Porno Dan Leal Plots European Expansion, Live Cam Conquest
Porno Dan Leal is one of the industry’s brightest players, utilizing his mainstream corporate background to build Immoral Productions into an empire. The prolific and successful producer speaks with authority when it comes to the state of the industry, the decline of recorded content, the quality of performers and opportunities in live interactive shows. Now, he is expanding into the European market, where he intends to create a strong base of operations overseas.
In January, Immoral Productions and sister studio label Porno Dan Presents released milestone title “500th Movie,” featuring Jenna Ivory, Shawna Lenee, Kagney Linn Karter, Jasmine Jae and others in boy/girl, group and threesome scenes.
Leal laughed when asked if he believed he would ever reach this milestone. “I did, yeah,” he said. “I had no doubt I would’ve. I believed in myself. Probably not everyone else did.”
“500th Movie” comes on the heels of eight 2016 XBIZ Award nominations for Leal, honoring films like “Fuck A Fan 24,” “Handjob Winner 20” and “New Girl In Town Vol. 18.” Past wins include 2015 XBIZ Pro-Am Release of the Year for “Handjob Winners 18” and 2013 XBIZ Amateur Series of the Year for “Fuck A Fan.”
Despite these achievements, Leal still considers recorded content a dead medium. Ever the businessman, he foresaw the decline back in 2015. “The way the market is going, I’d say our revenue took more of a hit than I was anticipating from our recorded content side, what I consider dying mediums,” he said. “It’s inevitable that in the adult industry you better be able to make changes. I knew these days were coming and I’ve been anticipating them for years, and even watched them decline. But I wasn’t expecting them to take as much of a decline as they did in 2015.”
Leal continues, “I was prepared for it… so I diversified and I have lots of revenue areas. I see porn as playing baseball. I don’t see us swinging for the fences and trying to hit a home run anymore. And that’s kind of what you used to be able to do. Those days are gone. So that’s why you better have lots of revenue streams. We have every revenue stream you could possibly have.” Those revenue streams include building up their brand, live shows and websites.
He is also positioning his resources in Europe, in case restrictive California laws are passed. “As far as setting up production in Europe, I was over there for over three months in 2015,” he explained. “I have relationships with the agencies over there and locations. I was able to broadcast our live shows over there. So all those things are set up and established. We’ve figured out what are the optimal hours are for us to broadcast.”
This year, Leal plans to spend at least another three to six months in Europe. “We have a large project we’re working on with a European company to do more interactive porn because I believe interactivity is the key to the future,” he said. “That will be launching in the first quarter of this year.”
Other companies are also setting up shop in Europe. “I didn’t realize until I spent three months there, how many other U.S. companies have crews there. Reality Kings, Bang Bros., MOFOs, Brazzers, Team Skeet, Porn Pros, Naughty America, I can keep going on.”
Never one to sugarcoat things, another reason Leal is shifting overseas is because he sees a decline in the quality of U.S. performers due to lack of opportunities. “The quality of girls and the quantity of new girls coming in is at an all-time low in the U.S.,” he believes. “Opportunities for a new model are approximately 25 percent of what they were from five, six years ago. In 2007, there were approximately 200 scenes a day shot in Los Angeles. Now, there are less than 50 scenes a day.”
“A girl is going to come in and she’s going to do one or two trips to Los Angeles, and unless she’s truly exceptional — say, for example, Megan Rain — they’re not going to be able to substantiate a yearly income on just doing scenes,” Leal continued. “Unless you’re really something exceptional, after your initial six-month run is over, you’re really going to be struggling to find work.
“Look at the agencies; it’s the simplest way to do it,” he said. “At one time, the top agencies had 120, 150 girls. I don’t think there’s an agency out there with more than 60 girls. That’s why if a girl is going to get into the adult industry I tell them… whatever you’re doing right now continue to do. If you’re a webcam model, keep webcamming. If you’re a dancer, keep dancing. If you’re a waitress, whatever it is, and if you look at your porn scenes as your secondary income and you put that money away you’ll be very, very happy with your time in the adult industry.
“Don’t look at porn as your sole income,” Leal emphasized. “And if they want to stick around they better accept that. Anna Bell Peaks is a perfect example. She makes a lot of money on MyFreeCams.com and porn is a bonus. Of course she has a great attitude and she’s very happy. Her porno scenes are a bonus.”
Leal still plans on producing live shows in the U.S. and abroad, which wouldn’t be possible without key partnerships he has forged with Gamma — which runs his websites — and Streamate — where his live shows originate.
“They’re solid foundations of my company,” he said. “We were the first company that started shooting everything live and taking that live content and re-packaging it and re-purposing it across various platforms such as subscription-based and DVD, broadcast, video on demand and licensing it.
“One of the reasons I started doing it seven years ago, as soon as we would shoot it and release it on DVD, it would be on a porn site the next day,” he said. “Originally when we shot it, it was with a behind-the-scenes camera. Then, the revenue we were making… was surpassing our other revenue streams. That’s when I thought, ‘we’re going to make the BTS camera the main camera.’ What the live viewer sees is the same footage a recorded content customer sees, minus the interaction we edit out.”
Although Immoral is increasingly turning its attention to live streaming, it still continues putting out two DVD titles a week and eight per month, via Leal’s long-time distribution partner Pure Play Media. “Sales for Porno Dan and Immoral are doing very well,” Pure Play Media Vice President Adam H. said. “He is one of the original studios with Pure Play Media. He is always improving his product as well as his box covers. We are pleased with the partnership that we have with Dan and look forward to many years together.”
“But I hope this new interactive platform we’re doing where we’re putting our stuff on this platform will be our next big revenue stream,” Leal said. “Streamate continues to grow their customer base every year and their revenues keep increasing. So for us, it’s about how to market our shows on Streamate… and with Gamma… so that we can maximize our earnings.”
“Keep the interaction at a particular level, and you can entertain the live customer, yet know that you’re going to use the same footage later for recorded,” he advised. “So you have to be constantly aware of where you are throughout the show. Sometimes, less is more… don’t forget about the interaction part. The cam customer wants to talk to the girl. When you watch our shows they’re different… we’re not going to give you 50 minutes of sex. It might be a 50-minute show but we’re going to stop, we’re going to take requests, we’re going to talk to the fans.”
At the end of the day, Leal attributes his success to the strength of his team and partnerships with people outside of the company. “My assistant Billy Barbados, he shoots the camera, takes stills and my director Chim Chim, they’re both involved in the day-to-day production,” he said. “Not to mention, I’ve got three full-time editors, designers, web guys. The male talent that I use — Juan Hernandez, Mark Zane, Scott Lyons — those are the core guys that are vital to the production part of the business. As far as my team at Streamate they’ve done a fantastic job. Liz and Danielle at Streamate, I deal with them on a daily basis. I interact with Jeremy on a daily basis or at least several times a week over at Gamma. He’s extremely important. Adam H. over at Pure Play Media.
“Then, there’s the various video on demand companies that I interact with from GameLink to Adult Empire, AEBN and Hot Movies, making sure that they have updates,” Leal added. “As well as my brokers… so there are a lot of different people that I deal with in order to get the content out on as many revenue streams as possible. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t be able to produce the porn, because… you need to have multiple income sources.”