Company Profile: Metro Has a New Look

John Stuart
When Metro opened its doors 40 years ago, there was no Internet. In fact, there was no video. If customers wanted to see models move, they had to purchase Super-8 film, invest in a projector and a collapsible screen, and watch in a darkened room.

How times have changed. And how Metro has changed with them.

There’s more to the new-look Metro than the name change to Metro Media Entertainment. The grand old man of the adult industry has breathed new life into itself, and has added fresh blood with marching orders to take its voluminous content to the Internet while maintaining the same prestige.

“We have so much content,” muses Metro Media’s new Internet Department guru, Anthony. “I look at the stock room and it’s unbelievable how much content we have back there.

“It’s content you won’t find anywhere else, exclusive to Metro sites, so we just needed to reintroduce our affiliate program.

“All we did was look at our retention rates, and I noticed they’re pretty good considering what the market is right now. So I increased our PPS [pay per signup] from 25 to 30 a month per sale. We also consolidated some of the sites. We made MetroXXX our supersite. We will be launching all of our premiere titles from this site.

“We’re also offering all of our movies fully on our sites before we get them out on DVDs. This allows our members to see our first-run premiere movies before anyone else does in the market.”

The new strategies in Metro Media’s Internet push may have been a departure from previous business plans but, according to Anthony, they’ve showed promising results.

‘We just received some pretty good ratings,” he says. “The presold pieces are excellent. One of the things I started to implement is to use some traffic sources that aren’t necessarily used often, just to see how the paying public will like it. We’ve put out one scene on and it did very well. In two days we got more than 100,000 views.”

Metro Media’s biggest sellers right now are MetroXXX, RedHotTV and VideoTeam. The latter site is ethnic, featuring black, Puerto Rican and other Hispanic girls, long a Metro staple. Anthony thinks he knows why the niche is so popular.

“It’s one of the best ethnic lines out there right now,” he says. “And big booty sells right now. We really believe in our product and we are a connoisseur of that content. The basic rule of selling is to believe in your product. If you don’t, you’re not going to get anyone else to believe in it.”

Of the other popular sites, Metro XXX has been successful because it offers nearly all of the Metro Media content that has been digitized, which means an enormous library of titles. Metro Media continues to add to its library by producing its own content.

The third popular site, Red Hot TV, “is a community more than anything else,” according to Anthony.

But the Metro Media affiliate program is still a work in progress, and Anthony and the rest of the staff have explicit plans to make it even more webmaster-friendly.

“There are a couple of things we need to get for our affiliates,” Anthony says. “We’re putting together free hosted galleries, and we’re working on some other things, too. I already changed our stance on content. I believe we should give as much content as we can for our affiliates to promote.

“We also increased the payouts and now it’s one of the best deals out there. We give a 60 percent revenue share, which is outstanding in this market. Just in the last month, four or five big programs have shut their doors because they can’t make a profit anymore.

“We’re not looking to be the leaders of the pack, but we’re definitely looking to be one of the competitive companies and one of the premiere web programs out there.”

Anthony, who has spent 11 years in the adult industry, only has been with Metro Media for a month and a half, but already he is affecting new Internet strategies for the firm.

“We have a bunch of projects that should be complete in the next 30 to 60 days that definitely will change the playing field for us,” he reveals. “My whole background has been traffic, and fortunately I have the backing of the whole company in this. We can’t reveal it yet, but we have some big things coming out.”

Of course, these new strategies never would happen unless the people at the top of Metro Media Entertainment were willing to roll the dice and listen to some new ideas. This is the main reason why the firm should see a major upswing in sales from its revamped affiliate program. It also is the reason why Anthony is satisfied in his new position.

‘From my personal view,” he says, “having been in the corporate world, you can tell when you join a company whether or not they’re willing to change. Instead of taking the attitude that we’ve been doing something this way for 40 years and that’s the way we’re going to keep doing it, Metro Media Entertainment has the direct opposite approach. Metro Media today has nothing but key players, and we’ve been able to bring together our talents and our strengths.

“When we see something that needs to be changed, it gets changed. We don’t believe in the definition of insanity, which is doing the same thing and expecting different results.

“The Internet is everchanging. Things change in the blink of an eye, and we’re trying to stay on the cusp of that.”