opinion

Live Webcams: Sector Continues To Perform Impressively Well

Alex Henderson

In 2012, live adult webcams maintained their popularity — and in 2013, they are likely to remain a robust part of the adult entertainment industry. Erotic webcams are a popular form of adult entertainment for a variety of reasons: consumers like the interactive element, and unlike adult membership sites that sell downloadable photos and/or downloadable videos, cam sites have not had their profits threatened by digital piracy. But the cam field has become increasingly competitive, and it won’t become any less competitive in 2013.

The adult entertainment industry, like other industries, has experienced a great deal of upheaval since 2008, yet the cam sector continues to perform impressively well in challenging economic times. The major-league cam players include, among others, Cams.com (which is operated by Steamray), Streamate.com, CamWorld.com (formerly PrivateCamZ.com/CamZ.com), MyFreeCams.com and VideoSecrets.com. And one of the cam pioneers, Adult Webmaster Empire (AWE), remains a giant in the cam field. Founded in 2002, AWE will be celebrating its 11th anniversary in 2013—and the company has grown considerably during its decade-long history.

I think the fact that a lot of sites have realized just how important HD is to the customer is a huge move in the right direction. -Natalie Star

AWE, which recognized the potential of the cam sector long before it became the huge moneymaker it is today, went from having one site, LiveJasmin.com, to having an entire portfolio of cam sites. And the company continues to illustrate the diversity of the cam sector by focusing on everything from Asian models (LiveSexAsian.com) to transgendered models (MyTrannyCams.com) to cougar/MILF models (MaturesCam.com). Thanks to successful players like AWE, Cams.com, CamWorld.com and VideoSecrets.com, any webmaster who decides to enter the cam field in 2013 will be facing an abundance of stiff competition.

Las Vegas-based cam model Natalie Star, who grossed $300,000 in 2011 with her webcam platform NatalieStarEnt.com, asserted that in 2013, it will be more important than ever for cam sites to be as mobile-friendly as possible. 2012, Star said, was a year in which the cam sector benefited considerably from mobile/wireless technology—and successful cam sites will become even more mobileminded in 2013.

“I think the fact that a lot of sites have realized just how important HD is to the customer is a huge move in the right direction,” Star observed. “However, the biggest change, in my opinion, would be the adaptation from the PC/Mac to the Android device. With customers and fans now being able to chat from anywhere, the sky has proven to be the limit.”

In 2013, Star predicted, mobility will be more important than ever to users of cam sites. “When my customers and fans would normally have to run because they were late for work, they now know that they can chat with me discreetly from their vehicles while on lunch — or pop in for a quickie during their 15-minute break. As technology advances, it’s the companies who are willing to make the changes needed to be able to keep up that will continue to succeed."

Star predicted that in 2013, camoriented companies that allow themselves to become technologically complacent and don’t take full advantage of the mobile/wireless market will fall by the wayside. “I think smaller companies who are not able to grow with technology and all of its advancements will suffer a virtual drought that, in my opinion, may put them at risk of becoming vacant lots,” Star asserted. She added: “I see new sites go up almost daily, it seems — yet months after they launch, very few of them are still around. The old saying ‘if it’s not broke, then don’t fix it,’ does not apply to the cam modeling industry.”

Niche marketing has been a profitable part of the cam sector just as it has been a profitable part of the adult membership website model. Depending on their tastes, consumers can find anything from BDSM-oriented cam sites to gay cam sites to goth-oriented cam sites—and that demand for micro-niches will no doubt continue in the cam sector in 2013. But Star emphasized that whatever niche or micro-niche a cam model or cam company might be catering to in 2013, customers will continue to demand a personal touch.

“I get 10-20 applications a day at my applicant site, NatalieStarEnt.com, from men and women all over the U.S. who are into this and into that,” Star noted. “I’ve had everything from she-males to midgets on my payroll at one time or another. Whether you’re the girl next door or the guy who can suck his own cock, it’s the relationship experience that seems to keep them coming back.”

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