trends

Technology, Social Networking, and Blogging Drive the Cam Field

Alex Henderson

The adult entertainment industry has a long history of being on the cutting edge of technology, and in the past, successful adult companies were quick to embrace emerging technologies (whether it was VHS tapes, DVDs or digital downloads) and use them to their marketing and promotional advantage. That hasn’t changed: technology still rules the adult industry, and one technology that has proven to be a substantial moneymaker for many adult companies is the live webcam. However, cam modeling is hardly a get-rich-quick scheme. It requires not only a strong work ethic and dedication, but also, a knowledge of current trends. And in the summer of 2013, ever-improving webcam technology and aggressive use of social media are among the important cam modeling trends to watch out for.

David Martin, managing director of the Cheltenham, England-based Wow Zoom Live (which includes GlamourStarsLive.com), believes that cam modeling is moving in a 1glossier, more polished direction. And he sees GlamourStarsLive.com as part of that trend; the site, Martin said, only accepts professional glamour models and screens applicants carefully. “A steady increase in technical quality has to be the most significant trend in this industry,” Martin asserted. “For all entertainment media — be it film, TV, music, video games — the picture and sound quality is of major importance to the consumer experience, and one that can often drive new surges in sales. For some time now, the live cam marketplace has lagged way behind, almost to the point of acceptance. But thankfully, at last — due to a combination of increased bandwidths, improved software, better hardware — quality is on the up.”

Ever-improving webcam technology and aggressive use of social media are among the important cam modeling trends to watch out for.

Amanda Adams, social media director for iFriends, is also observing a trend toward a higher technical quality in cam modeling. “Faster broadband speeds are trending, allowing models to display higher quality feeds,” Adams noted. “We’ve observed significantly higher revenues when there are high-quality cams. We see more models working independently now than working for studios. With a webcam, just about any computer and a few social media and publishing tools, a webcam model today serves as marketer and webmaster of their own destiny.”

Mainstream venues are still an excellent way for adult performers to promote themselves. In 2013, many cam models are still using non-explicit spots to promote themselves on YouTube — and Adams said that mainstream social networking sites are crucial for cam models. “Models have enthusiastically embraced social networking and micro-blogging,” Adams observed. “Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr are among the most prominent social sharing tools used to build and maintain relationships. Twitter’s open platform, especially, can be a valuable source of traffic for models.”

Jamie Rodriguez, director of broadcasting for VS Media, said that aggressive use of social media can expand a cam model’s audience considerably.

“In the last few years,” Rodriguez explained, “models have been able to take control of their marketing and make themselves stand out in a way that was never before possible without the backing of a large company.

“With social media, cam models have become their own best promoters, using their natural talents to showcase what makes them successful as a cam model in an easily usable and digestible format. A cam model doesn’t need a webmaster to promote themselves on Twitter. They need dedication and self-awareness in order to know how to highlight what makes them unique and keep hammering that message home.”

Adult cam modeling is an international phenomenon, and cam models in different parts of the world speak different languages. But according to Shay Efron, vice president of marketing and business development for ImLive.com, English continues to be the top language for adult cam modeling. “English is a must-do in this industry given the fact that the majority of the traffic attending to webcam platforms is driven by English speakers,” Efron asserted. “However, there are emergent economies and markets rising, which means new countries and obviously different languages. Although English is transversal, being a cam model that is able to communicate with a customer in his mother language is definitely a plus.”

Netherlands-based Tristan, who co-founded Partners in Porn and its WeCamGirls.com site with his partner Rutger, said that the English-speaking world remains a valuable market for cam models even if they aren’t from countries where English is the primary language. Although Partners in Porn is based in the Netherlands, Tristan said that 80 percent of its members live in the U.K. or the U.S. — and he considers English to be the top language for cam modeling even though it isn’t the only language.

“On almost all American and British cam sites,” Tristan noted, “the main language is English — and this is what customers expect when they visit those sites. My opinion is that some people are looking for girls that speak the language of a particular country, and they visit a big cam site from that country: Germans visiting German cam sites, Spanish visiting Spanish cam sites. So would it help to speak German on Streamate, for example? It would help a bit. The customer might be surprised to see somebody that also speaks his language, but I don’t think it would be a decisive factor. People on Streamate simply won’t be looking for somebody that speaks German.”

Adams cited South America as an important growth market for cam modeling and said that improving Internet infrastructures are a key factor. “We see the greatest rate of growth in South America: Brazil in particular, and Colombia and Chile are burgeoning areas,” Adams noted. “We’re seeing an increase in network service providers and devices from these countries that didn’t register a few years ago.”

Self-pleasure has been a part of adult entertainment consumption for generations, and Tristan said that one possible cam-friendly trend to keep an eye on is masturbation technologies like the one sold by RealTouch.com for $199.95. “They offer interactive masturbators to give you the experience of having actual sex with the cam girl,” Tristan noted. “It’s expensive, but an interesting concept.”

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