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CamZ Exploits Live Cam Market

John Scura
When Dan Hogue assumed sole ownership of CamZ.com in May 2006, the company already was a major player in the live cam marketplace.

Good reason to rest on one's laurels, right? Not with Dan Hogue pushing the buttons.

"We've redesigned every single aspect of the company, especially the infrastructure," Hogue says. "We've done a lot to improve our delivery system. The company has gone through a complete overhaul, from the servers to the applications to the scripts running the servers. We upgraded all of that in preparation for the growth we anticipate now. We've gone away from Windows Media on our one-hour shows, for instance, and use Flash only.

It allows us to record the shows better, and gives us flexibility to create highlighted clips, where we can offer the best 15 minutes of those one-hour shows. It also allows us to offer instant playback on shows and 24-hour programming for our live content.

"There's still a lot to do. If you saw the white board in my office, you'd get the idea. We're expanding so fast."

Anyone who visits the CamZ.com office in Melbourne, Fla., can see that expansion for themselves. The firm employed just eight people when Hogue took the helm. Now, 26 employees draw their paychecks from CamZ.com, 16 of whom work in an office that had to be expanded to include an entire building — and Hogue believes the company already has outgrown it.

The new help was needed to service the roughly 120,000 members of the site, with numbers as high as 10,000 logging into CamZ.com during one peak hour. The company also services between 20,000 and 30,000 websites, according to Hogue, with roughly 15,000 URLs directly linked to the content side of the site.

"There's a lot of growth in the live cam industry right now," Hogue says. "With the questionable conversion rates on porn sites, live cam is popular because it can't be duplicated by other sites. The consumer can't copy it, or get copies, because it's live interactive content. It's definitely where the adult industry is growing."

And the reason why CamZ.com is at the forefront of the live cam explosion is Hogue's eagerness to change with the times.

"Our main model was content first, until recently," he explains. "Now we have a pay-per-minute model. It used to be a webmaster site, primarily to sell our plug-in feeds. Now we've expanded into the live pay-per-minute model, and it's a big part of the revenue for our company.

"What you see at the front of our site are live streams of our models who are available for chat. It's a free signup site. A surfer can get an account, and have 30 minutes of chat for free. If the surfer wants to go into a private room, or direct a show, he funds his account with chips. We have various packages, ranging from $30 to $500, and more. With the chips, the surfer can go into a private room, where it's just him and the model. Aside from directing, the surfer can take snapshots or record video, so that when he comes back, he can watch it again. We also offer VIP memberships that give free access to archives, and to our content."

Content, however, remains the single most important factor that separates CamZ.com from the other pay-per-minute sites, according to Hogue. The company's one-hour shows have been its backbone for years, and they continue to feature amateurs, such as Naughty Julie, who have their own sites. These amateurs flock to CamZ.com for its obvious advantages.

"We pay our performers at a higher rate on our private system, so they get a higher percentage," Hogue says. "That encourages them to do one-hour shows on the pay-per-minute site. We have a great deal of amateurs, so we only substitute with studios as needed, which is when our traffic grows, and we don't have enough amateurs. Studios account for only about 20 to 30 percent of our overall earnings from performers.

"Amateurs have been finding us since we opened our doors, because of all the benefits we give to them. Our ability to send a lot of traffic to their sites is a real attraction. The top two expenses for an amateur site are content and hosting. We eliminate both of those expenses by buying content for them, and hosting their sites for free. Our deal is so good now, that even programs are bringing us their models."

Things are about to get even better very soon, both for the models and for the company. This summer, the live cam business is set to explode with the introduction of an innovative new gadget called the "Pseudo Snatch." It's a virtual device that allows the user to experience direct sexual sensation from a live model, and CamZ.com is teaming with AEBN for its launch, planned for July.

"It's the coolest thing I've ever seen," Hogue beams. "In my opinion, it will change live interactive content and live cam dramatically. It's a phallic-shaped device the models will use. It contains a lot of sensors that transfer data to another device, which the customer places on his penis. It then will transfer those stimuli to the customer in great detail. If a model spits on this thing, it will squirt on you. It's that sensitive, and it will cost less than $100.

"It's going to be huge for our one-hour amateur shows, because one girl literally can service 3,000 guys at once. And the customers can actually feel what their favorite star does."

Brave new gadgetry isn't the only bold step that Hogue is taking with CamZ.com. The company already has broken into the affiliate side of the private cams business. They've started small — CamZ.com has only about 2,600 affiliates right now — but Hogue intends to compete directly in that pay-per-minute market. He believes he has the right formula to keep affiliates happy.

"Smaller companies are generally more flexible in what they do for affiliates," he says. "We're a company that believes in giving the customer what he wants. We've made great strides in doing white labels and branding of our content. We've made it much easier and more flexible for the clients to maintain their own brands. If Top Bucks wants to maintain their Pink Visual brand with our content, we can do that. We don't really care about our brand, as long as we're doing the job for the client. They come first.

Right now, affiliates are strictly on a revshare system with CamZ.com, but at some point, Hogue promises to go to a pay-per-sale model. The firm's current revshare, however, is a very competitive 25 percent.

"In the long run, affiliates will make more money in a revshare," Hogue says. "Some companies offer up to $130 per signup. They want you to take that instead of a 20 percent revshare, because they know that 20 percent over the lifetime of a member is going to be worth a heck of a lot more than $130."

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