Adult Source Media made its mark as a distributor of erotic animation, but after more than 10 years, that’s not all, folks.
“We started with cartoons, but we don’t do much of that any more,” Adult Source Media president Wendy Crawford told XBIZ. “As times changed, and retail numbers went down, we began to depend more on our catalog and distribution to fill the gaps,” Crawford said. The company has expanded its distribution to include titles from Las Vegas-based classic-porn company VCX, and features from GoodNight Media, which also operates the satiric softcore site WoodRocket.com.
The industry has changed over the years, if you don’t have all the different things in place — your DVDs and your broadcast and your licensing — you’re not going to survive.
In November 2015, Adult Source Media became the exclusive distributor for contemporary DVDs from Colette.com and X-Art.com. “ASM is very deliberate in our dealings and we are absolutely ecstatic over this partnership,” Crawford said when the deal was announced. “X-Art.com and Colette.com are two of the most outstanding studios in the industry, each with a huge subscriber base. This deal allows X-Art.com and Colette.com to expand their reach and continue to grow while giving the many consumers of packaged media the opportunity to view, quite simply, some of the best erotica this industry has ever produced.”
Adult Source Media started in 2004 as “a regular boy/girl studio, with original content” before a colleague offered them a chance to work with original Japanese anime content: “He said, ‘I have all of this content, and we don’t have any distribution for it, but we have a relationship with the Japanese company.’ We started talking with them, and we became the distributor for the content. As things evolved, we became the owner of all the content. We went to Japan and formed a corporate relationship, and now we have a range of animation titles.”
Preparing the Japanese animated features for U.S. consumption needed work. “We had to change the character names to make it appropriate to our market, and we had to make it clear that these were college students being girlish. We changed the dubbing and revitalized the box covers for our market.”
The investment in anime paid off for Adult Source Media: “Those titles have continued to sell, year after year. The age of an animated title doesn’t matter: a fan of that title is a fan of that title. The characters don’t age, they aren’t wearing a certain kind of shoe or haircut or jewelry that ages the content. They still sell. Anime hasn’t evolved so much in the last 10 years; the look and feel of them is still the same. We went into the 3D market and that got big for a while, but people love hentai. Traditional Japanese animation.
“New ones aren’t coming into the market, and that’s what makes us so special. We’re the last man standing. There’s no one else who can offer that animated product.”
Adult Source Media moved from Chatsworth to Las Vegas in June 2015. “We’d been in California since the beginning but we decided that it was time with the new changes in the [California] laws,” Crawford said. “We wanted to go back into doing productions again and we felt [Nevada] is a more friendly state for doing that. We have been very busy since arriving here in Vegas.”
Crawford told XBIZ that Adult Source Media is planning to go back into production and revive its Intimate Encounters and Nightingale Pictures DVD lines.
Intimate Encounters released seven titles between 2011-2013, all written, produced and directed by Crawford and her husband. The tag line for the series is “By a couple, for couples,” and the titles have been described by the company as “films geared to people looking to introduce a comfortable, sexy film experience with their partner.” The DVDs offered high production values and evocative titles like “Summer Lovers” and “Afternoon Delight” featuring stars including Anissa Kate, Tasha Reign, Allie Haze, April O’Neil, Julia Ann, Ramon Nomar, Giovanni Francesco and Seth Gamble.
Adult Source Media’s Nightingale Pictures was an all-girl imprint that also released seven titles in 2010 and 2011. Performers including Lily Cade, Violet Monroe, Aiden Ashley, Brandy Aniston, Kaci Starr, India Summer, Chanel Preston and Aurora Snow appeared in titles like “Art School Dykes” (directed by Cade) and “An Orgy of Exes.”
“When the lesbian genre started to go down, it just wasn’t the right timing for it,” Crawford said. “We were just talking about it the other day.”
What does the future hold for Adult Source Media?
“As I said, we will start our productions again,” Crawford told XBIZ. “Adult Source Media will continue to focus on our classic VCX line and our own lines. We are taking on distribution for some other new studios as well as the amazing line of X-Art, which I call the most sought-after line I have ever seen. It’s the inspiration of so many people for their lines. I know that when I was looking to make Intimate Encounters we did lots of research for the look and the feel that we wanted, and X-Art was one of the places that really inspired us. From broadcast experience, they are definitely my most requested studio. We are very excited for the first time to be bringing X-Art and Colette.com to the world in a different way. We have released five right now from Colette and X-Art. This is all content from their websites that their fans are familiar with. It’s the look and the feel that they want, and they have not been able to receive it in this medium.”
From live action to cartoons to a return to live action and a move across the Mojave, the key to Adult Source Media is an ability to recognize change and adapt to it.
“The industry has changed over the years,” Crawford said. “If you don’t have all the different things in place — your DVDs and your broadcast and your licensing — you’re not going to survive. You have to have your hand in every single area, because without them all, it’s a tough road. I think that’s really something we noticed a long time ago, and we have always continued to diversify and continued to evolve.”