If you’ve been in the online adult industry for any length of time, you probably already know about JT, “The YouPorn Guy.”
JT, formally known as Jonathan Todd, was chiefly responsible for guiding YouPorn.com to its user base that grew hundreds of millions of monthly visitors and developing a “content partner program” with more than 2,000 sites.
For relaxation I love to drive my cars, and I like to play the piano, composing music for our sensual/erotic sites. —JT
After selling the tube site to Manwin, now MindGeek, in 2011, JT immediately got back in the game and came up with a brand-new portfolio of paysites under the Really Useful Cash network.
XBIZ World wanted to know more about JT, last year’s CEO of the Year at the XBIZ Executive Awards, and see how he ticks in this month’s Presidential Suite interview.
XBIZ: What did you do before YouPorn?
JT: I come from a travelling family in the U.K., and for years I was a dog breeder. Day to day though, I would work with my cousins erecting peoples garden fences, clearing people’s garden rubbish and we used to build large dog kennels called “sheddles.” I always had an interest in the Internet though, and created a patent on a gaming platform, which failed. From there, I became the sales guy for a mobile technology platform, but unfortunately, that also failed. But it did lead me to email YouPorn shortly after they launched in August 2006, and the rest, they say, is history.
XBIZ: What was it like being part of YouPorn from the beginning?
JT: In one word: Scary. YouPorn was very disruptive to the whole of the adult industry, and we certainly didn’t make too many friends. For the first 12 months I called myself Nora. Shortly after launch, we realized that the business model was not sustainable —not for us, but for the entire industry. We started buying a lot of content but feelings towards us started to change in March 2007 when we launch the industry’s first-ever “content partner program.” This enabled us to receive content direct from the producers and for us to direct traffic back to their paysites. This, along with the content we were purchasing, allowed us to not rely on any user uploads. Very quickly YouPorn became the No. 1 affiliate to all of the content owners who took part in the content partner program. I started to attend trade shows in 2008 but was still very nervous. Its where I picked up the moniker of “The YouPorn Guy” that has stuck even to this day.
XBIZ: After selling YouPorn, what made you go into the production side of the business?
JT: I had so much data from YouPorn that it would have been a shame not to put it to use. I monitored user behavior a lot, and I knew what niches they preferred to watch, how long the videos should be and what the videos should consist of. In 2007, we created an algorithm that was based on the users current footprint on YouPorn. This algorithm would identify content and, in particular, niches that the user would likely enjoy. This was a very valuable tool, not only for being able to optimize banners but also added to the end-user experience with a “we recommend” section. We found this greatly increased average time on site and also average page views per visit. However, it was this data that was the most valuable for me and helped me identify the niches that I needed to create for my new paysite network.
XBIZ: After selling YouPorn, you built up quite a portfolio of sites. How many .com and .xxx sites do you operate?
JT: I launched my first site in September 2011 and I have 22 sites live in my network right now. We launched the world's first .xxx sites in Casting.xxx and Orgasms.xxx, respectively. We have since gone on to launch StrapOn.xxx, BDSM.xxx and Mom.xxx on the .xxx extension. The other 17 sites are all on .coms.
XBIZ: What type of genre ends up making the most money for you?
JT: We have two different genres in ReallyUsefulCash.com: sensual/erotic and reality/amateur. Both genres do extremely well and have stand-out sites in each. MassageRooms.com, DaneJones.com and Lesbea.com are big revenue generators for us, while in the reality/amateur, FakeTaxi.com, PublicAgent.com and FakeAgent.com are the top three.
XBIZ: What do you base your decision on when launching a new site?
JT: The tubes. I study the tubes for an average of one hour a day. I look at a lot of different content, what does well, what doesn’t, try and figure out the reasons of both. I look at what sites already exist in that niche, and whether we can improve on what’s we already offer. I then speak to my production guys for their input. If we feel the site would be viable then we shoot three to four test scenes. We then use these scenes under one of our existing brands to gauge the reaction from our active members and also the reaction to the tube edited videos on the tubes.
If favorable, we will then look to secure a domain name and put the necessary team into place. All of our sites are stand-alone sites. We recently did a test with two “network pass” sites, which worked very well, and we will also be testing a “super network pass.”
XBIZ: How do you acquire/film content?
JT: We shoot 100 percent of our own content in house. We have film crews based in Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, U.K. and the U.S. We also have editors based all over the world, and as a rule, we have one editor looking after one website.
XBIZ: You’ve been a true believer of .xxx domain names by acquiring so many through the past two years. What is your reasoning behind these purchases?
JT: Yes, I have over 300 .xxx domains with some very high-profile purchases recently. I truly believe that the Internet is changing and changing for the better. With the new gTLDs ICAAN has introduced, in years to come, it will all look so logical. Banks will be on .bank, Nike products on .nike, obituaries on .rip and yes, adult sites will be on .xxx (.porn .adult and .sex). I don’t think governments will make it mandatory for the adult industry to be on a .xxx domain; however, I do believe that the search engines will give preference to domains that are on the correct extensions.
I am sure though, that SEO, as we know it, will fast become outdated. Not all new gTLDs will be a success — that’s a given.
Some that have launched recently I just don’t understand. But the ones that do become popular will make the foundation for a far-better Internet experience. I completely missed the opportunity with the .coms when the Internet started. I have friends that own some of the best adult keyword .coms around. I don’t want to miss another golden opportunity. Of course, I could be wrong, but a domain will last generations, and I now own 17 of the top 50 most-searched for terms in adult today.
XBIZ: How do you see the adult industry in the next 12-24 months?
JT: I see the content producers coming together and realizing the sheer amount of power that we have. I am keen to see how much traction there will be with “SOPA2” and I am interested to see how adult, and the tubes in particular, cope with the FCC’s new net neutrality proposal.
XBIZ: Does your company have any new projects coming up?
JT: On the production side, we have new sites launching all the time. But I have been busy developing two separate platforms that are going to be very disruptive to their respective sectors in the adult industry. They will be launching soon.
XBIZ: What’s a typical work day like?
JT: Up at 7:30 a.m.-9:30 a.m., looking at stats, looking at XBIZ.net, going through emails that came in overnight from our U.S.-based staff, checking out base camp, etc.
9:30 a.m.-11 a.m.: dealing with production managers, speaking with European-based managers and developers.
Noon-2 p.m.: lunch — on location.
2:30 p.m.-5 p.m.: on Skype, doing emails.
8 p.m. until late: dealing with webmaster, developers, emails, look at XBIZ.net and studying the tubes.
XBIZ: When not thinking about the biz, what do you like to do?
JT: I have six children, one new baby in Prague who I see everyday, and five older kids who are based with their mother in the U.K. So as you can imagine, I am pretty busy with them on Snapchat, Facebook, messenger, Skype, FaceTime, etc.
For relaxation I love to drive my cars and I like to play the piano, composing music for our sensual/erotic sites.