opinion

A Broader View

Stephen Yagielowicz
If you're trying to make a living in online adult entertainment, or for that matter, in any facet of adult entertainment, you've probably noticed that times are getting tough for a lot of folks — and the situation for some operators will likely get worse.

But for some operators, things will get better...

Innovative operators focused on being long-term survivors, can take a broader view of their operations and then develop products and strategies that merge familiar territory with new ground; in an effort to diversify, stabilize and increase their revenue streams.

According to a recent XBIZ News report, SugarDVD and SugarVOD are adding cult classic mainstream titles to their library, including "Reefer Madness," "Night of the Living Dead," "Forbidden Zone," Sherlock Holmes titles featuring Basil Rathbone and classic footage of the Three Stooges and Abbott and Costello.

"We're working diligently to cover all our bases as far as content is concerned," Content Manager Justin Brand said. "We feel that these classic titles that everyone has seen or heard about will resonate greatly with our customer base."

And resonate it does. I myself am a classic film fan, and in fact have a collection of "Sherlock Holmes titles featuring Basil Rathbone." I grew up with The Three Stooges (including several New Year's Eve marathons in Boston), and have always enjoyed "Reefer Madness." Add in some classic Brit TV with "Dr. Who" and "Fawlty Towers" episodes and you've hit my demographic square-on.

But what has any of this to do with porn?

Nothing: but it has an awful lot to do with "adult entertainment" in its broadest sense — and more specifically with successfully maximizing the revenue-per-visitor of each and every viewer of your website — and in today's online adult entertainment arena, that will take a new level of creativity and moving beyond the old business models and practices.

It will also take an increasingly narrowly-focused, but broadly-applied, approach to developing and marketing micro-niche content: Narrowly-focused, in that we're not talking about "Teen" as a niche, for example, but "blonde teens with pink panties and red-spiked high-heel's popping balloons while smoking." Broadly-applied in that those that can profitably produce such content will need to also produce "blonde teens with pink panties and gold-spiked high-heel's popping balloons while smoking cigars," too.

The ultimate extension of all this however is the custom production market; where true "video on demand" is the name of the game.

This is an area in which the solo-girls (and guys) have an advantage; in that they are familiar with types of quick-turnaround, low-budget productions that can be profitably produced based upon member requests — and they enjoy the double benefit of being paid to produce the content, and in most cases, able to repurpose it for use on their websites.

Even established operators in the adult video arena see the evolving market conditions and the type of operator that may best navigate these sea changes.

Ernest Greene recently wrote in his XBIZ Column, Behind Every Director Is A Hard-on, that "More and more, especially in the gonzo and niche-market categories, the spoils go to the one-man operations in which a single individual with a strong sense of what needs making corrals the elements, runs the camera, does the cutting, designs the packaging, signs off on everything and builds a sturdy audience for future releases."

And that's what it all comes down to: "building a sturdy audience for future releases" — whether those releases involve DVDs or other video platforms; website updates and new micro-niche website offerings; or something entirely different — as long as your targeted market is anticipating what you'll offer them next — and are prepared to purchase it.

But getting your operation into that desirable position will require taking a broader view.

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