Content is King

Mark Prince
Live adult video chat is on the cusp of an explosive growth period — or outright implosion. And while the onset of widespread broadband and easy, quick Internet connectivity has been a boon for the VOD model, it isn't necessarily so for the live niche.

The VOD model will automatically grow because new and existing content is simply made available to the new market. But live video chat, which has been a niche in and of itself due to the delivery model and technology, needs to adapt.

Those who developed it right from the outset ended up with success, e.g. LiveBucks, WebcamCash, Pussycash, and Pornication, among others.

But the novelty is gone. Having an actual live naked woman at the other end of that video feed is no longer enough. Consumers have gotten used to the innovation and technology.

Now with high-speed DSL connections, live video has vastly improved with sound, lower-cost bandwidth, higher frame rates, widescreen and even high-definition formats.

As with any site or program, the next step is — or should be — the content. With the tools available today, the webcam girl (guys too) should be able to provide more. Video is smoother and crisper than ever, and there's often sound in every chat mode. Yet most don't even say "Hi" to new visitors.

Updates aren't the issue because live content is updated second-by-second.

It's the nature and quality that has to be addressed.

Most chat hostesses are used to the "old" model, wherein she has no sound, doesn't actually "chat," logs in to multiple systems and splits her feed to a point where even bad video is downgraded.

Her conduct is also kept to minimum requirements. After being bombarded by freeloaders or unqualified traffic that begs for free boobs or butt, she usually doesn't respond with much more than "Take me pvt! See my pussy," via one-touch Macro Key.

One thing often forgotten in the quest to bring together user and content via better technology and sales techniques is the human element. Not just performers but users, too.

Live video isn't used to its fullest potential when it's exploited on the "catalog" model. Users don't simply pick and click for flesh, they're being received by a sales representative — your model.

Our business niche, video sex chat, could be the ultimate interactive web service and insanely more profitable if chat hosts started putting the customer first. Chat hostesses often log in and then ignore chat room viewers, offering attention only while in paid chat.

What they, and studio managers or webmasters, don't realize is users aren't simply after the "content"; they don't just want the blond hair, big boobs, or toy-play. They want attention and personalized exchange. High retention and higher conversion on medium and long-term basis can be assured by better "representation" by the models.

This involves more than just being present before the camera. If the chat hostess can see the user's name, he or she should welcome him, and respond to each line, by name.

Often performers don't look into the camera, or hide their "best assets" from free chat-mode, showing just an elbow, hands on a keyboard, or their laps. They promise to show more, and talk, but only in paid chat.

To present and satisfy expectations of the user, and allow the initial "relationship" to begin, the models should put smiles and eyes right in view of the camera. The camera is the gaze of the user, and the more intimate the contact is - even in a crowded sex chat room - the more likely the conversion and repeat business.

Users feel "closer" to models with better video, the use of sound, and by attentive, personalized response. This is the final factor in the equation. They want to "get to know" the chat hostess before becoming more deeply involved.

"I've got pussy and tits, why do you want to talk," one chat hostess said. Those who feel this way don't understand the market. All too often, studio managers and webmasters make the same mistake.

Members of a live video chat service/site are much less likely to cancel a membership or charge back when they've developed a connection with the model, which is impossible to achieve if the model treats everyone indifferently and doesn't step up to the camera, so to speak, and bridge the distance inherent to the medium.

One of the worst sins of the multi-system feed-split chat host is focusing on one site's users at the expense of another, which gives an impression of indifference and bad quality service.

Sites can have thousand-dollar graphics, great tours, and pay attention to every detail of the site's development, but then let the girl-at-home who is new to the business handle their retention and member satisfaction. Does that sound right?

Sites have tried and failed to maintain or increase retention via secondary content, even going for automated content, micro-site-generating scripts and programs of which the model may or may not take advantage of. It's up to her.

Retention suffers or remains at industry average, unless the model is "interactive" and an effective sales rep.

Ultimately, the surfer who turns customer, fan, whale or targetable market, is not interested in the content this model can generate. He's interested in her, the person, the personality - her live, online presence.

Some sites have never had subscription front-ends, or secondary content, just simple free registration and upsell chat. Extra content generally tends to become a distraction for users, away from the main content: the live chat girl.

With service as content, it would be wise to evolve the live video chat hostess by requiring some training and basic rules, which is no more difficult than submitting photo ID and 2257 data during the registration process (and much simpler in many cases).

While certain guidelines should be followed and are essential to adjusting to any medium, whether theatre, radio, television or webcam chat, webmasters and studio managers are encouraged to look at stats and conversions. Who's converting the best? How is she doing it?

The chances are she's evolving with the medium, using the tools at her disposal, and being attentive and open to each user's input.