trends

Is WebCam Content Worth Paying For?

Derek Smout
When I was approached to write an article on whether or not webcam content is worth paying for, the answer came to me quickly: The webcam experience is unique to each user where the individual has complete control over his fantasy.

“Webcams aren’t going away anytime,” I continued, but it sounded like a stock answer. I do have the stats and screen shots to prove it. The article would be short and look very biased so I started researching and I noticed many interesting things.

First off, I noticed the explosion of the sites Cam4.com from Python and MyFreeCams.com in my day-to-day work. They have put a dent in the traditional pay-per-view webcam market over the last three years. They are getting away from the pay-per-minute model and using a simple “tip” button to generate revenue. Simple in concept, but they know something other free cam sites don’t: Users don’t get off to the webcam clips and free content, they get off on the experience. It’s not about porn, it’s something much bigger… the experience. Spenders often did not even want to see the girls naked, but were looking to connect on any level.

Another site that has been getting a lot of water-cooler talk is ChatRoulette.com, an overly simple free cam site where user interaction is encouraged via random webcams. By checking Alexa you can see that this site has taken off, so I had to check it out myself and what I found was very interesting. When I saw Ben Folds use the site during a concert, I was thinking we’re on to something here. I suggest you check out the video on YouTube. The first thing I noticed was the large amount of males masturbating on cam. It was astonishing to say the least. It didn’t matter to who or what time of day, I was plagued with penises. Not that there is anything wrong with that, it was interesting to see how fast guys turned Chat Roulette into a means to get off. The second thing I noticed is the amount of users and people’s comfort level with webcams. Once you get people in front of a cam in a comfortable setting, sexual expression seems inevitable. As I looked around some more, I kept on seeing more guys masturbating, so I thought is this a common problem among free cam sites? It is!

To put some real life stats behind my findings, I went to AdultFriendFinder.com and its member cams to find 1224 males on live cam and 23 girls. Guys love to get off on cam while females aren’t into it as much, so if you want to have a cam-to-cam experience with a girl, you better get in line and that’s if the girl’s into you: Her selection is huge and you may be stuck with a girl that’s far from your idea of attractive. This is where pay-per-view cams come into play and why Adult FriendFinder’s links to paid model cams are so close by. Coincidence? I think not!

In my quest for knowledge, I did not know where to look, so I put on this documentary movie on Second Skin which is an intimate, fascinating look at millions and millions of computer gamers whose lives have been transformed by the emerging, hugely popular genre of computer games. I always knew that gamers and webcammers had similarities but this was fascinating, since gammers and webcamers share certain behaviors that need to be addressed.

Gamers often talked about “community” — something that webcam sites are desperately trying to mimic using social media tools, forums and rating systems that encourage users to become more active.

Gamers often talk about building a character similar to what webcammers do when choosing an online persona, which is often more exciting and dynamic when compared to their real personality.

The most common trait gamers get off on, however, is power. The same power webcam users get from telling a model what to do. The same model they would be afraid to talk to in real life. Webcam users love the feeling of power as they tell a model to perform sexual acts without friction or complaints.

As we move into a more isolated world where wearing your iPod in public is normal; people spending more and more time online; and where Internet dating isn’t taboo anymore; I can see a direct relevance between the modern day video gamer and today’s webcammer.

One final idea I had was to hit up a “whale.” I wanted to get first-hand information on what makes a man spend $80,000 a year on webcams. I could not understand why a person would spend that kind of money on webcams when you can find much more affordable solutions.

“I’m a married doctor in small town U.S. where going to prostitutes or even strip clubs could be damaging to my reputation,” he said. “I love my wife but I’m not in love with her. We have two kids together and I can’t see them growing up without a father figure. I have a unique sexual fantasy that my wife knows about and can’t satisfy. I can log on once the kids are in bed and you can figure out the rest. I feel better about paying for it since I can afford it and it justifies it for me.”

Now this isn’t the most technical research project on webcam user behavior, but I wanted you to get inside a webcam user’s head and see what makes them tick. And here is a spin of a famous quote from the president of the Hair Club for Men infomercials: “I’m not just the owner I’m a client as well” — so in summary, webcams are worth paying for and aren’t going anywhere soon.

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