Douglas Barnhard has imagined a series of designs emulating the work of architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright and Joseph Eichler

AI Today

Nine Technologies To Invest In When It Comes To Retail [Future Of Retail]

Retailers are leveraging assistive technology to help employees in their daily tasks and customers on the sales floor

Travel Today

Acura Cockpit Envisions The Future Of Autonomous Travel

The car brand has built a proof that offers a sneak peek of the self-driving vehicle experience

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Retail Today

How Artificial Intelligence Is Enabling Anytime Shopping & On-Demand Support

Retailers are leveraging advanced technology to relieve associates from mundane tasks, while better assisting customers

Cities Today

NYC Map Calculates Economic Benefits Of Every Tree

TreesCount! maps all the greenery in the five boroughs and even figures out how much money it saves the city

Design Today

Create A Perfectly Tailored Shirt Using Just Your Phone

UKYS has created an application to get accurate measurements of buyers through a few simple pictures for custom shirts

No search results found.