Q&A With Andy Alvarez, Webmaster Central
Webmaster Central is known for its hands-on approach with customers, CEO Andy Alvarez stresses. It’s all about to protect their interests and serve their needs, he says.
However, Webmaster Central’s primary goal is to make their customers money. “If we are not adding to their bottom line then we are not doing our jobs,” he says.
Well, who could argue with that?
So meet one of the adult industry’s well-known veterans and learn more about why content is king for Webmaster Central.
XBIZ: How did you venture into the adult industry?
ALVAREZ: After graduating college in 1995 at FSU, I was unsure of what I would do next. I considered law school when a young programmer friend had just started working at a startup called Cybererotica. He told me how well this company was doing, so I started looking into it.
As you can imagine in 1996 there was very little information out there but I heard of a new convention about 60 miles from my home in Orlando called IA2000. There, I met a lot of young entrepreneurs like myself who were much cooler than anyone I had met in any other industry I had worked in. At the time, no one was selling content but I found a few studios willing to sell me about 30 movies. Adult membership sites were willing to pay almost anything and very little video was available to them. I offered my movies for $1,000 per month and at the first IA2000 sold 26 customers over a weekend. I knew I had found my calling in life. The company only grew from there. Many of my first clients are still customers today and many are some of my closest friends.
XBIZ: What products and services does Webmaster Central provide for adult website businesses?
ALVAREZ: I would say Webmaster Central is the gold standard of online content for adult membership, dating and cam sites. Webmaster Central offers high-definition, mobile-compatible content in every niche including straight, gay, tranny, glamour, BDSM and ex-girlfriend content broken down even further into hundreds of smaller niches.
Originally all we did was offer a niche leased feed in a category like “naughty nurses” with about 100-500 scenes in each category. Today we have changed that into a fully customizable system that seamlessly integrates into customer member sites via an XML gateway or custom white label. The XML gateway gives customers the ability to play the content within their own player, allowing them total control of our entire library of videos. A customer can pull 30 or 40 updates per day or three a day ... they have all the control. We have also begun offering a completely new product called In-Video advertising that allow customers to place ads inside the videos and banner around the player. This allows for easier cross selling and the ability to advertise dating and cam programs inside a adult membership sites, for instance. Our goal is for the customer to make 100 times what the content costs them. The best way to do that is to listen to our clients needs and ideas and make them happen regardless of how fetched it may seem. I would say there is no service we don’t offer our customers in regards to their content needs . If our clients can dream it, we can make it happen.
We also offer thousands of HD images and even edited HD commercials that customers can use on their tours to entice signups.
XBIZ: What sector of the online adult business is driving the market these days?
ALVAREZ: Without a doubt the mobile market is the future and is the driving force in the adult Internet today. If you are not offering mobile content on your sites or your tours are not mobile-compatible you are lagging behind and need to catch up if your intention is to be relevant five years from now. We were the first company to offer mobile and tablet compatible content. We beat the competition by about four years on that. Originally we were 90 percent content driven; now technology is our driving force. If there is a new technology or device we have not worked with or created than it simply can’t be done yet.
XBIZ: What devices are most consumers viewing porn on?
ALVAREZ: The PC is still king with about 65 percent of viewers using it to view porn, but mobile is catching up fast. Two years ago five percent of our business was mobile, now that’s grown to 35 percent of our traffic — and growing every single day.
XBIZ: We’ve reported that Webmaster Central has seen a big increase in use of content by dating and live cam sites. Why is that?
ALVAREZ: For years cam sites did not want adult videos on their sites and somehow thought that using it would take away from the guys or girls chatting with the live performers. What they have now come to realize is adding Webmaster Central to their sites not only increases their return traffic but greatly increases the most important thing in a business which is their bottom line. We have dozens of large cam programs that have added Webmaster Central to their sites and have seen their return traffic quadruple within months. They have begun building a member base rather than just one time transactions. Where once they relied on profits derived solely from live chat transactions to a thriving member base of thousands paying anywhere from $5 to $50 per month to watch our videos. Why send their traffic somewhere else to get their movies. Instead we make them a one stop shop for everything adult.
Dating Sites are the fastest and most profitable growing market today and the same applies cam sites. However unlike most cam sites, dating sites charge for monthly memberships. Adding our content in a “VIP bonus” section or a paid members area only increases their retention often doubling and even tripling the life of a member.
I’ll give you an example of one customer, a large dating program I will not mention by name. They decided to add Webmaster Central in a VIP bonus section; they went from zero members and within six months are now doing over 100TBs a month. It not only increases retention but we have tools that will help convert free members to paying members as well. We have done that for dozens of cam and dating programs and the client base is growing every month due to success stories like that. Of course the revenue varies but if it’s a well funded and large dating or Cam program then there is no limit to what they can make. Even the smallest cam or dating site can benefit from more revenue every month.
If I can tell a cam or dating program that I could potentially add seven figures to their yearly income and have the facts to prove it then there are very few who decide not to at least try it out. We make it very easy and are very good at what we do.
XBIZ: Do you guys shoot your own content?
ALVAREZ: About three years ago we decided to no longer carry standard-definition content and start only buying high-definition content from studios. It was difficult because it was very hard to find and very expensive. It was worth it because with the growth of the tube site market we needed our clients to have the best. Standard definition was no longer an option. Then high definition was not good enough, we wanted the content directly from the cameras on hard drives. Our desire for the highest possible quality was unquenchable so we decided that shooting our own content was the only way to get the quality we wanted. I wouldn’t say all our content is shot by us but a great deal is. We shoot more and more every month. Within a few years we hope to use only content shot exclusively by us.
XBIZ: In the 17 years in business, do you think the adult industry has matured greatly?
ALVAREZ: I do think the business has matured. Whereas in the beginning everyone was sticking to the affiliate per signup or revshare model, now dating and cam programs have expanded what is possible. I think the business will continue to evolve forever. I can’t wait to see what the landscape looks like 20 years from now.
XBIZ: What’s a typical work day like?
ALVAREZ: My work day mostly involves meetings with my team on how to better improve our customers services, speaking to new and current customers, and looking for new content and/or talking to our directors in different parts of the world to see how a certain shoot is going.
We keep it moving.