XBIZ World Presents the Top 50 Newsmakers of 2014
In early 2014, ADAMO Advertising debuted its self-serve platform for publishers and advertisers. In May, the company added Paxum and ePayService deposit and payout options for its clients. More news came out in the summer when ADAMO announced carrier and OS targeting. Chris Lebrun joined the firm as director of sales in September.
The 2014 XBIZ Awards Content Provider of the Year, AdultCentro partnered with adult star Vanilla DeVille for her official site and affiliate program. Later in the year, the company announced “My Store,” a white-label storefront where producers and agents can promote content.
Late in 2014 traffic provider AdXpansion, launched its own Thanksgiving “Black Friday-Cyber Monday” 50 percent discount special that allowed advertisers to create and start campaigns bidding across the world with minimum bids on the AdXpansion network. The company was also nominated for a XBIZ 2015 Award in the web and tech category for Traffic Services Company of the Year — North America.
AEBN in March exclusively streamed PornPros’ “Belle Gets Schooled,” starring the infamous Duke University student/porn performer Belle Knox. Another porn star streaming exclusive was “The Destruction of Bonnie Rotten.”
Early in 2014 mobile company Affil4You released new mirror sites in Russian and Portuguese to better cater to both countries’ native affiliates and consumers with an interface and support staff that fits their cultural parameters. Shortly after, the XBIZ 2014 Mobile Company of the Year added live cam services for affiliates and then in October debuted its new website’s simplified home page that featured a URL generator, e-direction script, white label solutions for VOD, optimized banner scripts, tailor made content, dating and live cam solutions, and Google-friendly redirection in conjunction with its multiple service offerings.
The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) awarded its director of European outreach, Vince Charlton, the winner of the its annual service recognition award. Early in the year the group participated in two key meetings in the U.K. to “help to shape the future of the Internet for digital media publishers and consumers in the U.K. and beyond,” and in April issued a clarification on the U.K.’s ATVOD age-verification initiative. The ASACP also teamed up with new adult search engine BoodiGo.com will enable BoodiGo.com to help screen out sites that traffic in child pornography and the abuse of children.
CM Productions announced in February that the BaDoink.com type-in tour has been transformed into an adult consumer-oriented digital magazine with 650-plus articles. Badoink also became a channel on the Roku streaming player and in the summer, CEO Todd Glider penned an open letter to Google criticizing to its decision to ban advertising of adult-oriented websites through its AdWords advertising platform.
Early in 2014 mobile affiliate program Brokerbabe.com relaunched its mobile service in Austria. The company also added a selection of apps for different GEOs and for Italy. In November, Brokerbabe launched its new affiliate interface that allows mobile webmasters to filter and route traffic on their own with “fallback” and “takeout” rules, “or allows Brokerbabe route the traffic in the best way.” The interface also includes customizable scripts, stats and tools to make media buying easier.
In a cyber-squatting case, Surecom Corp., operator of Cam4.com was awarded the domain name Cam4Hot.com early in 2014 after an arbitrator ruled that the name is confusingly similar to its adult webcam site franchise. A report by the company conducted in conjunction with French survey institute, Ifop, showed an increase of sexual confidence by users of new communication tools and Internet technologies along with a decrease in taboos. In October, the company sponsored the Everything To Do With Sex Show in Toronto.
It was a busy year for global payment processor CCBill. In early 2014 the company added two new report options to its expanding FlexStats system, and as part of its ongoing expansion of options for merchants, it eliminated the surcharge for free trial initial and recurring transactions for all existing and new merchants. CCBill.com also expanded its subscription and member tools with the creation of the Direct Discount API and self-service feature. In June, the firm announced the release of its latest Merchant Connect traffic feature that simplified the ability to offer programs to other merchants, as well as send traffic for additional sales opportunities to other merchants in the CCBill family. More summer expansion saw CCBill added to Roku payments and a new FlexForms payments platform. A series of new consumer email templates was also made available to its merchants within the CCBill Admin Portal that features a receipt-like format to help drive consumer trust and enhance the consumer experience.
CECash took home the XBIZ Affiliate Program of the Year – Multi-Platform Award for 2014. CECash also was featured in an interview with its marketing chief, Adam Winters, in this issue of XBIZ World.
ClickCastX last October has announced the release of version 3.0 of its content management and video-on-demand software solution. The update came five years after the first version hit the market and is now a multisite, multiproduct, multilanguage, multicurrency, multibilling, affiliate, video encoding, live webcam, storefront and content management software system, all built into one. In November, the company added a custom WordPress plugin product.
Cost-per-acquisition (CPA) marketing platform provider CrakRevenue announced its official launch of dating site Sexy.com last September and in November launched JPCams.com and JPCamsExposed.com targeted at the Japanese market. A new ad offer: “The Porn Survey” also debuted that prompted visitors to take a quick (30 second) survey that consists of four simple porn related questions. Upon completion of the survey, visitors were awarded a free trial membership to one of four targeted offers.
Dating Gold was named a Featured Sponsor for the Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) for the month of September. A valued ASACP Corporate Sponsor since 2007, DatingGold.com demonstrated its commitment to protecting children by including the RTA label on its flagship cam site WebCamClub.com and dating site AmateurMatch.com.
Early in 2014 Hungary-based DDF Network launched a new mobile and tablet version of its flagship site, m.DDFNetwork.com. The company’s production arm, DDF Productions cut a distro deal with Exquisite Multimedia in April and relaunched HouseofTaboo.com with a redesign. Last summer, the company announced its inaugural DDF awards model competition called “Ultimate Sex Goddess 2014.”
DIMOCO in 2014 issued a number of mobile billing market reports compiled in association with Juniper research including the Italian, Polish, German and Spanish markets. The company also expended its direct carrier billing to Italy and Turkey. In May, the Austrian company promoted Matthias Höllerl to vice president of sales mobile messaging. DIMOCO also announced a partnership with Slovenian network operator Si.mobil to launch a new direct carrier payment product.
Elevated X unveiled a new management interface for its popular adult site CMS software early in 2014 and in April announced a lower-priced version of its adult site CMS software package along with four free adult paysite tour design themes. In August, ElevatedX boosted its CMS package with mobile paysite creation features and shortly thereafter announced a new feature that offers site owners the ability to transform existing JPEG image files, reducing their file size from five to 10 percent, with no perceptible drop in quality. More improvements came with a new feature that let site owners the ability to create folders and upload files via its CMS admin panel while in October, the company announced the launch of its new site login mechanism that enables protected movies to be viewed on desktop and mobile devices.
Netherlands-based EroAdvertising in April added Mobile Interstitial Ads to its global network. In October, the company began offering BitPay as an alternative payment option for advertisers.
Nova Media Inc.’s Etology.com, an ad network for digital publishers and advertisers that spawned an exclusive deal with casual dating site FriendFinder Networks, to provide ad placement services within its members-only area.
ExoClick added new executive muscle to its team with the hiring of Richard Cottrell as global sales director; Giles Hirst, an adult industry veteran as marketing and communications manager; and two staff members to run the company’s new quality assurance unit to check for fraudulent activity of advertiser campaigns and violation of the company’s guidelines. In July, the company added Paxum Payments for its advertisers. Later in the year, ExoClick announced that it has expanded its mobile carrier targeting in India, Indonesia and Malaysia and announced the launch of Version 3 of its ad network admin panel. More mobile carrier expansion came in October to 11 Latin America territories and Australia. In October, ExoClick launched its admin panel app specifically developed for Android devices.
Early in 2014 Falcon/Raging Stallion Studios sued its former novelties distributor, Icon Brands, for breach of contract and back payment of more than $300,000 in unpaid royalties, but in July made amends giving Icon back the brand’s licenses. In February, the duo merged for an online store and later offered the availability of the entire library of Raging Stallion Studios scenes for download-to-own purchase. More positive news came in the summer when it acquired the assets of Hot House Entertainment, creating what it calls the “world’s largest gay erotic company.”
Gamma Entertainment’s FameDollars affiliate program was active with producer Evil Angel in 2014 launching the studio’s flagship website. It also relaunched LexingtonSteele.com. In the spring it expanded its portfolio of massage sites with MilkingTable.com and unveiled FantasyMassage.com and TrickySpa.com —sites that replaced the Nuru Network. Later, FameDollars launched Mile High Network’s new streaming website, LesbianOlderYounger.com. Titles from Devils Films also debuted and later in the year, the company premiered GirlsWay.com, a new network of exclusive sites with original lesbian content. In addition, Phil Balayan joined the affiliate program as its new senior marketing manager in July.
In January, live chat site Flirt4Free added Paxum’s ewallet solution to its list of payment services for affiliates and webcam models. It also announced the winners of its annual Flirt of the Year (FOTY) awards celebrating the top models of 2013 that offered more than $50,000 in prize money. A retro strategy debuted in February with the company’s launch of FlirtPhone phone sex added to the cam platform. One user purchased $57,000 in live cam credits in March —setting a site record and in October reported a tip for $30,000. Duke University porn phenom Belle Knox partnered with Flirt4Free last spring to launch her white-label site, Live.BelleKnox.com. In May, the company added Bitcoin payments and in June partnered with Internet payment services provider SegPay. Flirt4Free also retained the services of Jo “KiwiGirl” Merlone and KiwiSourcing for trade show coordination, sponsorships and events.
FriendFinder Networks founder Andrew Conru, who took the reins as CEO early in 2014 after a company reorganization, opened up to XBIZ in an exclusive Q&A interview. He noted that the company’s Penthouse magazine celebrates its 50th anniversary in March 2015. In June, the company inked an exclusive deal with online advertising network Etology to provide ad placement services within FFN’s members-only area.
Fubar Webmasters announced its international event coverage with the help of ADVIDI performance network on Facebook. The new ADVIDI page — run by industry veterans — offers leading-edge software, exclusive offers and on-time payouts for the adult industry.
2014 XBIZ Retail Affiliate of the Year winner GameLink partnered with Digital Sin and Forbidden Fruits Films to debut new films in 2014. The company also teamed up with Adam & Eve to launch AdamAndEveTV.com, a membership site designed to showcase the best content from Adam & Eve Pictures as well new productions. GameLink also joined Adam & Eve to debut the Movie Associates affiliate program. It also announced plans to launch 3D interactive motion-tracking porn via Microsoft’s RoomAlive technology. In November, the company inked a non-exclusive VOD deal with Digital Playground.
Credit card processor GTBill was named an Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) corporate sponsor for August 2014. The company first signed on as an ASACP Corporate Sponsor in 2009. GTBill was also a sponsor of the XBIZ 360 Digital Media Conference.
LFP Internet Group announced in March that industry veteran Jean-Sebastian Poirier Fournier, AKA Stinger, has been named management consultant to further develop HustlerCash.com.
It was a busy summer for .xxx operator ICM Registry. The company teamed up with paysite ModelCentro.com to offer web performers free .xxx domains and in July won the right to operate the .sex gTLD. Late in 2014, following the signing of the .porn and .adult registry contracts and after a lengthy negotiation with ICANN, ICM announced its launch dates for .porn and .adult beginning March 1, 2015.
In June, JuicyAds upgraded its mobile filters and targeting technology in an effort to expand access for advertisers and maximize ROI for publishers. Later in the year, the company introduced JuicyPop, pop under mobile ad targeting designed to hit niche markets and upgraded its mobile filters and targeting technology. Cindy G. joined the company in May as chief sales operator and late in the year Alex Lecomte was added to bolster traffic.
It was a busy year for Kink.com founder Peter Acworth who appealed a Cal/OSHA decision that hit the company with $78,000 in fines. It also battled AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) complaints to Cal/OSHA about the BDSM website’s Nevada shoots that Acworth said was only oral and included no anal or vaginal intercourse. The company launched a site with a game show twist, celebrated its 10,000th shoot, held high-paying auctions for custom scenes and streamed Girlfriends Film’s’ “Daddy’s Girls.” Mounting pressure did see the company begin shooting in Las Vegas and surprised the industry with rebranding that will include less extreme content. With that, the company in October hired Eric Paul Leue, a longtime advocate for sexual health and sexual rights, to be its Director of Sexual Health and Advocacy. The first-ever “Bondcon” was launched in September in tandem with the Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco.
Smash Pictures joined Mikandi’s streaming Android Theater in 2014, and in September the company rolled out its latest app and first developed game for Android devices — “Fap Ninja.” MiKandi co-founder Jennifer McEwen said that “hentai” and “adult games” have been the top search terms for its corner of the market with Android applications for years.
In early 2014 MindGeek said it was developing an Android app that can be used to stream Playboy content through Google’s digital media streaming adapter, Chromecast, and another app that can stream Playboy content to Panasonic’s lineup of smart TVs. On the legal front, the adult entertainment conglomerate settled three cyber-squatting lawsuits against unnamed John Doe defendants targeting 83 websites that used variations of the brands PornHub, Tube8 and YouPorn in domain names.
Mobius Payments’ Mia Hyun, was named a Businesswoman of the Year finalist in the 2015 Online Industry Executive Awards. She also was a WIA Woman of the Month in late summer.
The MojoHost crew descended upon South Beach in Miami last May for the XBIZ Summit as a Gold sponsor. The company hosted a cabana at the pool and a table at the Mix and Meet Happy Hour. CEO Brad Mitchell and his crew took guests on a tour of the company’s Miami data center.
Early in 2014, NakedSword’s studio — NakedSword Originals — released “Boyfriends 2: Real Life Porn Star Couples.” A number of other films were also released including “In Their Room: Berlin,” “Addict,” “The Pack,” “Summer of Fuckin’ — Castro 2014” and the “Hotel Hookup” series. By summer, NakedSword added Hot House Video to its membership offering and added Sister Roma to the NakedSword San Francisco team as art director and overall ambassador.
Naughty America this year announced a major technology investment in creating 4K Ultra HD content and that it would accept Bitcoin as a form of payment. The producer also launched its new Roku channel and by summer announced that Nicole Aniston, the 2013 Penthouse Pet of the Year, was signed a one-year contract with Naughty America to become an exclusive “role model” to serve as a celebrity spokesperson for the lifestyle brand. In September, Naughty America debuted a new B2B web portal — NaughtyAmericaBusiness.com.
In July, NETbilling celebrated its 16-year anniversary. Earlier in the year, the company announced that it is was accepting credit card and ACH payments with the Wordpress blogging tool. In March, the processor inked a deal with its primary partner banks in the U.S. to pay the initial Visa/Mastercard high-risk registration fees for companies with volume of more than $20,000 a month setting up new merchant accounts. By the fall, NETbilling began offering retail payment services for e-commerce and retail merchant accounts, phone swipes, EMV-compatible wireless terminals and storefront POS systems.
Plugz.co announced its advertising widget system that the company said distributes relevant ads across a network maximizing every click through Wordpress or other platforms.
PussyCash and ImLive’s parent company, Barron Innovations, acquired Sex.xxx domain as part of a $5 million, multiyear deal that also includes more than 40 “premium” generic keyword domains, including Cam.xxx, Phone.xxx and Black.xxx, as well as Web.xxx, Market.xxx, Mate.xxx and Education.xxx. PussyCash.com also began offering affiliates a new way to earn money from three “lifestyle sites:” FetishGalaxy.com, Shemale.com and Supermen.com.
Reporo last summer appointed Mark Bower as vice president global gay markets to lead the continued launch and roll out of its gay adult ad network. The company also added Adam4Adam, ManHub, JustUsBoys, PornHubGay, Cam4, GayTube, GotGayPorn, RedTubeGay, RocketTube and other gay mobile sites. Late in 2014, Reporo released a new ad format, the Reporo Overlay Ad, or ROA — an ad unit that expands upon page load, remains open for a set period of time, then collapses into a leaderboard.
Last summer, Internet payment services provider SegPay, announced a partnership partnering with Flirt4Free as the live cam new IPSP and provider of one-click up-sale processing. The company also announced that it had become a member of the Free Speech Coalition.
Early in 2014, SexEntertain, in conjunction with Japanese studio JadeNet, announced the launch of JadeNetPorn.com through its new VendContent cloud-based hybrid digital media system. In March, the company partnered with Marc Dorcel to deliver exclusive Dorcel content to multiple devices and began offering webmasters a free custom Roku Channel for their members.
STAR EDITION’S MOBIDEA
StarEdition’s Mobidea, the mobile monetization platform, announced an improvement in its built-in technology to help boost users’ sales. In July, Mobidea added mobile dating to its portfolio and announced the launch of a free tool for generating applications intended to attract and retain 3G and Wi-Fi based Android users.
TrafficHaus, a division of Media Reps, partnered with Digital Copyright protection technology, DigiRegs, to offer a new consolidated service for its publishers and advertisers and any content producers seeking to protect their content. It also teamed with publisher xHamster.com to represent several new ad zones that include exclusive representation of XHamster’s mobile footer and mobile pop under ad zones and a percentage representation of the mobile header and mobile interstitials for the month of July.
Webmaster Central rolled out a new white-label solution in 2014 that allowed companies to efficiently add new adult websites optimized for both desktops and mobile devices to existing lineups and in May has announced the addition of a video player for its leased content services. The company also announced custom front ends for the gay market and added a large collection of new transsexual content to its archives. Webmaster Central also announced compatibility with Google’s Chromecast service.
Webstream, creator of LiveCam software, earlier this year introduced two new bits of software: CallConnect, which offers pay-per-minute phone chat in 15 countries including U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, France, Spain and more. Webstream’s third software offering, ClipStore, allows performers to upload video clips they want to sell on their website. The video engine converts all videos to play on any device including mobile and tablet, so a performer may simply upload her clips, set the prices, create the description and choose a thumbnail. Two lines of HTML code are added to the performer’s site and ready for videos to be sold.
The big news for Xcams in 2014 was the addition of online marketer Douglas Richter as its web cam unit manager in March. In October the company announced a special “Revenue Acceleration Bonus” for the fourth quarter of the year in an effort to boost affiliate earnings.
YOUR PAYSITE PARTNER
Your Paysite Partner in June added European babe sites “My Boobs” and “We Doki” to its Radical Cash affiliate program. In July, the Montreal-based company named Erik Bellavance as director of marketing for its network of affiliate programs and pay sites.
In June, website designer Zuzana Designs announced a custom skin package for users of 2Much.net’s Live Cam Network solution, enabling operators to quickly and easily deploy a unique website. The package includes four pages of custom design, with a “warning” splash page, conversion-optimized main page, sign-up page and SEO friendly model profile page.