Meet Jonathan Krogman, coowner of the MetArt Network, a group of sites that sit above the tagline, “Where flawless beauty meets art.”
Simply put, MetArt’s network sites are breathtakingly beautiful, perfect for the porn connoisseur who appreciates the finer things in life — in this case top-tier ladies, top photography and smart presentation.
I think the market is full of loyal consumers that will happily support your brand with their wallets, as long as you continue to give them an evolving product they can connect with.
The company operates an array of well-known enterprises, including MetArtMoney.com, MetArt.com, SexArt.com, VivThomas.com, MichaelNinn.com, ALSScan.com, ErroticaArchives.com, EroticBeauty.com, TheLifeErotic.com, RylskyArt.com, MetCams.com, Live.tv and, coming soon, MagikSex.com.
XBIZ sat down with Krogman — officially the company’s COO — to learn more about the company and how he helps guide the network of sites to success.
XBIZ: Who exactly is your customer? And what defines MetArt?
KROGMAN: Our customers vary greatly. The typical MetArt consumer falls in the mature, 35-plus category of college educated men, while SexArt customers range from mid-twenties to 65-plus, and includes a large number of women and couples seeking an intimate connection with the porn they consume. As we’ve developed our network of sites, we’ve placed a great deal of emphasis on offering erotica that suits a wide range of ages, interests, and that appeals to men and women. The MetArt Network is defined by our philosophical commitment to art, quality and beauty. We are definitely not a collection of spin-off websites revolving around one main site that has any real value. Each of our sites is a work of art in and of itself, where only the highest quality content is presented beautifully and conveys the vision of the artists behind the camera. In keeping with our philosophy, each site is unique, our members’ satisfaction and privacy are top priorities, and we will never compromise our standards and churn out generic, “cookie-cutter” content for higher profits. Our focus is not simply to be popular but to be true to each site’s niche. We take real pride in every piece of content we release across the MetArt Network.
XBIZ: The past year has been a busy one for MetArt. The company has struck many deals to manage some pretty big names — Holly Randall, Michael Ninn and Viv Thomas — and has launched or about to launch sites like MagikSex.com, EroticBeauty and SexArt. Will we see more launches in 2013?
KROGMAN: Yes! And remember, we also launched RylskyArt.com in 2012 and we will have veteran site ALSScan.com relaunched with a new design from the ground up in February. We are extremely excited to add Andrew- Blake.com to the MetArt Network this year as well. We continue to work to expand and extend our network with high quality sites and we will have several more impressive additions to announce in the near future.
XBIZ: How did you venture into the adult industry?
I met my business partner in New York at a business meeting and we instantly became best friends, pretty much brother status. Meeting each other was the biggest turning point of my career. Our partnership has always been a synergistic one that has been financially fruitful for both of us.
From the beginning we were both obsessed with traffic and how to monetize traffic. So, we set off in search of finding niches that garnered lots of web traffic. We soon discovered online casual games fit this bill perfectly. We started a casual gaming company, and over the course of a year we built approximately 150 ad-supported gaming websites, and started to have great success. A year and one-half into our new venture we were approached by the original owner of MetArt through a friend. When I was pitched the idea of helping build and manage MetArt, I initially declined because I didn’t know anything about the adult business. Because MetArt was such an established company I didn’t think I could do the brand justice due to our lack of understanding about the niche. But over the course of a three month period we kept talking about the possibilities of the opportunity with MetArt. The prestige of the brand, the traffic it generated and the financial possibilities all became too much to ignore. We accepted the job of managing MetArt and immediately had one big task at hand: take an already massive online business and increase the revenue in an extremely cut-throat, highly competitive and crowded industry.
Just before our MetArt endeavor, I luckily read a book titled “Blue Ocean Strategy.” The book talked about creating new markets inside industries that were already well established and overcrowded. This is when I had my first ideas about SexArt. Creating cinema-quality adult material that would be taken as serious filmmaking. That’s why SexArt’s first production was Zalman King’s last movie,” Kamikaze Love,” also known in the mainstream world as “Pleasure Or Pain.” However, when I first got involved, and not understanding the adult industry I needed to put that idea [SexArt] on hold and dive head-first into adult and teach myself everything I could about the industry. The rest is history as they say, and here we are today going on our fourth year as owners of one of the fastest-growing online adult companies.
XBIZ: Where is most of your business coming from?
KROGMAN: The largest percentages are certainly from the U.S. and Europe, but we have solid followings in Japan, South America, Canada and Australia.
XBIZ: Where do you think the adult entertainment industry is headed with all this free and pirated porn?
KROGMAN: I believe every industry is in a state of perpetual cycles. The companies that are quickest to adapt to dynamics inside their industry will always find themselves on top. However, while I believe companies need to adapt to their changing marketplaces, pirating hurts companies, and there should be better, more effective legal tools to combat the onslaught. Producing content is not easy, it’s very expensive and the market is filled with competition all vying for the same consumers. When you add piracy to that equation it’s very difficult to be profitable. This is what happened to the adult industry, all of a sudden you had to be hypersensitive to operational costs, with not much room for mistakes. The huge prepirating profits created a comfortable living for a lot of companies, and the attention to the finer details may not seem to be as important in times of great wealth.
The adult industry had to adapt to the changing market, some companies did and others didn’t or just couldn’t. Owning MetArt has given me great insight into a different type of consumer. Our members are loyalists, mostly older with disposable personal income. Our members tend to want quality over quantity and consume erotic material because they have a passion for the artistic value of the content, not just to “get off,” although that is an import component for any company in our industry. My point is, MetArt members will pay for content even though there is a massive amount of pirated material freely available in the marketplace. I think tube sites have seen their best days, and producers who retained their artistic passion and keep raising the bar of their productions will continue to grow. I think the market is full of loyal consumers that will happily support your brand with their wallets, as long as you continue to give them an evolving product they can connect with.
XBIZ: What’s a typical work day like?
KROGMAN: We are a one hundred percent virtual company, staffed with a very talented crew of individuals that love their work but more importantly their freedom. Most of our crew work 10-12 hour days but are given the autonomy to work morning, noon, night or a combination of all three. I believe we are far more productive this way, with more time for family and career. Not having to show up to an office every day fighting traffic to and from work is a liberating feeling. Each of them can create their own comfortable, unique environment to thrive in.
Personally. my Skype never stops beeping with incoming messages. I deal with MetArt photographers from around the world, SexArt production schedules, the programming team and the creative direction for our web properties, self-owned and partnerowned. My business partner deals with existing and new business, marketing, affiliates, and all the countless other intricacies of running a successful online business. We are both good at what the other is simply not interested in — which keeps us feeling very thankful for one another. The opportunity to be doing the things you love inside your company is amazing.
XBIZ: When not thinking about the biz, what do you like to do?
KROGMAN: I’m a native Californian that surfed, snowboarded, and rode dirt bikes growing up, and I still try to get out there when I can. The beautiful thing about living in California is you can do all three of these activities in the same day, at least I could when I was 20. I live on the beach, and I ride my bike every day on a 15 mile loop up and then back down the coast. It’s my favorite part of the day and one of the ways I maintain my sanity with a very busy schedule. I’m fortunate to have a beautiful wife that keeps our personal lives on track and supports me one hundred percent being a producer of adult content. On the weekends my life is usually filled with events, friends and family — between the business and my private life there’s never a dull moment.