Playboy.tv wants to bring porn to Chromecast, but Google may not be game

Gigaom

Porn is coming to Chromecast, if Playboy.tv (obviously, NSFW) has its way: The X-rated subscription service has been developing an Android app that includes the ability to beam videos to TVs equipped with Google’s TV stick, according to screenshots and wireframes posted to Behance.net.

Playboy may be a brand name that many associate with the softer side of adult entertainment. However, the Playboy.tv service isn’t actually run by Hugh Hefner’s company anymore, but instead got sold to web porn giant Manwin a little over two years ago. Manwin, which recently rebranded as MindGeek, also runs websites like RedTube and YouPorn, and is generally known for more explicit fare.

Google has thus far kept a tight lid on Chromecast, and only allowed a few select partners to add Chromecast support to their apps. The company has explained this by noting that the Google Cast SDK, which is necessary to develop apps for Chromecast, isn’t quite ready yet. Google VP of Product Management Mario Queiroz told me a month ago that the company wants to release the SDK this year, and that consumers can eventually expect Chromecast support in “any and every” app.

Does that include apps peddling porn as well? That’s far from certain. A Google spokesperson wasn’t available to comment on the matter, but my understanding is that Google will eventually have some kind of terms of service in place for developers who want to build Chromecast-compatible apps. Those terms of service will likely be similar to the ones in place for the Google Play store. That means some minor degree of nudity may be okay, but hardcore pornography will most likely not.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that Chromecast will remain porn-free — there is only that much control that companies like Google can exert in this space. Case in point: Steve Jobs promised iPad users “freedom from porn,” and Apple has had strict rules about nudity in place ever since the iTunes app store launched. But porn companies simply responded by embracing HTML5 and offering their fare through Apple’s own Safari browswer. A similar approach is already available to Chromecast users: Google’s Chrome desktop browser allows mirroring of any website to Chromecast.

It’s unclear what plans MindGeek has for the Playboy.tv app, both in terms of distribution and eventual Chromecast support. I send a few emails to the company’s PR department, but have yet to hear back.



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