Jon Blitt Aims to Stay Miles Ahead of the Competition
It almost seems as if it came out of nowhere to become one of the industry’s major players. But it’s been slow, steady growth on both the distribution and production sides that have led Mile High Media to the successful position it holds today.
Created as an adult movie distribution company in the late ’80s and early ’90s, the Canadian company was founded by current CEO Jon Blitt’s father who came from mainstream distribution.
“He had a chain of stores and was doing mainstream distribution and just kind of fell into the adult side of things. At first he carried a couple of titles, then he saw the potential in adult compared to what the margins were in Hollywood movies, and we just switched everything over eventually,” Blitt recalls.
Over the last nine years, Mile High has expanded and branched out from Canadian distribution into the international market by creating its own brands using the knowledge gained from direct interaction with the retailers.
Blitt says its first studio was reality-based Doghouse Digital followed by Reality Junkies that took advantage of the reality frenzy. The company then saw the demand for “authentic girl/girl and couples lines” and dove into the genre with its Sweet Sinner, Sweetheart Video and Sweet Sinema lines that Blitt says are part of its crowning achievements, along with Mile High’s Hardcore Parody imprints that have garnered numerous awards and recognition including AEBN’s Best Studio of 2011.
And a good deal of the company’s success stems from Blitt’s enthusiasm and love for the industry. He says he entered the family-run business at the tender age of 18 in the shipping department during the day while studying for his university degree at night. “I actually think I approached my father about it. I mean, what 18-yearold kid wouldn’t want to be in the porno business? My father always believed it was important for me to work my way up through the company. My brother and I are both here, and we both have basically done every job imaginable in the company. I mean, I’ve done shipping, order entry, sales, production etc. … you name it,” he says.
The apprenticeship has apparently paid off. And Blitt credits his family for much of his success. “I have been in the adult business for the last 19 years and have been fortunate enough to spend those years working alongside my father. I guess you can say he’s taught me everything I know, even though I remind him every day about how underpaid I am. But in all seriousness, I would have to say that my father has definitely been the single most influential person in my working career and I look forward to many more years working alongside him and my brother.”
Now as Mile High vice president, Blitt runs the gamut of the company’s day-to-day dealings including business development, marketing, advertising and the production process.
He also honchos deals for websites and meeting face-to-face around the U.S. with distributors and retailers canvassing his partners on what is and isn’t working for them. If that’s not enough, the executive is out hawking the Mile High brand and insuring quality content among all of the company’s entertainment platforms, including its new member studio sites.
Blitt says that despite the inherent challenge of the porn business, adult is like any other industry; requiring leaders to be smart, driven with a decisive type of personality to build and maintain a successful business.
His personal philosophy is put to the test on a daily basis. Blitt says his biggest challenge in the marketplace today is free porn on the Internet. “While I feel it’s had a devastating effect on the industry, it has also helped in weeding out a lot of the bad product that has been out there for so many years,” he says. “Companies can no longer get by making run-of-the-mill product.
“We are now faced with the challenge of creating products that the consumer feels they need to pay for because it’s far superior than what’s out there for free. Our philosophy as a company has been to meet this challenge head on by continuously striving to make our product better. We continue to put more money into our movies in order to stay ahead of the competition and we reach out to the consumers that are still willing to part with their hard-earned money for a quality product.”
And some of the company’s signature directors have helped, including Bobby Manila and Kevin Moore who shoot for Reality Junkies, KK for Doghouse and Male Reality, and James Avalon, Kevin Moore and Dana Vespoli for Sweetheart and Sweet Sinner. Blitt says he couldn’t be happier with his team.
“In an industry which seems to have so much turnover, we’ve been really lucky in maintaining a great team of creative, hard-working and dedicated directors. Just like our head office staff in Montreal, many of whom have been with us for five to 20 years, a lot of our directors have been with us since we went international,” Blitt notes.
The creativity has helped create a collective “soul” of Mile High’s studios, that Blitt says that all have their own signature styles. He maintains that the core of them all is quality in content, performance, and delivery method. “Everything we produce must be authentic and high quality,” he says.
Some standout series and winners include “Mom & Dad Are Fucking My Friends” from Doghouse, “Couples Seeking Teens” and “Too Big for Teens” from Reality Junkies, “Girls Kissing Girls” from Sweetheart and “My Daughter’s Boyfriend” from Sweet Sinner.
But it doesn’t end with movies. Mile High has also embraced the Internet, albeit in an unorthodox fashion according to Blitt. He explains that Mile High is a full partner and owner in one of the industry’s leading affiliate programs, PremiumCash (the XBIZ Single Platform Affiliate Program of the Year), that features a number of major porn star official sites including Tori Black, Lexi Belle, Alexis Texas, Nina Hartley, Katsuni, AnnMarie Rios, Chanel Preston and more.
The company’s other web presence includes a content partnership with Gamma Entertainment for its official studio websites. “Through Gamma, we have successfully launched sites for DoghouseDigital.com, SweetSinner.com, RealityJunkies.com and SweetheartVideo.com in the first quarter of 2012. We will also be launching our network site MileHighMedia.com later in the year,” Blitt says.
And more tech advancements are on the way, according to Blitt. He says Mile High is very cognizant about staying ahead of the curve. He revealed that he’s recently brought all editing and video processing in house in order to be better equipped to react to changes in the marketplace. The move also allows the company to better service its “rapidly changing customer base” among different delivery platforms such as VOD, mobile, IPTV and more. Blitt notes, “We also recently upgraded all our equipment and are now shooting all of our productions across all studios with the Canon 5D Mark III camera. The HD quality far surpasses what we were shooting before and takes our films to the next level. This will translate into incredible results on our new member websites as well, since we are now offering full HD streaming.”
Blitt didn’t want to give away all of the company’s secrets, but says that Mile High constantly keeps a close eye on any and all new technology that it feels will help it to stay miles ahead of the competition.