With the days of cookie-cutter adult paysite networks fading into the past, today’s savvy site operators are busy revamping their content, as well as the ways in which this material is offered to prospects and provided to customers.
To gain a better understanding of this evolution, XBIZ World recently asked several industry experts about the current trends in content licensing, presentation and delivery. Here’s what they had to say:
Protection of one’s assets by issuing DMCAs to content thieves is the new norm, unfortunately.
According to Jack Avalanche of CherryPimps.com, his site licenses and recommends AdultCentro.com’s popular paysite feeds as bonus filler content — although the company prefers to focus on producing its own material to provide members with exclusive, original content — but even this staple of the business is undergoing changes to keep up with market demand.
“The presentation and delivery of content is evolving, in that while many sites used to offer a desktop and a separate mobile version, most are finding that responsive designs are the only way to go today,” Avalanche told XBIZ. “You also have to offer your content in formats that are compatible across those devices in order to keep everyone happy — as a desktop user today could be on his iPhone tomorrow, or vice versa.”
One example is the emergence of 4K UHD video, which Avalanche says the company is now exploring — and while it has yet to make the move to Ultra Hi-Def, it plans to do so soon, fueling excitement about where things are going — and CherryPimps is not alone.
Mansion Productions’ CEO Oystein Wright told XBIZ that high definition video and high quality pictures have come to stay, and are necessary to combat the appeal of countless free tube and illicit pirate sites.
“Protection of one’s assets by issuing DMCAs to content thieves is the new norm, unfortunately,” Wright laments, noting that the process is very time consuming and expensive for lawful copyright holders.
The burden on paysite operators also increases because of consumer demand for better quality porn, and stiffening competition from producers that are able to leverage today’s higher quality, but lower cost and easier to use, technology and tools.
“I notice that many of the serious producers are still going strong, but with the easy access to state of the art photo/video equipment, more amateurs and niche sites are producing their own content with great results,” Wright added. “Moreover, everything is bigger now. Big pictures and videos in the tours seems to be a must in order to convert better, and with the surge of handheld devices, using responsive designs is key to making sites look good on all media.”
The key, Wright advises, is for paysite operators to seek out smarter and more efficient ways of working with content, in part to future-proof their offers by keeping them current with the newest technologies.
“Every serious player must make sure they work with a good CMS platform,” Wright says, explaining that it is crucial to stay ahead of the technology curve and to keep paysites updated for their members, with fresh content and innovative presentations.
Celine from TotemCash echoes the need for innovation in the face of growing competition, which is now pushing companies to develop the quality of their services. She cites the move to 4K UHD content and to a tightening of all areas of production and delivery — from the scenes and casting, to higher quality data services, and the product’s availability across all devices to meet each and every customer’s needs — however and wherever he or she surfs the Internet.
“2016 will be the year when this new way of content marketing matures,” Celine says. “Companies that have missed this milestone will stop growing and be stuck in a declining part of the market, while others will keep on fighting.”
“One of the key factors in this race will be innovation,” Celine adds, “especially in the development of 3D and virtual reality.”
It is another example of how today’s advanced technology becomes tomorrow’s standard fare — where just as HD video was a selling point yesteryear but a “must have” today, future paysites will be expected to be VR-compatible and usable on every imaginable device.
Elevated X CEO AJ Hall agrees, telling XBIZ that although we are not there yet, today’s newest trends are already becoming standards — so what was formerly a “bonus” feature offered to paysite customers is now something that they have come to expect.
“These days, Elevated X CMS software-powered paysites are offering much higher resolution photos and high bitrate HD video, both with automatic delivery based on the viewer’s screen size for photos and the bandwidth capabilities for adaptive streaming video,” Hall says. “We’ve moved beyond sites taking an approach of ‘here’s your porn’ to ‘here’s your porn delivered in the best way possible for your device.”
These options are no longer niceties, but necessities when serving an audience that visits a paysite on everything from a smartphone to a Smart TV, desktops, laptops, tablets, gaming consoles and beyond.
The growing focus on universal access extends to the paysite billing realm as well, which according to Vendo’s managing director, Thierry Arrondo, is going through a paradigm shift, where processing is becoming a localized commodity with localization of payment funnels, pricing, risk management and support, and where knowing your customer is the first rule of marketing — but warns that there is a paradox in that all consumers are different.
“If you treat all customers the same (i.e. charging the same price for everyone), you are without a doubt losing money,” Arrondo explains. “Seeing the customer as a changing matrix of device, location, time of day and payment method is a beautiful conversion problem to solve.”
This consumer complexity is one of the biggest challenges facing paysite operators today and represents a pathway for decreasing expenses while raising revenues.
“Billing should be a profit center,” Arrondo says, “but for most companies today it is a cost center — their second biggest expense after traffic.”
Beyond this evolution in how you get paid for your porn, Mr. Skin’s Sam Rakowski says that the physical aspects of paysite content presentation and delivery are also constantly evolving, even for the Internet’s most established brands.
“We have been working on a complete redesign and redevelopment of MrSkin.com, which will launch before the holiday season,” Rakowski told XBIZ. “Some of the most exciting improvements involve how our users will be able to find, consume and even curate their own collections of our content, which will also be much easier to browse via large thumbnails, with our full-size videos and photos opening inline.”
This overhaul is an example of how paysites are rolling out services that differentiate them from their free site competitors — many of which have not similarly invested in tweaking their users’ experience.
“At the end of the day, today’s users want to be able to find what they are looking for quickly and expect this content to be both high quality and lightweight,” Rakowski concludes. “If you don’t provide that, people will go elsewhere.”
At that point, it’s just a matter of common sense and customer service.
From changes in adult paysite content formats and viewing platforms, to billing and business models, 2015’s trends in content licensing, presentation and delivery are dynamic to say the least — and with an anticipated roll-out of new adult VR services underway as we approach 2016, this dynamic nature seems here to stay.