"Most of the time, these surfers have to deal with a credit card on the payment page," Charmant said. "Since so many Europeans don't use credit cards, the American sites lose these potential customers. Also, even those Europeans who have credit cards still can't subscribe to American sites because they don't have the right card. So this traffic just goes into the trash. You don't use it. That 30 percent you don't use — because you don't have the right billing method or use the correct language or the appropriate marketing — adds up to a tremendous waste of potential income."
Last year, Charmant came up with a solution. He launched TheAdultCompany.Eu, an affiliate program and online content provider that offers all the products of the Dreamnex Group — the Lightshow (live cam) product, the video on demand, the dating sites and the Sex Shop for toys — and allows webmasters access to all the Dreamnex technology and payment systems.
"We propose a global payment solution that can lead to vast new revenues for companies in the U.S.," Charmant said. "It will allow American companies to optimize their European traffic. If an American company sends us their European traffic, our technology can solve the language and payment problems that have prevented you from taking advantage of this traffic up to now. We can decide which payment works best, the proper currency needed, which marketing approach is required and which language to use. It will be a huge help for American players who want to monetize their European traffic."
Charmant's proposal is for U.S. webmasters to send their European traffic to the Adult Company. In return, his firm will turn that unused 30 percent of traffic into revenue and return 50 percent of the new revenue to the webmaster.
"We want the U.S. companies to know that we are their global solution for Europe," Charmant stresses. "We do the hard work. We know what works in Europe. Just send us the traffic."
Having worked in the European market for a decade navigating Dreamnex, Charmant can back up his claim of knowing all the intricacies of that market better than just about anyone else. He launched into the adult business in 1999, when he and his partner, Patrice, set up Dreamnex in France.
"Everything on the Internet at that time was very hardcore, vulgar and not very professional," Charmant recalled. "But we felt the adult business is like any other business, in that people will pay for a good product and good service. At that time, most of the adult players only sought to screw people. We had it in mind to do business in a professional way, so we started two businesses. The first one featured content with photos, and the second one was a sex shop that sold toys. We had just three people working on this at the beginning, but we grew every year. Now we employ 100 people, and last year we did more than $100 million worth of business."
With Dreamnex expanded into five different companies in Europe, the latest being TheAdultCompany.Eu, Charmant is certain that his firm is the only one that can turn unused Euro traffic into hard cash for U.S. webmasters. It's simply a matter of knowing the turf.
"Some people say that sex is global, but it's not true," he said. "You have to know the culture. There are differences. The biggest difference between the U.S. and Europe is the variety of languages. Just in Switzerland, we have 10 million people; some speak German, some Italian and some French. The payment options are different in many European countries, too. Each one has a unique payment method. For example, in Holland only 10 percent of the people use credit cards for payment.
"Cultural differences are just as important," he added. "It's like talking to a girl from California as opposed to talking to one from New York. It's the same way in Europe. An Italian guy wants to talk to an Italian girl on the live cam. He doesn't want to talk to an American girl. Each country has a different culture and different behavior, and so people from each country are looking for something different. For this reason, the marketing we use in Italy doesn't work in France and so on."
It's this knowledge of the European landscape that makes TheAdultCompany.Eu an enticing prospect. The firm is available in more than 15 European countries, and its live cam outlet boasts of more than 10,000 girls working in 43 countries around the world, including such South American nations as Chile, Argentina and Colombia. Along with the rest of the Dreamnex empire, it towers over the other companies in the European adult marketplace.
"The competition we have is more local," Charmant said. "In each country we have one or two competitors, but I'm not sure if any of them could be called global. I believe we are the only company that offers the ability to deal with all the languages, all the currency and all the payment methods."
This advantage hasn't been lost on the firm's affiliates, who are reaping generous PPS payouts of 70 euros ($100) and a rare dependability.
"They know we can be trusted to pay," Charmant said. "We are a public company, and we are listed, so everything is audited. We don't operate out of the British Virgin Islands or Curacao from offshore banks. We have auditors who inspect our books, and they're very hard with us because the stock exchange looks twice at adult companies. It's like the gaming industry. We're public, so the people and the affiliates know that we can't cheat."
For all the success the company has enjoyed, however, Charmant said there is no desire to seek traffic from the U.S. He's just happy to help American firms find cash from an untapped source that his company knows so well.