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"the bulletin article" #porn sells

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    HARD SELL ON SITE CLUB

    Online content provider Connect has found there's no business like funny business – and its shares bear watching.

    One service that has been a consistent profit spinner on the internet is porn. It should come as no surprise, therefore, that enthusiastic technology entrepreneur Richard Li has turned to flaunting the flesh as a means to spice up GoConnect, an online content provider. But his is not just another raunchy web site. Rather, by using proprietary technology called GoTrek, people are being offered a subscription package that downloads high-quality video streaming onto PCs, pocket PCs and soon-to-arrive mobile smart phones anywhere in the world. Li says that early interest has been strong, particularly for GoConnect's (ASX code: GCN) new OurWorld TV channel for the gay and lesbian community. The second channel is aimed at heterosexuals. Potential users log on to the company's web site and download the GoTrek software, allowing their device to receive the clips. The programming is sent overnight, and can be viewed for a limited number of times during the month. Whether people want to view porn in the back of the bus is yet to be seen but GoConnect has little to lose. Since launching in 1999, it has focused on a simple, fixed PC-based service. It has racked up more than $24m in losses, and has a customer base of just 3000 Australians. They hooked up initially thanks to GoConnect's lure of free internet access. While eager at first, the numbers plummeted when the company started to charge for connection. Its shares, which listed late in 2000, quickly hit 19.5¢ before falling to 3¢. They had recently recovered to 10¢. At the moment, people pay at least $10 a month to receive GoConnect's m-Vision service of basic channels covering movie previews, music, comedy, finance, horoscopes and sports. The porn costs a minimum of $12 extra. Apart from skin flicks, however, GoConnect is banking on the proliferation of mobile devices and its revised global focus to boost subscriber numbers. Li believes he can make very nice profits if he can sign up 20,000 customers. Already, by rewriting its technology for mobile users, GoConnect is winning support from influential players striving to find a marketing edge based on content. O2, the major British mobile phone operator, last month began distributing the m-Vision service preloaded on PC phones it is selling in Malaysia. Meanwhile, Microsoft is sounding out leading mobile phone companies about licensing the GoTrek technology as a platform for their own content. It seems the GoTrek streaming is of a superior quality even compared with newly arrived third-generation video phones. Microsoft hopes it will help in winning orders for phones that use its mobile software, raising the prospect that GoConnect could develop a flow of licensing income.
 
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