FameDollars on the Rise
The Gammae team scored big when they first began looking for a solid lineup of partners to join in developing the FameDollars affiliate network and signed cumshot legend North, whose DVD archive was more than two decades strong.
"This was the kind of partner we were looking for to embark in the FameDollars journey," Gammae partner Claude Hyppolite said. "We already knew that Peter's movies converted well and his name was known from everyone, so it was bound to be a win-win situation."
North knew that developing an Internet presence would be essential to maintaining his adult superstar status and that Gammae was one of the only companies with a solid reputation online. He also knew he would have to work with a team of people who knew their stuff and could teach him along the way. The fact that Hyppolite sent North an offer he couldn't refuse was the icing in the cake.
"Claude is a great businessman," North said. "He has a knack for seeing the future, predicting trends before they happen. You have to be on the train; you can't miss it. There's definitely a learning curve, but I have the Gammae team to advise (me)."
Although North took a hiatus from on-screen performing, Hyppolite said Gammae plans to offer fans something fresh from the porn legend in 2009, with script-based content, more high-resolution stills, special features and showcasing the most in-demand performers as North's co-stars. North will be making a full comeback in front of the camera.
"It's like taking a Ferrari and making it even higher end," North said. "I'm shooting more for the Internet than DVD now. I like the change."
FameDollars now features both PeterNorth.com and ISwallowPeterNorth.com, a niche site honoring the enormous loads North has been known for dropping on the industry's finest faces for 25 years and even challenges girls in the business to see if they can swallow it all in one fell swoop.
North said the key to online success is offering — and owning — his own exclusive content, and the fact that he not only has a slew of new online-only projects but also a huge archive of vintage footage never before seen online means that PeterNorth.com will be able to offer fans content they can't find anywhere else.
"PeterNorth.com has always been very popular amongst surfers and the webmaster community," FameDollars Director of Product Development Magalie Rheault said. "It was, and is still, a safe bet when you want to convert your traffic. Everyone knows who Peter North is, even less porn-savvy surfers."
But even with such a famous name, there's only one way to attract surfers and keep them coming back for more: form an interactive "relationship" and offer them what they ask for. That's the key to FameDollars' success with PeterNorth.com, TeraPatrick.com and RoccoSiffredi.com.
In the 10 years adult stuperstar Patrick has been sizzling onscreen, she says she's only ever felt comfortable working with the FameDollars team, confident that they all are on the same page when it comes to offering fans a surfing experience that's unique to Patrick.
"You have to give fans an exclusive experience," said Evan Seinfeld, CEO of Patrick's production company TeraVision. "(Patrick) didn't have control over her past sites. This time she has it 100 percent."
Hyppolite said that he knew working with Patrick would be a winning alliance, especially because of the level of involvement she wanted to have in the website design process and how much effort she was planning to put toward updates and relationship-building.
"When we approached Tera, we already had Peter North, and having one of the top two porn stars was really a natural match," Hyppolite said. "Soon after Tera was on board with us, Jenna Jameson left the industry, and Tera fell righteously into first place. It took quite some time before we all agreed on a plan and started building her new site from scratch."
Patrick said she not only maintains a rigorous shooting schedule to keep her website content fresh and constantly evolving, she also maintains a blog, diary, online journal and even a Q&A page where she offers sex advice.
"The website is my future," Patrick said, adding that each time she posts new photos from her latest vacation, or candids featuring her dogs, is an opportunity to form a connection with at least one new fan or develop a stronger one with an existing member.
With a clear vision in mind, Patrick and the FameDollars team have created a site designed to match the star herself: refined and elegant, with a little bit of edge.
"It's a collection and timeline of her career," Seinfeld said, "almost like having a personal relationship with her."
Patrick and Seinfeld said that this year, along with some more plans for mainstream crossover, the duo will make TeraPatrick.com an exclusive distribution tool for the highly anticipated "Reign of Tera 3," which features a 45-minute anal marathon scene that Patrick still giggles about upon mention. The film will be made available only online for a few months before it's released worldwide.
The two said that if the results are as positive as they expect, there is a good chance they'll utilize TeraPatrick.com to debut future TeraVision features to site members before anyone else as a sort of reward for being loyal fans.
Following Patrick on the FameDollars radar was European adult superstar Siffredi, whose 20-plus years of Italian stallion performances and suave mainstream crossover — which includes a clothing line and being featured in music videos and feature film — had made him a household name overseas.
"Rocco was one performer that we had our eye on for many years," Rheault said. "Of course we admired his work and knew that he was a hardworking man, but he was with another company at the time, so we didn't go further in our discussions with him. The day came where he was open to look around for Internet alliances, and we were ready."
Siffredi said he made the switch to FameDollars strictly because of business, knowing that he needed to keep up with the "real thing."
"The business has changed," Siffredi said. "Business is the Internet, it's taking over, and I decided to go with the best company."
Siffredi said he and Hyppolite agreed that their first goals would be to take his existing site to the next level with web exclusives, create a personal experience for each surfer and to speak to a porn-fan demographic that only Siffredi can truly reach.
"FameDollars wants to go multilingual and be more aggressive with the European online market," Hyppolite said. "By having Rocco on the team, we feel that he can help us in opening those doors. And on the other side, we also are helping him in having a more constant presence in the U.S. and Canada markets."
With that in mind, Siffredi and the Gammae crew are planning to develop Rocco Academy, an Internet-based reality series that puts a sexy, voyeuristic spin on a traditional how-to-get-into-porn theme.
"In Europe there is a new generation of actors who don't know how to (get into adult)," Siffredi said. "I want to teach these new guys how to get into the business. I'm tired of the typical mechanical scene; I want to use the Internet to do something different."
It helps that Siffredi came to FameDollars with such an established international fan base — and that he speaks English, French, Spanish and Italian — which will make creating the personalized surfer experience worldwide that much easier. Hyppolite said that by June, RoccoSiffredi.com will be translated into six languages.
Siffredi said he also has plans this year to build a live cam studio in Budapest, where live content and behind-the-scenes special features can be viewed 24/7, and to continue developing his clothing line, which consists of T-shirts and other casual wear sporting clever slogans playing off of his most notable attribute: his 23-centimeter penis.
"The idea was to have another way to connect with fans," Siffredi said. "There are 23 pieces in the spring collection. They're high quality but affordable."
And now that FameDollars is home to three of the biggest names in adult, the program is armed and ready to make some serious moves online, while being selective about which new opportunities to explore and which to keep on the back burner.
"We launched a lot of new promotional tools (this year)," Rheault said. "We also launched FameDollars v2.0 in January with a whole new revamped look. We hope to give webmasters the new tools that they need to promote our sites better, and of course we always do custom deals with our affiliates who have specific needs. Our partners are very much implicated in those custom requests as well."
FameDollars' lineup of partners is composed of a specially selected group that the company carefully evaluates before teaming up. Each time a potential partner makes an inquiry, the FameDollars team checks out its products to ensure that they don't compete directly with their existing partners. FameDollars understands the need to add value with fresh and diverse content but also is aware that it can't afford to compromise the alliances it has worked so hard to develop.
"We've had more and more studios and performers knocking on our door wanting to be a part of FameDollars' success," Rheault said. "We have to be very picky in who we choose as partners. Also, new partners mean less one-on-one time, so we have to be cautious in our choices."
One thing on everyone's minds — especially Hyppolite's, Rheault's and the Gammae/FameDollars crew's — now that Patrick, North and Siffredi are all under the same "roof" is whether the three will work together to create the ultimate threesome.
"Never say never," Siffredi said. "I'm sure it would be incredible."
North said he and Patrick have never worked together on camera, and though he once shared screen time with Siffredi, he'd much prefer to work together and give it some seriously sexy star power.
"You don't usually see all the big stars in one film," North said. "Now that we're all in the Gammae family, it can definitely happen."
Said Patrick, "It (would be) the ultimate sandwich."