Being a discount content provider I get the same shit thrown at me everyday; the same knock over and over again: "You pay for what you get..." "Look at their quality..." "Our pictures may be four times the price, but our quality is better." Now, you look at my stuff and say "Yeah, his stuff sucks." But, you just fell for the oldest marketing trick in the book...
I am not saying that quality does not vary, but that price is not a very good indicator of quality. Look at the bigger names; all of them are very expensive - up to a buck an image. But they do produce a quality product for a certain clientele that needs that kind of content. They do not talk about their price, they do not need to. They know, and so do their customers, why they are priced the way they are.
But what do you need those high quality images for? Does the quality of your images matter as much as the satisfaction of the masturbator who is looking at images on either your pay site, free site, or a TGP gallery? Are glamour images really what you need to initially sell and then retain your site's members?
There are essentially two kinds of content. One is considered pro, and the other, Amateur. Lots of variances exist, but 'Glamour' images are considered to be pro, and 'girl next-door' shots are amateur or pro-am. Both sell because both meet different customers needs. There are pro style niche and amateur style niche and Pro-Am, which is borderline one way or the other. It is all about marketing and having a good sales pitch.
You have to decide what is best for your own sites. Good amateur style photos will make you more money because they will cost you less to buy. But, some do not believe that this is true. It's up to you. I sell a lot of images that are really not the best quality, because 'realism' can be more important in a marketing sense than studio-shot images. I have experience in this, and show my profit margin to be much higher. The more that the customer thought my girls were really shooting these images for them, the better my sales were, and some of the uglier models did better than the prettier ones, so that doesn't seem to make so-called 'glamour' images any better either. I know guys out there want these fantasy women, and a new model turns 18 every minute...
I am trying to be honest about this as best I can. There is a place for glamour images, and everyone needs them for their pay sites. I know guys out there want these fantasy women, and a new model turns 18 every minute, but, there are a lot of habitual porn users who are lonely guys and girls, who want the fantasy of interaction with different women. Or to live out a fantasy life that they are unable to with the way their life is structured right now. These are the customers, that I believe, have money and are willing to stay a member for several months, if not a year.
This does not discount the important uses glamour images have on the Net. I just think it's more a measure of what you need, as opposed to what some other site is telling you is bad or good. Quality is also seen in sales figures, not just in aesthetics. I haven't even gone into free site and TGP owners. They need sales and not to spend too much on content. They need to be accepted at TGPs, not rejected because their freebies are overused. Do they need to pay more for quality?
So the next time someone tells you that its always better to pay more for content, ask them who told you that, and I will bet it's a content provider using that old marketing trick on you again.