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Empire of the Sun

Dan Cameron
Don’t tell Pacific sun that DVDs are going the way of VHS tapes. While a rough economy and the proliferation of online-based content has combined for a potent one-two punch against the industry, Pritam Sinha isn’t ready to giving up on the discs that have served studios so well for decades. in fact, when it comes to the gay marketplace, the Ceo has an interesting theory about the shelf life of the near-extinct format.

“While porn remains taboo in the straight world, it is more socially acceptable in the gay community. Because of this — and since gay consumers are more quality conscious and visual — the DVD shopping experience provides the visual experience they enjoy. and since gay people in general have a more limited scope of opportunities to interact, that lends itself to longevity,” he says, adding that the DVD market in the straight world will expire sooner.

“DVDs will not die immediately — at least in the gay market. For gay people, visiting a store is a social event like a visit to a coffee shop. Plus, there is the nostalgic feeling of holding a physical device that will not go away anytime soon,” Sinha adds. “While DVD companies have always gone to the Web for extra money from content already produced, we have gone the opposite way in offering the Web companies a way to monetize their already produced content and earn extra money without an iota of extra work.”

Recent deals with UKnakedmen.com (known for masculine gay men with a slight nasty side) and black themed websites taggaz.com and thugbait.com have helped expand Pacific sun’s scope — and the sites’ audiences. “We have found every possible way to cut costs, ranging from moving to a smaller facility and reducing excesses. at the same time, we focused on expansion and being creative in monetizing our content, and we increased our marketing and sales efforts — we were among the very few gay companies exhibiting at the AEE show and the Venus expo in Berlin.”

Sinha notes that these online-based deals serve as the perfect complement to Pacific sun’s original productions, like the bear-themed entries from legendary director Paul Barresi (a longtime contributor to the studio’s success). Those offerings are all enhanced by the exclusive lines under Pacific Sun’s ever expanding distribution arm — which includes studios like bareback twink-focused Ikarus and Late Nite Media, as well as the Euro muscle hunks from Blue Lagoon and Diamond Pictures (helmed by famed director Csaba Borbely, who helped build Pacific Sun’s name with a stable of original productions).

The company also recently signed Bear Films to complement their muscle bear offerings, and just became the new exclusive distributor for popular line AYOR Studios (which features Bel Ami quality athletic twinks) — who it’s working with on brand rebuilding. Pacific Sun has also signed with a British gay porn TV channel to distribute content through DVDs. With all of the new companies on board, Pacific Sun plans to increase its DVD release schedule from one title a week to two.

“We are working on getting exclusive distribution of more top-name studios as well as using our distribution and promotion muscle to help aggressively promote many less-known yet top-quality studios. In the next month or two, the industry will be very surprised at what Pacific Sun has planned and what titles we will be releasing,” Sinha said. “The key word is diversification. Working with Pacific Sun goes above and beyond just selling DVDs. We take a consultative approach to all our DVD partnerships. To succeed in today’s market, I believe a distributor has to work more intimately with a producer at all levels. A distributor can no longer just put their producer’s title on a list and expect to sell. We also help in anti-piracy.”

Those initiatives help the company live up to its promise to meet “all your gay porn needs,” featuring “bodies, bears, boys and more”— encompassing all niches under one roof. Sinha plans to keep the momentum going: “We have entered into new, once forbidden markets like China and have helped several other gay companies enter those markets. We have come up with creative deals to help our stores bring customers back to the store in this rough market. Some of these promos included offering 2-disc sets or double features at the same price, and offering free posters and sampler discs to our customers. So while many companies have almost exited the DVD market, we now control a larger portion of a shrinking market — thus our DVD business has actually increased rather than decreased over last year.”

That vision has helped Pacific Sun withstand the challenges thrown at the industry in the last few years, enabling the once fledgling company to expand into a well-known and respected source for porn. Sinha notes they’ve come a long way since 2007: “When I joined Pacific Sun a bit more than two years back, the company was really behind the times technology wise. We had one barely working, hard to search, rarely updated website that dealt with selling DVDs to retail and mail-order customers.”

Pacific Sun now has a series of B2B and B2C sites serving all the needs of its consumers and B2B partners — and all integrated under its main site. In addition to the launch of an affiliate program, it has actively sought out and developed strategic partnerships with content producers, mobile app developers and Web cash programs to further enhance its overall business strategy. In terms of content delivery, Sinha notes they are aggressively implementing a three-pronged business strategy: providing content to other businesses, partnering with other businesses to provide content delivery platforms and building its own proprietary content delivery platforms.

They have licensed content to several VOD and membership sites, and launched a membership site with Hugecocksandjocks.com in partnership with Braincash — with many more on the horizon. “While we have been slow to get to the Internet, we have aggressive plans to be a dominant player in the mobile market, which — with the advent of smart phones like iPhones and Androids — in my opinion will be even bigger than the Internet in the coming years.”

Also in the works are ventures in the 3D movie and web space, a live chat network, a unique toy line, an expansion of its Netflix-style rental site (gaypornnetflix.com), some big deals with Japanese based porn companies and a premium content licensing sector that will extend to mobile and broadcast divisions — with a special focus on major growth in the broadcast sector. Combined with the fact that it proudly trumpets a “gay owned and operated” flag, Pacific Sun sees a bright future.

“Many straight companies have seen the value of the gay market but have failed miserably because they don’t understand the uniqueness of the gay market. For example, some companies classify all gay product as one genre,” Sinha said. “We understand the gay consumer and the gay market very well, and we offer free consultations and advice to our web and brick and mortar customers so we can all be successful. From a PR and brotherhood point of view, our consumers feel more comfortable supporting a gay company that is part of the community rather than a corporation that has no interest in the community — but is only interested in the gay dollar.”

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