Germany has long been considered one of the prime pastures for porn promoters — boasting a resiliently robust economy, a bawdy sense of sexuality and advanced technical infrastructure that facilitates adult ecommerce.
It is a plum that is ripe for the picking.
Even though the German-speaking market is a rather difficult market to break into, it has really helped Affil4You stake its claim and put us over the edge as one of the leaders in the adult mobile affiliate game, - Affil4You’s Joey Gabra.
XBIZ set out to examine the size and scope of the German market for adult content and uncovered some of the secrets to serving this audience.
Here’s what we discovered:
When evaluating the size of the German audience for online adult entertainment, one important consideration at the outset revolves around the scope of the “German” market — which extends beyond the country’s borders to include Germanic- speaking consumers in Austria, Switzerland and other nations. This region is commonly known as “DACH,” which is an acronym based on the international vehicle registration codes, for Germany (D for Deutschland), Austria (A for Austria) and for Switzerland (CH for Confoederatio Helvetica). Other variants include DACHL and DACHS, which include Liechtenstein and the Italian province of South Tyrol, respectively.
A recent Think With Google report entitled “Mobile, Tablet and Internet Usage 2012: Germany,” reveals a range of insights on German usage patterns, covering Smartphones, tablets, PCs and other internet enabled devices; along with the latest Internet penetration and mobile Internet stats (www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/uploads/940736.pdf).
The report’s key findings from data obtained in January and February of 2012 show that German Internet penetration had reached 81 percent — and that while Smartphone penetration had exceeded 29 percent, only 64 percent use their Smartphones to go online.
PCs and tablet devices (which are now owned by more than five percent of Germans), are the primary tools being used to access the Internet.
More current figures from InternetWorldStats.com report that as of June 30, 2012, 67,483,860 (or 83 percent) of Germany’s 81,305,856 strong population is now online. This represents nearly three percent of the global audience (placing Germany in seventh place for world Internet penetration), as well as a continued usage increase in the country.
Add in Austria with 6,559,355 (or nearly 80 percent) and Switzerland with 6,509,247 (or 82 percent) of its population now online, and you have a sizeable, profitable audience; bolstered by expatriates and other German speakers around the world.
Cultural and language considerations, such as offering Germanspeaking performers; specific payment mechanisms; mobile compatibility and regionally targeted niche content are all important ingredients for serving the German market — just as they are for serving any geographically or culturally distinct audience.
But just what are the distinct opportunities presented to adult entertainment marketers by the German audience in 2013?
As in many other regions, webcams and live interactive sex shows are increasingly popular choices amongst German porn fans, with a wide range of companies, associated white label sites and other entities seeking to serve this audience.
One upstart program making a splash on the German cam scene is CrakRevenue.com, with its German-targeted “Free Cams Exposed” concept site, GratisCams.com. Affiliates are able to promote this new site on pay-perlead (PPL) or pay-per-signup (PPS) basis —providing a fast, free and effective entry point for adult entertainment entrepreneurs that want to test and profit from their website’s German traffic.
Online adult dating sites and social networks are also popular with DACH consumers; and these sites often incorporate live webcam offers; blurring the lines between site types, as many properties provide photos, videos, dating and social features, live sex cams and other content, often accompanied by a premium members’ access upsell.
One veteran company reportedly doing well in the German-speaking “casual dating” arena is 69Cash.com, which also offers solutions for other Central and Eastern European nations via country-specific websites.
These dating sites are backed by offices in each of the countries 69 Cash targets, fueling a deep knowledge of local customs and preferences.
Localized billing, Facebook login integration, APIs for both English and German-speaking countries, geo-targeted banners, multi-lingual support and more are offered by this Czech Republic based affiliate program that provides website owners with a simple and easy method of maximizing revenue from each foreign visitor.
“Our payment processing, site content and sales pitch are all specifically geared toward European consumers. That local flavor provides greater familiarity and consumer confidence at the point-of-sale, which means better conversions and higher payouts for our affiliates,” 69 Cash’ Marketing Manager Jenny Gonzalez told XBIZ. “Our suite of sites includes localized adult dating networks perfectly translated for native consumers, stocked with local profiles and positioned to sell because they have a real familiarity with the millions of surfers interested in online dating within the E.U. population.”
A subsidiary of the Intermax Group, one of the biggest players in the German market for more than a decade, 69 Cash relies on its parent company’s expertise to create locally targeted casual dating websites, which are not only culturally specific to local customers, but also offer the specific payment methods that these markets require.
“Offering operator integrated billing, premium SMS, direct debit and e-payments makes up for the lower credit card penetration,” Gonzalez notes. “It also helps those people that are not 100 percent comfortable with providing their credit card details to online merchants.”
Gonzalez also states that the most common mistake many foreign companies make when coming to Europe is in regards to language — because within the German market, and generally throughout Europe, a simple translation will not suffice.
“Yes, it is nice for the locals to be able to understand your site, but if you want to be on an equal playing field with the bigger players in European countries, your websites have to be culturally designed to target that specific market,” Gonzalez explains to XBIZ. “Keep in mind that the lingo, even in the smaller countries, changes from one territory to another — so the content for a website has to be written by locals and the language has to be as formal or informal as your target audience expects from a site like yours.”
Gonzalez’ final bit of advice for those thinking about targeting the German market is to realize that glossy presentations, “perfect” models and HD content are not always the best approach to this audience.
“Germans, like many other people, like their big porn stars, but they have a deep love for amateurs and amateur content, which is definitely reflected in consumption patterns. A lot of websites’ business models are based around amateurs and uploading amateur content to make money from it,” Gonzalez concluded. “Study the market, design locally, offer different payment options, partner with local experts and always keep the specific national culture in mind.”
Further illustrating the appeal of the amateur niche and cams to German audiences is MyDirtyHobby.com, a website that features verified amateur models and performers that upload their own photos and videos daily — which are then made available for sale to the site’s users, with a monthly payout of 25 percent of revenues generated by this material.
“It doesn’t matter what type of content you make,” states the program’s site. “It could be solo girl, boy/girl, gangbangs, bondage or fetish — anything goes, as long as it’s legal of course!”
Users can also contact registered performers via private messaging, engage in private cam sessions, and more.
The combination of amateurs, cams and dating seems to be a winner for Germans.
According to PartnerCash.com, the company offers several top-converting dating and amateur sites optimized for German users from Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Perhaps best known for its Saboom.com interactive porn site, PartnerCash also offers its Sexkiste.com adult dating site and Amateurseite.com live cam and video site, targeting German audiences.
Calling the German-speaking market “the second largest purchasing power in the world” and noting that many affiliates are missing out on this great profit potential, PartnerCash provides PPL, PPS and 50 percent revenue sharing, with a current promotion offering nearly $4 for every free join, along with proven banners; top A/B tested landing pages; dating and free join API submissions; localized navigational tab integration that places “Dating” and “Live Cam” tabs on tube sites; plus free interactive content for tube sites; and various e-mail marketing solutions; among other features.
Among the latest innovations from PartnerCash is the launch of SaboomPartner.com, an iframe-based player plugin for offering interactive content to adult paysite members. The system involves a simple twostep installation process that will “make your website suitable for 2020 with the most innovative HD porn content on the Net.”
The interactive content provided by SaboomPartner delivers the built-in opportunity for viewers to make at least one decision regarding the continuation of the plot and fully integrates with existing CMS and the client’s own billing through CCBill or Epoch.
Another international player making moves in the German market is Dating Factory (www.datingfactory.com), which recently acquired leading German white label dating solutions provider, CrossDating.com, as a part of their ongoing internationalization and expansion efforts.
Cross Dating’s SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) reportedly garnered more than 1,400 partners in the DACH market since its launch in 2011, illustrating the offer’s popularity.
CrossDating.com co-founder Lutz Obermann explains that this merger will create a range of tremendous opportunities to build upon the successes of each company.
“The combination of Dating Factory’s advanced technology and our local expertise in the DACH market creates a unique white label dating service,” Obermann stated. “This merger will provide our existing partners with access to innovative new technology, as well as a multi-million [member] global database.” Dating Factory CEO Tanya Fathers is also optimistic about the move.
“This acquisition continues our strategy of international expansion and is a great opportunity for us to increase our footprint in the Germanspeaking markets,” Fathers stated, adding that “Cross Dating’s long experience and excellent performance convinced us that they are the perfect match.”
Obermann told XBIZ that since Germany is a highly mature and evolved market, having a local team on the ground is a unique advantage for the company’s customers and partners, allowing them to make the most out of their traffic and advertising budget.
“Our sophisticated payment solutions and long experience in direct debit transactions make a crucial difference when it comes to customer satisfaction, monetization and ultimately return on investment,” Obermann concluded. “With our local guidance and partner support in translations, ads and website design, our partners have a significant head start on their competition.”
According to the company, Dating Factory is an international white label dating platform with more than 30,000 partners worldwide. DatingFactory.com was established in 2009 and operates in 18 languages across 42 niches.
This philosophy of “serving customers wherever they are” extends to those on the go.
For many American adult entertainment promoters and affiliates, anything remotely “European” conjures up images of mobile devices and “alternative” payment platforms — a perception that extends to the DACH region. Of course, the rapid mobilization of communications and adoption of innovative ways to pay are a worldwide phenomenon, so these processes are now the norm; and Germany is no exception to them.
Leveraging its solid international presence to become a leader in European mobile affiliate programs, Affil4You.com is a respected company serving DACH markets that is known as “The mobile affiliate program that makes you earn cash!”
The Affil4you platform allows users to create and profit from a custom adult mobile website using a Googlefriendly mobile redirection script that will seamlessly switch cell phone using surfers to a WAP-enabled site featuring carrier-direct billing where available — or credit card billing where it isn’t — with billing pages adapted to individual devices.
Recurring subscriptions are possible through the company’s WAP billing solutions, which adapt the rates, billing options and modes according to the customer’s country, monetizing adult mobile traffic in the most efficient way.
It is an effective alternative to in-house or outsourced mobile development teams.
Live stats allow clients to check their mobile site’s performance in real time, with traffic and sales volumes, device usage information and more. Monthly payouts are made to partners by direct transfer, PayPal or Payoneer.
Abroad catalog of content covering more than 50 niches as well as numerous brands, including Adam & Eve, Holly Randall, Private and many others, as well as the option to integrate your own content, allows clients to choose the product that best suits their need — all of which is available on more than 2000 terminals, covering 99 percent of visitors.
There are no commitments required on the client’s part, with the redirect script and associated documentation provided gratis — so that your custom mobile brand is created and implemented for free.
“Since Affil4You became well known in the German, Swiss and Austrian markets, we have really felt the positive impact that those countries have had on our business, being that the German mobile market is the largest in Europe,” Affil4You parent Wister’s Managing Director for North America, Joey Gabra, told XBIZ. “Even though the German-speaking market is a rather difficult market to break into, it has really helped Affil4You stake its claim and put us over the edge as one of the leaders in the adult mobile affiliate game.”
The size and prosperity of the German market make it a lucrative target for a range of operators that strive to master its unique intricacies.
Based in Germany, SexGoesMobile.com offers a full selection of services, offering a mobile targeting script that allows its clients to generate more cash from their same traffic volume by redirecting the 10 percent plus of website visitors arriving via a mobile device.
A mobile webcam chat application offers an interactive service with high conversion rates of 1/100 and reported average revenue per user per month (ARPU) of $82.
Global billing via Premium SMS or WAP, plus credit card and direct debit methods, allow SexGoesMobile.com to charge mobile users worldwide.
The company enables clients to convert their site’s mobile traffic using mobile banners and text links, or to create a custom mobile site. Corporate accounts enable affiliate programs to sell their own mobile content to consumers, generating additional profit while extending their portfolio. A CashPoints rewards program sweetens the deal.
Mobile sites are no longer the distinction they once were, however. Just as cams are increasingly common components of adult websites today, so too are mobile versions, applications or enhanced access to a standard website — it is what the customer expects.
It is a trend that is evidenced in the expanded product offerings of traditional paysites.
For many foreign observers, “German porn” equates to iconic paysites such as extreme sex portal GermanGooGirls.com, and its darker vision of sexualized eroticism.
A product of affiliate program EuroRevenue.com, GermanGooGirls is only one part of the company’s story, however. Since 2001, EuroRevenue has specialized in converting adult oriented traffic through its websites, mobile sites and brand-name content, which it offers in multiple languages and via several regional payment methods. With a portfolio of nearly two dozen niche sites, EuroRevenue has a firm grasp of the needs of Germanic and other consumers around the world.
Also launched in 2001, the FunDorado empire is a joint venture of leading German telecommunication provider Freenet AG and erotic specialist Orion Vers and GmbH, which is headlined by its premium adult entertainment portal, FunDorado.com.
Perhaps best known in the U.S. through its CashDorado affiliate program, the firm boasts a range of sites targeting German and other cam, photo and video users seeking live, amateur, fetish and other types of content.
CashDorado.com provides affiliates with transparent statistics and high conversions through marketing campaigns in TV, print and online; using versatile promotional tools such as dynamic Flash ads; and provides security for promoters due to its strict adherence to German age verification laws.
This brings up Germany’s unique age verification and privacy laws governing the use of adult websites; which is a subject beyond the scope of this article, but a consideration to address with an attorney when evaluating the opportunities presented by this audience.
Other factors affecting operators include billing and visitor acquisition.
Adult traffic networks such as Adultmoda.com, AdXpansion. com, ExoClick.com and Reporo.com, among others, provide solutions for website owners wanting to buy or sell advertising space that targets German-speaking consumers using fixed or mobile Internet access devices.
This is a desirable option because it allows for predictable traffic flow and budgeting.
For example, EroAdvertising.com offers a sophisticated traffic monetization platform that is backed by experienced and knowledgeable staff. Comprehensive geo-targeted, contextually relevant advertising, multi-lingual publishing tools and more enable website owners to advertise or generate revenue by displaying ads using solutions including PPC, pay-per-view/impression, or per period. Flexible filtering and reliable campaign tracking provide EroAdvertising clients with a competitive edge.
Likewise, there are many options when it comes to billing the German market, with a wide range of companies such as DialXS.com; Austrian-based DIMOCO.at, which offers direct-carrier billing for subscription services; SignatureCard.com; and Webbilling.com, among others catering to German consumers.
Native billing companies such as Frankfurt-based PAY4 GmbH (Pay4.eu) specialize in online and phone payment transactions, including National and SEPA Direct Debit as well as online transfers to Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and other nations; while SOFORT Banking (www.payment-network.com) also allows users to trigger transfers using their bank information, and is certified by the largest German quality and security institute, the TÜV, which means it’s safe for more than 40 million online bank account holders in its home country of Germany alone, as well as for countless users elsewhere.
For those contemplating the German-speaking market for adult entertainment, as well as those actively serving this audience, the tools and customers are there — you just need to be able to compete in order to profit from this lucrative European opportunity.