Execs of 2015: Online Industry Leaders Discuss Top Motivators

XBIZ World

XBIZ World is pleased to present “Execs of 2015: The Year in Review.”

Each of the executives we spoke to below has one thing in common — they are among the finalist nominees for the online industry edition of the 2016 XBIZ Exec Awards.

On the technology side, industry trends are that fast-speed Internet connections are at an all-time high — not just in the U.S., but globally. There is also an ever-increasing usage of smartphones on a worldwide basis. -Shirley Lara, Chaturbate

XBIZ captures the thoughts of these influential and motivational leaders as we sought their take of the year 2015.

The following question about the year in review was asked to those running for the Businesswoman of the Year:

XBIZ: What industry trends, innovations motivated you the most this year?

Cathy Beardsley
President and CEO, SegPay

“We have watched the growth of mobile traffic and transactions over the last year and have made it our focus to build our simplified and responsive pay pages and improved reporting by device for clients. Single-click checkout continues to be important for our mobile users and cam programs. The fastest growing programs in our portfolio are cam sites. These programs are unique in that repeat consumers require us to be more creative and customized with our risk management. We developed additional tools to help our cam programs validate users as well as more detailed velocity checks. Lastly, the card associations always do a great job of keeping us on our toes with mandated new systematic sub-merchant reporting as well as with additional fraud chargeback fees that are designed to push merchants to use Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode. It is never a boring year in payment processing.”

Melissa Campos
Business Development and Operations Manager, Kingdom Worldwide Web Operations, Inc.

“The innovation that I used the most last year was the new flex forms from CCBill. The forms allowed me to customize campaigns with other companies and really target our audience for better conversion rates. In some cases, our conversion rates doubled when compared to the older forms. We were also able to A/B test to learn what works. It is unbelievable to learn that members on one site prefer a specific color compared to members on other sites.”

Kristen Kaye
Founder and CEO, K Squared Dynamics

“The fact that people are excited about being in the business again is what has motivated me. For years, there was a lull in energy and innovation — and now, with new technologies and different business models being introduced, there seems to be a greater, more positive energy that is contagious. 2015 was a great year in many ways, and I see 2016 and beyond being even more exciting and motivating.”

Shirley Lara
CEO, Chaturbate

“On the technology side, industry trends are that fast-speed Internet connections are at an all-time high — not just in the U.S., but globally. There is also an ever-increasing usage of smartphones on a worldwide basis. According to TechCrunch, by 2020, there will be approximately 6.1 billion smartphone users. At Chaturbate, we continue to improve our video quality and mobile platforms to ensure that the entire Chaturbate community is able to access the best video quality available on whatever device they choose, whether PC, tablet or smartphone. On the Chaturbate community side, we continue to always strive to improve our platform so that our broadcasters — many of whom are single moms or dads, students, etc. who make a good living from the safety and privacy of their own homes — can produce and share their unique content with their fans.”

Mia Zhu
Founder and CEO, Mobius Payments

“I maintain motivation through my team and my peers. Working closely with the staff, you learn about them personally. You learn about their lives and what’s important to them. Their dedication to the company and clients motivates me to focus on growth and security to benefit the entire team for years to come. I can say the same for the client. Attending shows like XBIZ throughout the year, you see your clients, you talk with them and learn about their lives — what they are trying to do and achieve in business and in life. It’s this personal interaction that motivates us to do our best for their business needs, because they are trying to do the same thing for their team.”

Jennifer McEwen
Co-Founder and Vice President of Product Development, Mikandi

“2015 has been an incredible year for advancements in technology such as augmented reality and virtual reality. We’ve always been motivated to push the adult industry forward through bleeding-edge technology, but this year, we found ourselves most inspired by creators and their supporters. There has been a big shift in the way consumers pay and why they pay for entertainment online. Tube sites have taught a whole generation to expect digital media to be free, so it’s difficult for many of them to say they pay for porn. But people love to rally behind their favorite artist. Live cam performers, game developers and comic artists instinctively know this. The trend towards live and personalized adult entertainment centers the fans’ support around the creator, not the content. When you have the mindset of ‘fans, not users,’ you end up creating very different products.”

Jo Merlone
CEO, KiwiSourcing

“2015 represented many new trends and innovations that indirectly impacted me in the utmost positive way. Being as I work with several companies in different fields, I found myself seeking new promotional items and marketing solutions to generate interest and target the applicable audience that my clientele seeks. Such challenges inspire me to always stay motivated, as there is little time for delay when it comes to the e-commerce world. Continued advancement in mobile technology, international expansion in digital media hosting and Google algorithms have kept me on my toes in 2015, and I expect nothing less as we roll into 2016.”

Ines Petersen
Global Operations Director, WebBilling

“More and more companies are now working on a global scale. This is very exciting to see, and it surely puts up a challenge for all of us —providing the tools everyone needs in order to increase not only business, but mostly conversion, all over the world. Especially, billing is one of the main factors, and this is motivating me every day to provide my merchants with the best consulting and the very best solutions catered to their business.”

Judy Shalom
Founder and CEO, Adamo Advertising

“The online marketing landscape has been constantly changing in the past year, but with the big difference that the adult industry is no longer leading the mainstream industry. I’ve been trying to adopt certain mainstream trends into the adult space, and some of them have caught on. Others needed adaptation in order to properly fit into the adult industry’s work philosophy. The innovations that drove me mostly this year, which we at Adamo have already adopted or are in the process of integrating, are first-impression media buying — which allows your media buys to more effectively acquire the cream of the crop, meaning that you will have the opportunity to access the potentially best traffic for your products. Other very exciting trends have been vCPM and big data. These concepts have already been adopted by most of the mainstream giants and are now also trickling their way into the adult online space.”

Vicky Vette
Founder, Vette Nation

“There is no doubt that the move to mobile that started a while back is in 1,000 percent full gear. And we are keeping a watchful eye on 4K. It’s amazing that consumers are going out and buying 4K TVs for $800 when the cable boxes are not even really supporting it. We were on the fence about shooting and editing 4K across the board because of storage and bandwidth costs, but I can see a time in a couple of years that 4K will replace all the HD content and be the standard. Cams and live shows are bar none the most important thing we do, however. We broadcast more live shows than any other network in porn, and it keeps members happy and rebilling. We are lucky to have 50-60 girls who do live shows every week for the network. I could not imagine having a standard site selling just videos and pic sets with no live component.”


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