As affiliate program NextDoorBuddyProfits.com gears up to celebrate its five-year anniversary in November, XBIZ posed a few questions to Stephan Sirard, the president of Next Door Entertainment, to get a glimpse of the inner workings of one of the top gay companies in adult.
Launched in 2006, the Next Door Buddy Profits affiliate program has grown to become one of the leading gay adult affiliate programs in the industry, featuring 25 sites and partners that include such online brands as NextDoor-Buddies.com, NextDoorMale.com, NextDoorTwink.com, CodyCummings.com, MaleDigital.com, Scary-Fuckers.com, BoundJocks.com and other companies such as COLT, Falcon and Hot House.
Growing a business in a tough business climate has clearly been our biggest challenge. But evolving and changing was necessary.
XBIZ: What is the secret to Next Door Buddy Profits’ success?
Stephan Sirard: A lot of our success is attributable to our focus on delivering the “best of the best” gay adult content. We are fortunate to have great content production partners such as Next Door Studios, COLT Studios, Falcon Studios, Male Digital and Hot House Entertainment. Their brands and focus on delivering high quality content, combined with the gay adult marketing expertise that we have developed in our management team have been at the heart of our success in the past five years.
We also take great pride in knowing and understanding our customers and our audience. As you know we have an ownership structure and management team that are gay themselves and that makes a tremendous difference in our ability to connect with and market to gay adult men.
XBIZ: How has the program been able to overcome challenges facing the adult industry ... such as piracy?
Sirard: The gay adult sector has changed a lot in the past five years and the most important factor in our success has been anticipating and responding to that change. As I see it, there are two ways to react to change, resist it or see it as an opportunity. For us, we took the strategic decision to see the forces changing our industry as an opportunity. For example, while many industry participants were cutting costs, reducing programs and generally moving to survival mode, we took a strategic descion to invest more to grow and expand our business during the past five years. That decision has made all the difference and today we are well positioned as a leader in the gay adult industry.
We have always taken the approach that it is simply good business for gay adult companies to work as partners and co-operatively build each other’s businesses, instead of competing with each other. That approach has allowed us to keep growing in a very tough business environment and has enabled our partners to develop new ways of managing their online business, that reduces costs, increases revenues and makes them more competitive. Those have not been easy things to achieve in a world threatened by pirates, free content and the continuing decline of the DVD as method of content distribution. I credit a lot of our success in the past five years to our partnership business model.
Whether it is with our affiliate partners, our content partners or our business partners, it has been our optimisitic and positive approach to the business that has paid off. Simply stated, if it makes good business sense we move quickly in that direction and that benefits everyone at the end of the day.
Piracy of copyrighted content remains a big threat to our industry and we all need to ensure that we are working together, including affiliates, to ensure we close every door available to pirates. For example, we are working with Porn Guardian at this time to search out and remove copyrighted content from illegal sites.
XBIZ: How does the program stay on the cutting edge of technological advancements?
Sirard: One of the great strengths that we have is our partnership with Gamma Entertainment. That partnership has been the driving force behind our technological progress over the past five years. Gamma has invested in continuos improvement of its backend systems and front end products, giving us a competitive advantage for sure. Gamma has an expert team of developers and programmers working on our behalf at its head offfice in Montreal. It is that team which has really allowed us to stay at the forefront of our industry.
XBIZ: In its five years, what has been the biggest challenge facing the program, and how has it evolved over the years?
Sirard: Growing a business in a tough business climate has clearly been our biggest challenge. But evolving and changing was necessary. For example, the affiliate world has changed in the past five years. In today’s evironment the affiliate field is becoming more and more dominated by larger traffic generators.
Five years ago there were more smaller affiliates who could make a decent dollar sending traffic but today traffic is the key differentiator and the advantage goes to those with large traffic. Also we have seen a need to be more responsive and personal in the management of affiliates.
We have responded to that with more dedicated staff, more targeted promotional tools and more investment in content that will convert for affiliates. We are still strong supporters of the affiliate model and will continue to invest in making it a successful partnership for our affiliates and our content partners.
XBIZ: What does the future hold for Next Door Buddy Profits?
Sirard: What started out with a few amateur gay adult websites five years ago has now evolved into a comprehensive program with the best content production partners in the world. In the future we will continue to work with our partners to develop new online products.
For example, in just the past few months we have partnered with Hot House, Club Inferno Dungeon, Scary Fuckers and Bound Jocks to launch exciting new online properties with them. In the next few weeks we will launch a new Next Door project called Next Door World. And before the end of the year we will be announcing other exciting new projects, including the relaunch of some of our iconic sites on all new platforms and interfaces.