Anyone who doubts for a minute that the adult webcam sector has come a long way need only consider the fact that the sector now has its own convention: Camming Con, which focuses on cams exclusively. These days, cam models and cam-friendly affiliates are operating in a much larger market than they were five years ago. And with all that growth has come a much wider variety of niches and themes for models and affiliates to choose from.
As the world of adult membership websites specializing in downloadable content became increasingly crowded, many webmasters turned to specific niches — and the same thing has been happening in the cam sector. There are many different types of cam models, from BDSM-oriented models to gay models to models with alt-porn niches (including goths and emos) to cougar/MILF models.
The ways users navigate (time and layout) and the variety of geo connections are now even wider, allowing us to see recurring connections from unexpected regions of African, Asia and Latin American countries. —Douglas Richter, webcam unit director for DNX Network
“Niches have always been riches,” said Douglas Richter, webcam unit director for DNX Network (home of major sites like XModels.com and XCams.com). “Performers that are providing niche experiences will not need to worry about job security anytime soon. Affiliates that are promoting niches are doing well, especially when programs and brands are offering exclusive models for affiliates to promote and users to enjoy.”
Richter added: “The current trends are basically still driven by interactivity and profits. Tools which provide an enhanced user experience tend to lead to increased profits. As the playing field continues to be streamlined and the number of quality programs shrinks, trust is more important than ever. Programs which are truly transparent and not shaving or playing funny business with currency conversion are very popular. More models are becoming more interactive with social media tools where they attract huge numbers of users to their live shows.”
Affiliates, Richter said, have become increasingly quality-conscious in the cam sector. “Affiliates want exclusive content to make sure their users will get something absolutely unique not found anywhere else,” Richter asserted. “Their biggest growing concern is that the content is always the best quality possible — preferably HD — and provides a great mobile experience.”
Stacy Michelle, senior affiliate manager for ClickCash, said that in the cam sector, affiliates are looking for strong niche sites.
“Affiliates seek content that fits well with their current marketing,” Michelle explained. “They look to the context of the message: e.g., Virtual GFE, dating, and casual. They look to the niche — e.g., MILF, busty, porn star—and to the feel of the promo: e.g., WordPress plug-ins, live feeds, full-page landers. Conscious of this, ClickCash serves many niches and custom promos to fulfill what our affiliates want.”
Michelle continued: “Affiliate marketing continues to be lucrative with ClickCash. Increased effort is required to earn large sums, though. It is more imperative than ever to communicate a unique message and offer it to your visitors. Don’t just grab a relevant banner and place it on your page. Think of custom, unique and exceptional user experiences because that’s what draws valuable customers.”
Janet Ross, hiring manager for InternetModeling.com, said that stay-at-home cam models are doing especially well. Ross asserted: “U.S. based webcam models that work from home are in high demand. Models who work from home are doing better than those who work in studios. For affiliates, recurring revenue payout trumps per-signup commissions.”
Social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter continue to be strong promotional tools for cam models, helping them zero in on a specific audience or clientele. “Models are doing more and more promoting using social media,” explained the Netherlands-based Tristan, cofounder of WeCamGirls.com. “Twitter is still one of the biggest and easiest marketing tools they have at their disposal. But also, blogs like Tumblr are used a lot to create a bond with the customer.”
Tristan cited white labeling as one of the things that is making affiliate marketing more competitive in the cam sector. “In some ways,” Tristan explained, “making money using affiliate marketing was a lot easier in the past simply because there was less competition. It took a bit of technical skill to create your own site and to promote. Nowadays, with the white labels, it’s very easy — and this has resulted in an explosion. White labels are flooding the Internet because anybody can create one.”
Cam modeling remains an international phenomenon, with successful cam models living anywhere from the U.S. and Canada to Europe to Australia and New Zealand. And in a sector that is booming in so many different countries, a model can’t expect to be all things to all people.
“Nowadays, it is all about ‘glocalization’ or the localized global approach,” Richter asserted. “Having your product optimized to a geo region means more than just model, language and payments. Live is different than recorded content because in live, you have one-on-one private chats where models need to act according to the user’s needs. In recorded porn, they have no interaction with the user — and they will not need to worry about the user’s reactions in real time.”
The language barrier might make a cam model less competitive in some markets, but on the other hand, it can give a model a lucrative niche: for example, a French-speaking cam model might earn a good living focusing on customers in France, Belgium, Quebec and other places where French is spoken. “A lot of models still only work with a cam site that is big in their country, especially if their English is not very good and if there is a proper customer base,” Tristan explained. “Lots of German models work on German sites, and this also goes for the French and Italians.”
Reflecting on the cam sector’s international appeal, Ross observed: “In North America, the U.S. continues to be the most profitable country with more paying users than any other country in the world. In Europe, Germany is a very high-growth sector as well as the U.K., with even Russia starting to make a strong showing. In South America, Brazil is showing the highest growth of both paying users and models.” And when Ross was asked what countries were the most lucrative for cam-minded affiliates, she pointed to the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia and Germany.
Richter asserted that one thing cam models and affiliates agree on is the importance of the cam sector continuing to forge ahead technologically. “Affiliate trends are targeting tools that allow much more customization related to various niche experiences, and they want to see more and more HD technical improvements on both desktop and mobile versions of the sites,” Richter stressed. “Both models and affiliates alike are constantly seeking the best possible tools and partners which they can use to provide their member base with top-notch services.”