Flash Forward

Dan Cameron
It may not sound sexy, but the operative word in the gay adult industry as 2010 comes to a close is “stable.” After some shaky times brought on by a struggling economy, the ship seems to have righted itself just enough for producers and distributors to catch their breath and plan for better times ahead — with full awareness that no one is out of the woods just yet.

“We can’t speak for the entire industry, but from our perspective, 2010 was a challenging year,” says Kristofer Weston, the marketing and project coordinator (and a director) for COLT Studio Group. “We are seeing encouraging indicators that the worst is behind us and that our customers are enjoying our new delivery platforms.” In addition to the studio’s success with merchandise like annual calendars, greeting cards and a new line of COLT apparel, he notes that excitement surrounds ventures like COLTlive.com and the studio’s electronic magazine site COLTdigital.com. “We think that this continued consumer migration, participation and education will be our focus for 2011.”

Weston notes that they also plan on re-launching their Olympus brand after a twoyear hiatus with the release of new feature Man Hungry. That line will join the Colt, Buckshot and Minute Man labels, which can also be seen on the company’s mobile site (with special iPad customization). “We have seen an increasing appetite and response for HD content. Thankfully, we began producing HD content a few years back,” Weston continues. “Delivering this high-quality, high-definition content on a variety of easyto-access platforms will continue to be a focus for us in the next 12 months.”

For Michael Lucas, the most important thing in 2011 will be keeping his Lucas Entertainment brand edgy and relevant — with a continued emphasis on quality over quantity. “Consumers want, above all, to be surprised. New faces, new plots, new sexual twists — we have quite a bit of this in store for next year,” he says. “We don’t want to be the biggest and don’t have to be ubiquitous — we just want to be the best.”

The studio will stick to its schedule of producing two movies each month, concentrating on New York themes along with international shoots.

“In general, I think there is quite a shift going on in the industry. Some of the traditional name brands seem to be having a hard time staying relevant while some of the newer players are becoming increasingly major forces. Much of this has to do with content, of course — the challenge of keeping porn interesting and finding angles that haven’t been thought of before,” Lucas says. “What we did, for example, in movies like Men of Israel or Men in Stockings, or Bel Ami with their twins. But it also has to do with matching the right content to the right delivery platforms and directing it at the right audience. And, finally, there is the increasing professionalization of the traditional retail environment, where DVDs are by no means dead — but have to be sold in quite a different way than, say, only three years ago. All this will continue to play out over the next year and, I think, will make for an even more vibrant industry and, for those who figure it out, very good business.”

Over at AVNS, Vice President Kevin notes that while “2010 was a challenge for everyone in the industry, you just have to keep plugging away and trying new things to see what hits.” The company found success with Twinklight from Afton Nills, the Taylor Twins from Jason Sparks and the entire Cum Pig Men line. Success with bareback content has also come in the form of titles from Bareback RT, the Vimpex line (featuring Twink Bareback) and the award-winning Do Me Bareback from Dirty Dawg. And to help combat a decline in DVD sales, AVNS has also branched into the male-enhancement market with two all-natural pill lines (Rockhard Extreme and The Best). “Moving forward into 2011, we will continue to work closely with our producers to release the kind of products consumers are looking for,” Kevin says.

For Pacific Sun Entertainment CEO Pritam Sinha, 2011 promises to be busy. “Perhaps the fastest growing segment in this industry is the content licensing, be it licensing to webmasters or to broadcast TV,” Sinha explains. “With the launch of the Pacific Sun Licensing Division, we will offer major gay studios a one-stop content licensing distribution platform. Second, in late 2010 we are launching our new division — Pacific Sun Japan. Under that label, we will release Japanese gay porn without pixels, which is very rare if not totally absent.”

The company also hired Jeff Hawkins, the longtime LFP executive, as its international sales manager, a move it anticipates will help turn Pacific Sun into a formidable international presence — especially in Europe. “The opening of our warehouse in Germany means we can now ship either from our Los Angeles warehouse or from our German warehouse. That makes us truly global and competing directly for European customers,” Sinha says.

Pacific Sun is also set to launch its toy line, which Sinha notes is a rapidly growing section of the market. It also has plans to launch a series of membership sites using its vast library, and has comprehensive plans on being among the pioneers in true 3D porn. If the CEO has his way, the buzzword for 2011 will be “diversification,” which sounds a lot more exciting than “stable”…