In the Executive Seat: CamZ' Dan Hogue
"You have just two ways to grow in this business," he says. "One is to throw a lot of money at the market, buying affiliate traffic and placements where affiliates will see you more. Or, you can work your tail off and customize your offerings one at a time, because affiliates are looking for specific tools."
Hogue chose the latter route, and it's paid enormous dividends for his company. Based in Melbourne, Fla., CamZ moved on from its basic offerings of live hardcore feeds in 2003, when Private CamZ was introduced, giving the firm a pay-per-minute model. Hogue's latest innovation is a pay-per-sale program, which is something they've never tried before at CamZ. It starts at a $40 pay-per-sale and goes all the way up to $150 pay-per-sale; with new promotions every month.
But it's the willingness to customize its features for every individual affiliate and model that lies beneath the CamZ success story.
"One of the things we take pride in is that we adapt what we have to the client," Hogue says. "Most of our stuff has been custom white labels, but we can even do it on the client's domain now, and that's made a big difference. It's allowed us to pick up a few good clients, and larger companies are looking at us now.
"We've really concentrated on providing a lot more affiliate tools, and modernizing our front end as well as our back end. In the affiliate market, where so many things are being done, and with so many changes in the traffic situation, we had to adapt a lot of our tools to the new style of sending traffic.
"Conversions have gone up, especially over the last year. We're getting positive feedback from the affiliates on our willingness to customize our stuff, gearing it toward the things they need. Most people have an idea of what they want, and they look for people willing to work within that framework. That willingness to adapt to them is what makes us stand apart from the competition. We've added features that allow clients to do their own billing, or integrate it with NetBilling, and they have a one-click connection from their members' area directly to their live cam white label. We've really adapted to what the clients are looking for, including some affiliate tracking, so they can pass that along to their affiliates if they choose to."
The malleability of CamZ and Private CamZ doesn't stop with the affiliates, either. Nearly every model who decides to get into the amateur cam network market makes the company their first choice for the very same reasons.
"Nobody has come close to offering what we can to models that perform on our site," Hogue says. "The custom tools that we give them for their members' areas are excellent. We'll even host their site for free. We provide them content for their site. We eliminate a lot of the expenses that amateurs incur running a site, and we also provide them a lot of traffic through our free versions, and through some of our other traffic sources. We also promote their sites, because the more successful the amateurs are, the more successful we are. All that makes us pretty much the first stop for amateurs and porn stars who want to do hardcore shows for their members' areas.
"The feeds are completely customizable as well. We can totally integrate those feeds into a members' area, and do it so seamlessly that it looks like part of their site. When affiliates use this program, they generally pay us a monthly fee, but what they make on up-sells more than makes up for the cost of any feeds. By completely integrating the feeds into their sites, it's really helped to attract, convert and retain members for longer than before. When members log in, they always see a live feed that's different. Obviously there is some cost involved with things like a plug-in fee, but we do have a free version.
"We have a really cool plug-in for amateurs now that will replay their last one-hour show, and automatically put their schedule in their members' area. It allows them to select a five to 15-minute clip from their last show, and create a highlight clip that can be shown on a nice little viewer where members can watch it for free. The models' last five shows on Private CamZ also are on this plug-in, so it's all together in the members' area and it's automatically updated. The girls don't have to do anything except select their favorite section of their previous show, and our system automatically processes it, and puts it up on their website."
Naturally, the potential money that amateur models can make through CamZ is an enormous incentive to partner with the firm. Hogue reveals that his top amateur models make up to $20,000 per month, about 10 times more than studio models will make.
"The amateur models for our hardcore feeds work pretty much out of their homes," Hogue says. "They put on their own shows. We don't do any production, but we feel that the quality of the feeds from the amateurs is so much greater than anything you can get from a studio. It's like night and day. There's just a huge difference between the personalities and performances of amateurs as opposed to porn stars."
Hogue is justifiably proud of his operation, which has come a long way from his initial foray into the online marketplace in 1998. Back then, it was just he and his wife working from their home on their own amateur site.
"It was fun, but we knew we didn't want to do that forever," Hogue remembers. "We decided to get into the service side of things, so in 1999 we became a live feed provider in the amateur market. We started a cam network where amateurs and porn stars can provide one-hour hardcore shows. Then we sold it to other programs and site owners who didn't have live models or live shows, and it worked out really well."
With CamZ having grown to a company that now employs 26 people, it certainly has.