educational

Pay Site Revamp, Part 2

Rob Evans
In this series' first installment, we looked at mediocrity and improving the visitor experience. In today's conclusion, we'll examine ways of increasing perceived value and boosting webmaster options:

Increased Perceived Value
Give Me Something to Touch: VOD needs time for maturity, plus it still requires being in front of a monitor. Porn is geared towards finding a release; there is only so much anyone is willing to do from a chair or standing. Paying forty bucks a month to have hard drives and CD-ROMs full of downloads rings hollow. Reasonably priced DVDs allows viewing at the machine or elsewhere. (As a webmaster, I spend enough time online!) Selling DVDs of their content is the logical progression for pay site owners – not VOD.

Every pay site MUST continually add new, exciting, and exclusive content. However, if all the content is broken into a bunch of 30-second clips – and the performer which sparked the visitor's interest, more than likely, has ceased to appear regularly for that site – the chances of continued monthly subscription diminishes.

For example, a surfer happens upon some BlacksOnBlondes hosted content and sees "Jennifer" in a series. He gets very excited and clicks over to BlacksOnBlondes.com, sees other interracial fun, and joins. Happy as a clam, he finds the Jennifer clip and, to his surprise, it's simply a crap load of 30-second clips. Oh well, he thinks, and starts viewing with abandon. After finishing the series, he finds a few more series he's willing to click through. Soon, the $30 monthly bill is looking pretty steep, while the "Best of Blacks On Blondes" volume DVDs have greater appeal.

Considering the production costs of the content and producing simple DVDs, a 4-Hour DVD should be under $15, with a domain branded on-screen and/or between scenes. Do that, and people will buy. With the stunning amateurs emerging from gonzo scenes, people want to own these scenes in their full glory. "Chaching!"

Anyone thinking this is unreasonable, go see the many 4-hour compilations found at DVDAdvantage.com.

Selling a tangible DVD allows:

  • Reduced charge backs
  • Diversified income stream
  • Increased offline awareness

Subscribe Me! Once DVDs are being made, the logical progression is to move into a DVD subscription like that of Girls Gone Wild. Pay sites generate massive traffic; if used wisely, sales could be made without need of cheesy commercial ads.

Lower the Barrier to Entry: Forty dollars is simply too much to ask without any true equity; subscribers simply lease access, not ownership. Lowering fees will increase conversion ratios and generate more money for affiliates. Hosting, webmaster salaries, processing, and other costs associated with running a pay site are, most definitely, real factors. However, $40 per head feels steep. Considering the average member stays only 2.5 months, others agree. Find cheaper processors, sell DVDs, apparel, offer the staff a percentage of sales in lieu of a salary – do something!

Boost Webmaster Options
Offer Web Services: Even though pay sites are driven by application servers (ASP, ColdFusion, JSP, PHP, etc.), none provide Web Services to affiliates. Many affiliates use dynamic application servers to generate and protect their data, links, images, and movies. Instead of sending E-Mails with the latest hosted content, allow access to the data via Web Service, eliminating the possibility of missing any previous or future E-Mails.

A Web Service, feeding images and clips, kills the need to push traffic to hosted galleries. Pay sites are, after all, willing to host the galleries, why not stream the content to authorized affiliates? A clause in the affiliate agreement could demand a link to the pay site. While a lot of links would still go to the hosted galleries, the Web Service would keep people coming to affiliate site while maintaining current bandwidth. This is a win-win-win situation.

Web Service technology and standards are in place. With the data being streamed on the backend, it remains seamless and invisible, opening new and different ways to utilize the content (A dynamic quiz about Starlet X revealing a new image of her with each correct guess, a Flash-based game with images being fed between levels, etc. – the possibilities are endless).

In Conclusion
Get off of auto pilot: While the current model works, there is massive space for improvement. Currently, pay sites appear to be on auto pilot — solely adopting automated, hands-free endeavors. It is time to get back to business and delivering a real-world product. The novelty of leasing virtual property is waning; not all surfers are hiding their porn from their spouses. Further, being locked to a machine for their erotic thrills is needless. Unlike MP3s, which have nearly the same dynamic range as a CD, DVDs blow clips out of the water.

While a fool may be born every minute, do you want to bet your future on one?

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