Exec Seat: Q&A With AEBN's Jerry Anders
Meet adult entertainment industry veteran Jerry Anders, who has helped lead AEBN to its powerhouse status. Anders, the company’s longtime vice president, has helped grow the company to where it is today.
Anders met up with XBIZ World to chat with him about the company’s vast number of divisions, including RealTouch, which has sold more than 30,000 units.
XBIZ: How did you venture into the adult industry?
ANDERS: In the late 1990s I opened an online store, primarily selling horror and exploitation movies. The Russ Meyer and Doris Wishman stuff was selling much better than the horror, so I added XXX classics. Then it just blew up. I was selling tons of classics then began selling new releases, and just grew and grew. Finally, I sold the company and started in production with two lines, Pandora Cinema and Twisted Transmissions (fetish). After some time building the studio, I met Scott Coffman at a trade show. He told me about this thing he was doing online with AEBN. I could see very clearly that this was going to be huge so I jumped on his bandwagon and been here ever since.
XBIZ: AEBN started in the biz when video streaming was still in its infancy, and now it is a market leader. How did the company get to this point?
ANDERS: AEBN is a consumer brand now, but it didn’t start that way. In the early days we were more of a B2B and heavily targeted affiliates. AEBN was only a webmaster site until around 2004 which is also around the same time I came on board full-time. We were, and still are very aggressive in contacting any person, big or small, who publishes adult material online. Although we market AEBN direct to consumers, we are still always looking for partnership opportunities with other adult companies or webmasters.
XBIZ: How many brands does AEBN own and operate?
ANDERS: We have too many sites to list, but the key brands under our umbrella are AEBN of course, NakedSword, Falcon Studios, Raging Stallion Studios, Girl Candy Films, Rock Candy Films, TransRomantic, Hard Candy Films and RealTouch. Our newest venture is Align Broadcasting, which will take our new and old brands to cable and satellite operators.
XBIZ: How many affiliates do you work with?
ANDERS: Thousands. We work with anyone from small bloggers to the big giants in the industry.
XBIZ: AEBN expanded greatly in the late part of the last decade, acquiring scores of leading gay adult brands? How has that helped revenue?
ANDERS: Of course Falcon, Raging Stallion and NakedSword were excellent choices for the company. Falcon is a legendary brand with a rich history. Chris Ward and his folks in San Francisco are doing a great job of keeping that spirit alive as well as maintaining Raging Stallion. Tim Valenti over at NakedSword continues to grow NakedSword as the leading gay membership site, as well as becoming one of the most exciting new movie producers in the business.
XBIZ: What’s the latest with RealTouch? How many units has the company sold?
ANDERS: Well over 30,000 units now. Sales really blew up once Real-Touch Interactive was released 17 months ago. For the first time ever, top adult stars can touch their fans over the Internet. Everyone who has a “date” is blown away by the experience. It’s something everyone must try.
XBIZ: What sector of the online adult business is driving the market these days?
ANDERS: I don’t think that has changed too much since the beginning. Ultimately it comes down to traffic, and converting that traffic with the best content from the top studios, as well as our own original productions.
XBIZ: Where is most of your business coming from?
ANDERS: We have a good balance of direct sales to AEBN and affiliate sales.
XBIZ: In the 15 years in the adult business, do you think the industry has matured greatly?
ANDERS: It’s much harder now, of course, with so much free content, but I believe it will work itself out. We all know there was probably just too much porn out there in the mid-2000s. We had hundreds of DVDs coming in every week back then. Now we have much less, but the strong studios have survived and soldier on.
XBIZ: What’s a typical work day like?
ANDERS: We’re always on the lookout for new sites and studios to partner with, as well as making sure our current relationships remain strong. These things are most important.
XBIZ: When not thinking about the biz, what do you like to do?
ANDERS: I’m a music junkie so I’m usually trying to track down some album on vinyl.