trends

Trends in Webcam Tech and Business Models

Stewart Tongue

As the live cam proliferation continues, new technologies and business models are emerging that will have a lot to do with creating a competitive advantage for some savvy performers over the rest of guys and girls trying to go online part-time.

Mobile, fan clubs, new platforms and bi-directional cam technology are quickly turning the old methods of meeting a model online into nostalgia at best.

Webcam technology has made it possible for clients to interact on a one-to-one basis, while watching a DVD doesn’t even come close to the personal relationship you can have over a live webcam session. -Ben Clark, Webstream.co.uk

Ben Clark of Webtream.co.uk told XBIZ: “Clients also want a much more ‘up-close and personal’ experience with their favorite model. This is why the webcam industry is booming.

“Thanks to modern technology clients can now interact with their favorite models — almost directing their own show,” Clark, Webstream’s principle, said. “Webcam technology has made it possible for clients to interact on a one-to-one basis, while watching a DVD doesn’t even come close to the personal relationship you can have over a live webcam session.” So, the new era in camming is all about expanding on those unique advantages of live interaction.

“Webcam tech will become more bi-directional,” Nancy Roberts, vice president of marketing for FriendFinder Networks Inc., told XBIZ. “There will be interaction that is more than what is between a screen and keyboard. There are some interesting devices that are going to market very soon and it will change the webcamming world.”

The concepts of haptic devices, mutual cam shows and remote-activated sex toys may not be new but the level of sophistication coming to market will surprise all but the most jaded of webmasters. It’s also likely that these new technologies will emerge across mobile services as soon, or sooner than their desktop counterparts.

“Mobile and tablets are becoming dominant and we see also people using the cam service on consoles, smart TV, Chromecast and Apple TV, as well,” Yuval Kijel of Streamate told XBIZ. “We see more free contact today, but surely the non-branded white label model, where sites carry their own white label brand is becoming dominant.”

And that leads to a confluence of pressures that are likely to result in mobile white label devices that turn simple webcam connections into a full body experience of touch, sight and sound, he said.

Now that it is becoming possible to create live shows worth watching more than once, the technology for saving and reliving those experiences is also finally making its way to the webcam market on and off the major platforms.

“Your content can live on and continually earn revenue for you via recorded shows,” said Mark R., CTO of Vuier.com, whose company has created an interesting software solution capable of turning any webcam into a remarkably robust broadcasting device.

Still, for some, the biggest innovations have been the ones already passed in the era of freemium pricing.

“Since the entry of Chaturbate and MyFreeCams, we have not seen anything new coming,” Laszlo Czero of Jasmin and Adult Webmaster Empire told XBIZ. “Which I think should be alarming for the industry as the world keeps changing. The shared economy models are something I would definitely keep an eye on. For me the only question is, whether the industry will be able to rebuild itself, or if a bigger player will have to come in from outside?”

To its credit, Chaturbate does continue to innovate with new services and features like their fan clubs.

“We are starting to notice performers using online platforms to earn recurring billing for their content,” Shirley Lara, COO of Chaturbate, told XBIZ. “At Chaturbate they’re called fan clubs. Broadcasters upload picture sets and videos to their profile and users pay a monthly rate to access all of their content,” which turns one alluring cam performance into a potentially massive amount of revenue as models convert momentary clients into long-term consumers.

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