Crossing Over: 2
Lillo's description of the vignette-style of shooting — a collection of individual scenes with unique story-lines centering on a central theme — is an apt description not only for Naughty America's content, but also for every Internet company that is now in the DVD market.
Just take a look at any all-sex production studio and you will find similar DVD lines that fit into a particular niche, like anal, POV, blowjobs, big tits and numerous others. Most paysites follow the same formula, so in securing DVD distribution rights for Internet content, distribution companies are getting built-in, niche product lines with brand recognition.
While some companies might fear that distributing content on DVD originally released in its members area could cannibalize website memberships, both Naughty America and Pink Visual (the DVD arm of Topbucks), believe that customers in each market are cut from the same cloth but just wear different suits.
Allison Vivas, president of Pink Visual, believes the bright line that pushes fans to either the Internet or DVD side is no more complicated than analyzing their porn viewing habits. She believes the Internet consumer is looking for constant updates with fresh, new talent, while the DVD purchaser is more of a discerning fan of a particular girl or niche who will watch the same DVD numerous times and will add it to their porn movie collections. Vivas said some porn fans are "like baseball card or comic book collectors. They want to assemble a physical library of their favorite titles."
Lillo sees eye to eye with Vivas in breaking down the demographics of DVD purchasers.
"I am certain there are different audiences where the format speaks to certain preferences they have; some people may not be tech savvy, or those who live where there is a slow connection speed can't justify a lengthy download and see no better solution than to pick up a DVD," Lillo said.
Kim Kysar, Pink Visual's distribution operations manager, added, "I think all tangible products spawn collectors of some type."
Pink Visual, which handles its own DVD distribution in-house and hired industry veteran Dani Vargas and Michael Glaser to accomplish that end, started in July 2002 with its first exclusively shot site MILFSeeker.com. HerFirstBigCock.com followed, and then about five more sites each year since. The company shoots exclusive content for more than 30 sites and has 41 DVD lines on the market. Pink Visual doesn't plan on slowing down in 2007. It has slated four new lines to ship each month this year.
Simply put, at its core, the DVD is just another content delivery method for web publishers to exploit.
"There will always be customers who are 10 years behind the technology," Kysar said. "Mail order is still important to offer. Requests still come in for VHS. Not everyone who is a fervent consumer of quality adult entertainment will have an iPod, HD TV or Blu-ray player."
Added Vivas: "We redistribute our content in many different formats from website memberships, VOD, third-party content leasing, PPV broadcasting rights to DVDs. Hitting all these markets is important to us not only for optimizing revenue per shoot but for branding purposes as well. In some aspects, we are ahead of the traditional studio, and in others we are still growing, such as building an offline brand name. We actually came from a tough position where many of our sites were branded, but the production company was not. Expanding into DVD also meant bringing our production company brand online and associating it with our successful websites."
Still other former Internet-only companies have such marketable and viable brand names that they produce a series of DVDs distinctly apart from their website content, save for the name. For example, Joanna Angel's Burning Angel secured a distribution deal with Pulse, and Danni's Hard Drive's has an arrangement with Pure Play Media are prime examples. Pulse also distributes re-purposed content on DVD from the Nasty Dollars network of sites.
Paysite network Hodough's production branch, Hush Hush Entertainment, employed an interesting twist to its brand of interracial niche sites. The company created a recognizable Internet presence through the unique marketing of three black male performers (complete with super-hero-style nicknames) under exclusive contract. Shane Diesel became Blackzilla, Boz turned into Daddy's Worst Nightmare and Richard Mann was re-christened the Abominable Black Man. All three of them have successful DVD lines distributed by Digital Sin built around their characters.
But with new production studios springing up at a seemingly breakneck pace, and considering the recent downturn of adult DVD sales, have web publishers jumped the gun by creating even more of a glut of product on retailers' shelves?
Enter Black for some final words of wisdom.
"These web guys did it the smart way," he said. "Build your brand online where production costs are much cheaper, and then grow a following through affiliates and their surfers."