Juicy Jay has witnessed many changes in the adult entertainment industry since 2006, the year he founded the online advertising network JuicyAds.
The smartphone revolution has taken adult entertainment by storm, social media have exploded in popularity, and many of the online adult companies that were successful nine years ago have since fallen by the wayside.
Success is part being at the right place at the right time and being able to recognize the opportunity when it is looking right at you.
But JuicyAds, which bills itself as “the sexy advertising network,” is still going strong after almost a decade — a fact that Juicy Jay attributes, in part, to the company’s willingness to evolve with the times.
“I say there are two different types of change: change that happens to you, and change that happens because of you,” the JuicyAds CEO told XBIZ. “Trust me, you want to be the one choosing change and not the other way around. People don’t often like it, but change is a necessity. It still amazes me how daunting change can be. The JuicyAds way is to embrace it even though sometimes, that’s been hard to do.”
Although 2006 marked the official launch of JuicyAds, Juicy Jay was involved in online advertising as far back as 2002. And as JuicyAds grew and expanded, so did its sales team.
“At the start of JuicyAds, it was just me,” Juicy Jay recalled. “It was many years before the first team members were hired. Because of that, we have relationships with our clients that go beyond what you’d ever get at another advertising network.
“As team members started to be hired, they made the company more successful because of this culture that was created and [because of] the way we do things differently than any other network. We actually care about our clients and their websites. Their profits do matter to us.”
In 2015, Jay oversees a hard-working team that includes adult industry veterans such as Julie “Imortyl Pussycat” Larson (who was hired as director of business development in 2011) and Rainey Stricklin, who was hired to oversee JuicyAds’ gay sales efforts in January and was promoted to sales director in August.
Alex Lecomte, formerly a marketing manager for StarEdition and Mobidea, joined JuicyAds in November 2014. And Jimmy “Wizzo” Forman, previously a senior sales manager for North America for the Barcelona Spain-based advertising network ExoClick, was hired as a global publisher strategist by JuicyAds in 2012.
JuicyAds’ sales team has a strong international outlook: while Larson and sales associate Kira Basciano (Larson’s daughter) are focusing primarily on the North American market, their colleague Stephen is zeroing in on the U.K., the Republic of Ireland and Continental Europe. Laura Cebrian, a JuicyAds sales associate, speaks three languages (English, Spanish and Italian) and is heavily focused on Spain, Italy and other parts of Europe.
Cebrian, in fact, is based in Barcelona, where she previously served as business development and affiliate manager for Private Media Group. And Lecomte, who is concentrating on Latin America and France for JuicyAds, is fluent in four languages: Spanish, Portuguese, English and French.
Jay asserted: “We have managed to collect a group of sales people that is completely unmatched in the industry. Everyone knows the JuicyAds sales associates, with over 100 years of combined adult and overall sales experience. That includes Julie, Jimmy, Alex, Rainey, Kira, Laura, Stephen and myself.
The best thing I ever did was learn to listen to them and trust them, which was not easy. But it was paramount to becoming a juicy success. Everyone on the team has their strengths.”
Jay added that one person who has had a major impact on JuicyAds even though she isn’t actually an employee is his fiancée, who he describes as simply “The Brunette” when he mentions her in the monthly column he writes for XBIZ World.
“She has fundamentally changed both the company and my life through her love and support,” Jay commented. “It may seem strange to recognize someone who is not even on the company payroll, but she takes great personal interest in the business, is highly intelligent and influential and has been more supportive than I could ever ask for. I used to think it was kiss-ass bullshit when someone would thank their significant other, but now that I’ve found the one, I totally understand.”
Back in the mid-2000s, there were still many people in the adult industry who believed that mobile/wireless devices were strictly for making phone calls. But smartphones and tablets have since had an enormous impact on the industry — and these days, mobile optimization is a crucial part of Juicy-Ads’ business model.
Asked to comment on the ways in which the smart-phone revolution has been affecting JuicyAds, Jay responded: “By now — almost 10 years later — it’s less a mobile revolution than mobile acceptance. Years ago, when I still had my BlackBerry and surfing the web was an overall shitty experience, it was harder to envision how our phones would catapult into quite possibly the most important thing in our lives.
“Today, the market has matured to its own and very complex being. Up until now, JuicyAds has been part of the revolution by monetizing through mobile redirects, pops and banners. Our new mobile banner offerings, including device-type and OS targeting options, have been doing very well. But we are always looking forward.”
As the fall season moves along, JuicyAds continues to expand its mobile/wireless offerings.
“Things have been moving very quickly here with dozens of updates and tweaks to our platform each week,” Jay explained. “We also debuted Mobile OnClick, a more Google-friendly option similar to a pop-up. And we are going to be rolling out two new ad types in the near future to better connect the needs of our advertisers with the quality traffic from our publishers.”
Jay noted that he has learned some valuable lessons during the nine years he has been operating Juicy-Ads. One is “that the good people in the industry — the majority — get even better in time, while the scammers get worse.
“The adult industry is utterly resilient. It’s like a living thing that will survive no matter what. People like to have sex and people like to see it.”
Jay stressed that these days, the adult industry’s challenge is not a lack of worthwhile content, but finding ways to monetize it.
“I feel like our biggest struggle is the sheer amount of quality content out there and how easily someone can find what they are looking for,” Jay observed. “That may sound like old news, but the Internet is never getting any smaller — and content is not (leaving) the web. “Combine a plethora of porn content with mainstream companies who are actively working against the advertising industry to stop the monetization of that content — which has already had its membership upsell revenue stream decimated — and there is trouble ahead. We will prevail as an industry; however, consumers really need to understand that despite its illusions, the Internet is not free. Either they are purchasing a product, or the product is them. If neither is possible, then they will lose the ‘free’ websites, content and services that they love.”
Jay added that the adult industry is still full of innovative, entrepreneurial, tech-savvy people — and as long as JuicyAds is willing to keep changing with the times, he said, it will have a strong advantage in the industry.
“When an opportunity presents itself, you need to move and capitalize on it as quickly as you can,” Jay emphasizes. “You never know when that door is going to close and how hard the door will slam shut. This industry was built on entrepreneurs who built empires from their basements when all they were trying to do was make a couple bucks. Success is part being at the right place at the right time and being able to recognize the opportunity when it is looking right at you.”