After seven years in the market, parent company LiveInteractive has spearheaded some serious market research to find out what technologies the industry is missing, what methods are most profitable and effective, and what affiliates not only need from the program, but also want: because at the end of the day, if your affiliates don't have the necessary tools to succeed, you won't either.
"We stopped for a minute and deeply studied where the web trends are going to be in the next 10 years," LiveInteractive Business Manager Laura Ramirez said. "Now we have a plan for the future where all things are connected in a standardized way. This will allow us to save both time and money when developing new things, invest more in innovation, and most importantly give the ability and freedom to our affiliates to develop their own concepts."
The end result of the company's self-evaluation and market research is a three-pronged approach to the SPACash program, divided into three main platforms: video with DVDStore.com, dating with AdultMeeter.com, and webcams with CamSluts.com.
SPACash believes these three elements form the crux of the industry's future, and offering high-quality content, reliable and efficient dating programs, and hot cam models fluent in multiple languages will be the keys to longterm success.
"The key is to offer good content, easily navigable sites and easy-to-use interfaces, reliable payment methods, and to be transparent in the business," Ramirez said. "Do not try to scam the users with some hidden membership they didn't know they were paying for. We're paying closer attention to the whole experience and that's something that users really appreciate."
On the surfer end, what sets SPACash's content, cams and dating sites apart from the glut online today is value, variety and trust. In its video arm, SPACash offers more than 100 sites that cover more than 35 content niches, and all are fully functional in Spanish, English, French, Italian and German.
Videos are downloadable in multiple formats and are purchasable using credit, SMS, wire transfer and pay-by-phone, and Ramirez said the company analyzes every up-and-coming market to discover the most common payment method, and if SPACash doesn't already provide it, it will implement it.
"Each of our markets is different," Ramirez said. "What works great for France can be really bad for Spain, so we focus on what each market needs and adapt our sites, payment methods and communication to their specific culture. We also offer local support for each market."
SPACash has taken note of past programs whose cluttered design, poor-quality content, and difficult navigation made the user experience sluggish and less-than-stimulating, and realized it was time for the company to step up and develop some original ideas.
"A few years ago [these kinds of paysites] were essentially how the market worked, but we all know that we're facing a transition," Ramirez said. "More than 80 percent of current Internet users have been around from the last three to 10 years. People get experienced with time and demand more and better offers."
AdultMeeter's new design features more web 2.0 options, including a jabber-based IM that allows the user to send direct messages through the sites, much like a traditional IM program.
"With more people looking for dating online every day, it's very important to offer them fast communication and reliability," Ramirez said. "AdultMeeter has quickly positioned itself as a serious adult community, where thousands of users register daily."
It also offers automatic notification when another user signs online or sends a message, and utilizes artificial intelligence (which also is implemented in its cams and content sites) to show more accurate search results based on what the user is currently watching.
"This relevant concept where what you see depends on what you like is going to make the difference for the future," Ramirez said. "[Offering] more of what he specifically wants, and less of what he doesn't."
And one thing the user definitely doesn't want to experience is unknowingly being signed up to an unwanted program, and Ramirez said this is something SPACash will never utilize in its business model.
"We don't do cross sales," Ramirez said. "We always handle our processing ourselves working directly with banks. We take our relationships with banks and our surfers seriously. We have strong products, and what we do is offer them a discount or upgrade, but they're not by default selected in any case. The combination of our video, dating and cams always makes a plus on profitability, [especially] when surfers trust in your brand."
SPACash also has revamped its 9 Buck Program, which allows surfers on a budget to view high-quality content in a variety of viewing speeds and platforms without breaking the bank. Conversion rates and member retention is at an all-time high, Ramirez said.
And to market these newly renovated sites, SPACash has put special focus on customizability, allowing affiliates the option to use both traditional and web 2.0 tools to make the sites fit their style.
"We firmly believe that our affiliates need to be able to customize the way they want our tools to better match their site designs," Ramirez said. "Affiliates can customize almost anything: [including] tools, payment methods and offers, when and how they want to get paid for their earnings. Affiliates have the right to customize everything, and we grant them the power to do it."
SPACash divides its sites into customizable layers, from basic link code promotion to whitebranding, and even allows affiliates a complete API, where users can create their own concepts based on SPACash's content and payment options.
All videos feature Flash previews, and new promo tools include iframes, RSS feeds, flash banners and XML listings.
SPACash also has revamped the way affiliates keep track of data, allowing affiliates to configure their stats displays according to payment or sale method used, demographics, or even the telephone number used to make the purchase.
All of these features were developed as a result of regular and extensive customer and affiliate feedback, and SPACash has established what it calls a "democratic system" that maintains an open communication stream between the company and its affiliates.
Without this, the program wouldn't have grown to its current state, and certainly would not have fostered such evolution.
"Only an affiliate program with no secrets and with a full sense of democracy can offer a place for the free expression of its affiliates," Ramirez said. "At SPACash we grow together and that's why we need affiliates' active participation and compromise. As a social and democratic sponsor, our affiliates' opinions will always be highly valuable."
SPACash affiliates can contact company representatives via instant message, phone, email and its own message board; a place meant to be an open area to exchange ideas and information, as well as a forum to suggest improvements or request change.
And maintaining a positive and respected reputation within the adult industry and beyond — in addition of course to maintaining its product quality — is what will ultimately keep SPACash on top of its game.
"We are just in the beginning of an evolution process," Ramirez said "The porn industry used to be the pioneer in new technologies and web development. Nowadays it seems like porn forgot that, and mainstream and social sites are winning the race. We will show the world that the adult market is still the vanguard of web development and its technologies, and we plan to be there for a long time. We'll be the ones that everyone else wants to copy."