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      The Money Shot: Product Placement in Porn Is Now a Thing

      By Allison Elkin

      Staff Writer

      March 5, 2015

      Wall Street intern cum porn star Veronica Vain. Photos courtesy ArrangementFinders.com

      Porn has entered the final stages of its takeover of all aspects of society. One of the clearest examples of this was Pornhub's entry into the music industry by launching a record company last October and shooting an NSFW hip-hop video with Coolio. Now another dating website is blurring the lines further. In January, ArrangementFinders.com appointed Kayden Kross—an award-winning porn star—as its president. What initially seemed like a publicity stunt soon had real consequences: Last month, the company shot its first ArrangementFinders.com-sponsored porno, Screwing Wall Street: The ArrangementFinders IPO.

      It seems that the future of porn is in product placement. The next time you go to your favorite tube site and feverishly type in "gangbang," you may soon encounter close-ups of an energy drink while your hands are down your pants. Thirsty?

      The adult-entertainment industry has changed dramatically over the past half-decade. When YouTube launched, in 2005, its porn equivalent was bound to surface. Within a year, three such sites existed, and adult DVD sales began to plummet. The number of porn-centric tube sites where you can fulfill nearly any sexual fantasy for free (see Rule 34 of the internet: if it exists, there's a porn version) is now in the thousands.

      In 2014, Pornhub claims, it had 78.9 billion video views (that's about ten porno views per person on earth). Meanwhile, adult production companies are now facing bankruptcy and are desperately looking for new ways to profit from their films. Unless you partner with a tube site, latch on to the camming trend, or make high-quality content that's so effed up people want to pay for it because they can't get it anywhere else, you're shit outta luck.

      Could some carefully displayed branding change all that?

      "Product placement is just not in porn, and there's a lot of room for that to happen," Kross told me. "It's not only daring and risk-taking, it's incredibly smart because most people do watch porn. More searches are for porn than any other one subject, so a lot of people are going to hear about ArrangementFinders without meaning to."

      ArrangementFinders.com, a sugar-daddy dating website that helps young women coordinate relationships with older, wealthier men, is no stranger to using porn stars for endorsements. Previously it's had deals with Bree Olson, Charlie Sheen's ex, and Sydney Leathers. However, this is the first time the company has gone as far as appointing a porn star to run the company.

      Kross has been in the adult industry since she was scouted while attending the University of California in 2006, and has been in more than 100 films since. But her off-camera skills are also impressive—she's been published in the New York Times and was a host on G4. Almost immediately upon taking her seat at the helm of ArrangementFinders, Kross successfully pitched the Toronto-based company the idea of putting its brand in an adult film, but she knew it had to be with the right starlet.

      Remember that Wall Street intern who got caught taking nudes at the office where she worked, quit, and declared to the world, via Twitter, "I left finance because if I'm going to take it up the ass for a decade, I'd prefer to get into a hall of fame for it"? Well, meet the star of Screwing Wall Street: The ArrangementFinders IPO: Veronica Vain (a.k.a. Paige Jennings).

      Vain was approached by a number of major adult film companies with lucrative offers before making her decision. "I started thinking that if maybe if I took one of the other deals, I would have been furthering the current porn business model for girls," Vain told me over the phone in Manhattan while walking to do some last-minute filming in the financial district. "The biggest perk to me for the deal was that it was something that was unprecedented in the industry—the first product placement in a porn film,"

      The film itself plays on Vain's notoriety, placing her in the role of a Wall Street broker trying to manipulate the shares of a company. That's where the branding comes in—the company whose shares she is fucking with is ArrangementFinders.com. The first clip was released on Pornhub on February 13; in its first 48 hours, it was viewed a million times—a new record for a first-time adult star.

      "[In the past] maybe you went out and got porn quietly and hid it under your mattress or wherever," Kross said. "People talk about it now. People follow porn stars on Twitter, which is an admission that they watch porn... It's a snowball thing, and it's taking off."

      Kross and Vain agree that the porn industry is evolving—in the sense that it's meshing with everyday culture and that the business side is on the verge of a major transformation.

      "If the movie is being partially funded by product placement, you don't have to worry so much about your costs, and therefore your profitability goes up, which could be immediately really amazing for the industry," Vain explained to me. She said the potential options for product placement is limitless: e-cigarettes, lube, condoms, and even energy drinks.

      Screwing Wall Street: The ArrangementFinders IPO will be released serially over the course of the next month and is slated to come out on DVD in April. Though it's the first porn release with product placement, it certainly won't be the last­.

      Follow Allison Elkin on Twitter.

      Topics: Allison Elkin, Allison Elkin VICE, porn, Sydney Leathers, Pornhub, ArrangementFinders.com, Kayden Kross, Screwing Wall Street: The ArrangementFinders IPO, Bree Olson, Veronica Vain, Paige Jennings, VICE Global, Canada

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