XBIZ 360° Drives Adult Industry Consolidation

Stephen Yagielowicz

The adult entertainment industry’s top movers and shakers recently gathered together in Hollywood for the groundbreaking XBIZ 360° super-show, which cleverly combined six consecutive events that each targeted a specific adult entertainment industry segment.  Adult digital media, movies, retail operations and pleasure products were represented in a comprehensive showcase of the tactics and technologies needed to drive success in 2013 — providing a previously unheard of level of cross-segment networking.

Presented by CECash and CitySexCash, XBIZ 360° offered something for everyone in the industry, with this author focused on the Digital Media Conference, which was sponsored by AWE, Epoch, EroAdvertising, FN Cash, GTBill, Adam & Eve Cash, Affil4You, DatingGold, Mobidea, MojoHost, Video Secrets, Netbilling and PussyCash.

This event brought adult business owners and operators to the luxurious Sofitel Hotel, where they engaged in opportunities for learning and exchanging ideas; forging deals that reflect today’s changing realities, while setting a new standard for adult industry events — if anyone needed evidence of the growing crossover between adult market segments and the convergence of business models, there was plenty to be found at XBIZ 360°.

While there were a variety of new faces and companies to be seen at the show, in part due to the inclusion of other adult industry segments and in part due to a surge in casual dating site and other niche market operators, it was the reassuring presence of the veteran adult players that signals the continued success of many mainstay brands.

These survivors of what have been the industry’s most trying times in recent years, constitute a group of determined professionals with immense experience and talent that will carry them forward. The attitude I perceived was that the worst is over and revenues are climbing for small and mid-tier players — even as the corporate steamrollers continue their unstoppable quest for market domination.

The Association of Sites Advocating Child Protection (ASACP) and industry trade organization Free Speech Coalition (FSC) scored big at the 11th Annual XBIZ Awards. Hosted by adult superstar Tera Patrick, this star-studded extravaganza was presented by Fleshlight and is the industry’s biggest and best red-carpet awards show.

At this year’s event, dressed-to-impress industry leaders participated in an XBIZ-hosted fundraiser, collecting more than $81,000 to be split between these two groups. Because these organization’s interests dovetail with those of digital media publishers, supporting them financially makes sense for many companies and enables their continued operation, which depends entirely upon the generous, continued contributions of sponsors and members, along with public donations and backing by mainstream stakeholders.

In other words, without your help, these groups are unable to help you.

The event saw many meetings of minds and the free-spirited mingling of thoughts that spurs creativity and fuels a desire to remain in the game, because there’s no business like the porn business.

From the latest developments to whispers of things to come, including new site and program launches, as well as ongoing, incremental improvements in existing products, XBIZ 360° was alive with hope and optimism for the future.

On a personal note, I was able to spend some quality time at the show with old and new friends; including ASACP’s Tim Henning, as well as folks such as Mike Ackerman from ActuallyHelping, Jesse from HotMovies.com, 2Much.net’s Mark Prince, AJ Hall of Elevated X, Michael of QWEBEC Expo, Alex from AdultCentro, Chris from MiKandi and many others.

Message board posts and XBIZ.net social interactions can’t replace the high level of sharing and thoughtful discourse that our executive environment (and playtime) fosters.

Thanks to Brad Mitchell from MojoHost for the bus ride to the XBIZ Awards (even though Netbilling’s Mitch Farber held us up with a return trip to the hotel *wink*); and a big thanks to OrbitalPay’s Steve Bryson for the limo ride back — he and his lovely wife, accompanied by \the queen of online billing, Karen Campbell, would have had a much more comfortable ride without our motley crew barging in… Steve’s a great guy with a commitment to service, which is exhibited in his feeding of the poor through food drives — as well as feeding Friday’s brunch-time attendees at XBIZ 360°— thanks again Steve!

Thanks also to marketing maven Brad Gosse for his daring exposé of some of the business’ biggest brands — and worst user experiences. He provided an extremely potent presentation that left many attendees shaking their heads in disbelief, never understanding before how poorly thought out and executed some of the biggest sites are, or what typical customers may have to endure.

Tube sites, piracy, the economy and other external issues do not harm paysite sales as much as stalled billing forms, credit card declines, backend errors, thoughtless messages and other usability problems — including an average six clicks to get to content, versus the one click access offered by many tube sites — and the lessons from Gosse’s seminar alone provided enough value to justify anyone’s attendance at the XBIZ 360° event.

The days of making money in adult despite your own incompetence are well over and there were some site representatives in the audience that slinked out the door after Brad’s insightful revelations about their join process and members areas. Clearly there is much work to be done if this industry is to have a future for more than just a handful of super-professional organizations.

These are a few examples of how this year’s XBIZ 360° Digital Media Conference set the stage for the industry’s steady resurgence in 2013 — where long-term business plans are fueling the next generation of adult entertainment success stories.

Whether it was a tip gained from one of the event’s exclusive selection of informative seminars featuring leading experts that reveal secrets for keeping you on the cutting edge of adult digital merchandising today, or strategizing with their peers, attendees I talked to found XBIZ 360° to be the industry source for the best in adult entertainment business information, networking and deal making — a trend which we all hope will continue into the future. I’ll see you at the next show…