As with all technology-driven businesses, cam networks have to keep an eye on all of the newest developments shaping the market. While infrastructural stability is something that every company desires, changes in consumer expectations lead to an endless upgrade cycle — with significant new challenges and opportunities on the horizon.
To get a handle on these changes, XBIZ recently asked some top operators “What technology has your cam network implemented to stay ahead of the curve?” Their answers provide a glimpse of the future and the rapidity of the pace at which we’re moving toward it.
Our models can use OhMiBod and Lovense tip-activated toys to give their viewers more control of the show. They can also use our new live Tweeting feature to let their fans know of upcoming shows, new pics, big tips and so on.
FFN event manager Elli Rudolph said this is a breakaway year, so the pace of innovation is exponential.
“Our focus for 2017 is to increase the quality of our broadcasts with HD servers, put resources on quality experiences for our European audience with data centers in the EU, and improve our product by moving off of obsolete technologies like Flash,” Rudolph told XBIZ. “I’m really excited about our recent redesign of the broadcasting interface. It’s streamlined and the models are loving it during our user testing.”
MyFetishLive.com owner Michael Goldsmith confided that one of the most popular tech upgrades for the site has been its integration with Lovense interactive toys.
“Both our customers and models love them, and as a company, Lovense is a pleasure to work with,” Goldsmith explained. “Tip-activated toys give our members a deeper connection with the models they’re interacting with, and our members have gotten very creative in how they use the toys.”
Goldsmith told XBIZ he recently saw a model attempting to do math problems while members tipped, setting off the toy, in an attempt to distract her.
“For every mistake she made, she received a spanking,” Goldsmith revealed. “It created a frenzy of tips and was hilarious to watch.”
Jim Austin, Stripchat’s head of business development, said the company is excited about broadcasting from its mobile app for Android devices.
“It’s really great to see that the model and user relationship is growing as so many models are performing with the app to keep it interesting for users,” Austin said. “We’ve had great feedback from both models and users about this feature, and since its introduction, it has worked flawlessly. I have to give a lot of credit to our tech team for creating such a great feature and for its broadcasting success.”
BongaCash senior affiliate manager Katy said the company is constantly working on new features that would make visiting BongaCams more pleasant and interesting.
“We have a user-friendly platform separately for the models, to make their work on BongaCams even more simple and effective,” Katy told XBIZ. “Our models can use OhMiBod and Lovense tip-activated toys to give their viewers more control of the show. They can also use our new live Tweeting feature to let their fans know of upcoming shows, new pics, big tips and so on.”
“We also provide our models with our own streaming application that guarantees the best possible video quality considering internet bandwidth, memory and CPU resources, and other factors,” Katy said. “And of course, we do our best to provide the best user experience for our visitors, with best streaming quality and connection speeds to make their time on BongaCams the most enjoyable.”
Chaturbate COO Shirley Lara told XBIZ the company is working on an Open Broadcaster Software (OBS) option, so broadcasters can utilize external software and enjoy all the platform’s benefits with advanced control over many of the video options they choose for streaming.
“We’ve just rolled out PanCam in beta,” Lara added, “which allows tippers to take control of a broadcaster’s camera to pan, tilt and zoom, in order to get the view they want.”
Like the rest of adult, cam networks are eyeing virtual reality and the promise of immersion it holds.
CAM4’s head of PR Derek Devlin said the company is inspired by the future of VR and has made a considerable investment into developing its market-leading live streaming VR cam solution.
“Thankfully, users seem to agree — we were very proud to have won the VR Shootout at XBIZ Miami,” Devlin explained. “This acknowledgment from our industry peers was great validation that we are headed in the right direction, and it gives us renewed energy to make the product even better going forward.”
Devlin mentioned that VR aside, CAM4 has beefed up security by migrating its network to HTTPS on all pages.
“This was a complex undertaking that took months of planning and significant infrastructure changes. We are pleased to say the upgrade went as planned and is working successfully,” Devlin told XBIZ. “CAM4 users now benefit from 100 percent encryption on all pages — not just checkout pages.”
Devlin strongly advised site owners that are still on the fence about migrating over to HTTPS “to take action now.”
“With the right planning, the migration process doesn’t need to be painful,” Devlin concluded. “All sites will need to make the move sooner or later because web browsers are getting more aggressive in how they flag insecure pages, so be sure to act now.”
Jesting that the company is already ahead of the curve, VNALive’s Vicky Vette told XBIZ she is taking a wait-and-see attitude and “in a holding pattern with technology until true HTML5 rolls out.”
“Some companies have jumped on VR. We are not one of them,” Vette explained. “As long as the cams work and are stable on phones our users seem happy.”
Likewise, FreeWebCams’ Eric Wexel takes a pragmatic approach to his network’s needs, where multiple technologies provide the best user experience, regardless of the customer’s viewing platform.
“Multiple format delivery of our live video in Flash, HLS, H.264 Encoded and .jpg push,” Wexel told XBIZ, “all serve a purpose in giving us the flexibility to function optimally on all devices, browsers and connectivity levels.”
While camming technology is evolving, stability is an important concern, especially for larger networks, but progress is being made in moving the ball forward, as revealed by these top operators seeking an edge in serving their customer’s increasing needs.