LONDON — XBIZ EU, presented by Adult Webmaster Empire, marched forward on Tuesday with a full slate of events for attendees at London's Radisson Edwardian Bloomsbury Hotel.
Seminars, workshops and speed networking were capped off by the invite-only Elite Dinner — hosted by SexEntertain and sponsored by AWEmpire, Paxum and Commercegate — and the XBIZ EU Farewell Pub Social on the last evening of the international digital media conference.
Attracting the top adult industry professionals from Europe, U.S. and Canada, the event offers deal-making, education and networking.
Wednesday is the final day, with attendees saying goodbye to London on the gigantic ferris wheel known as London Eye, which offers stunning views of the city, including Parliament, Big Ben, the Tower of London and more.
Again, seminar and workshop rooms for the events were standing-room only and XBIZ's 90-minute speed-networking session was packed.
Seminars on Tuesday focused on dating and live cams, content for the web and piracy.
The "Dating & Live Cams: Profiting from Interactivity" seminar, moderated by NETbilling's Mitch Farber, included panelists Brad Estes from Video Secrets, AWE's Douglas Richter, Dating Factory's Tanya Fathers and Matthew Pitt from Adult.WhiteLabelDating.com.
Much of the discussion involved the important aspects of operating such sites, including creating models where languages, as well as certain dialects and locations, and local currencies come to play.
"It is really about what's going on in geographical regions and setting up the experience for the user," Richter said. "You have to look regionally and you have to cater to them and specific to the users."
But not all live cam sites go that direction in a membership model.
"Localization is great but it is super annoying that when you are in Amsterdam and the computer says you speak Dutch," Estes said. "We pay attention to where that customer is from, and we want to make it easier for them."
Promotions for affiliates are incredibly important for live cams and dating sites, Estes said.
Fathers of Dating Factory echoed that. "Providing small guys and big guys are important, we try to give equal opportunites for a wide range of webmasters," she said.
Estes illustrated just how lucrative dating and cam sites can become: One Video Secrets customer spent $80,000 last month, and $60,000 already this month.
The following seminar, "Content: The Foundation for Profit," brought in leaders in the adult entertainment content production, licensing and delivery business.
AdultCentro's Stan DaMan, Marc Dorcel's Alma Rota and SexEntertain's RJ fielded questions by Grooby Productions' Steven Gallon, and discussed what today's consumers want and how porn web companies can best serve their needs.
Breaking out of the old mold of delivering content in just any format is important, as well as keeping up with technology, the panel said.
"We are mostly concerned with delivering high-quality content, including audio and video, to customers who license our products," DaMan said. "Consumers have been trained not only by high-quality mainstream content, but by content on tube sites. We continually update our products in multiple formats."
Filtering also is important to finding consumer behavior and their resulting consumption, the panel said.
Successful companies "show how to segregate consumers in different groups, having tiers of service of what they are willing to pay for and rewarding long-time customers with better quality," RJ said. "We want to make content easy to find and ready to milk, so the consumer doesn't have to dig to find what they want."
The XBIZ EU 2012 Keynote Address included a battle cry from Siep Kuppens, operator of Payserve and leader of anti-piracy organization Adult Content Industry United Foundation (ACIUF), and associate Marcel as well as MojoHost's Brad Mitchell, who offered views of possible scenarios to help fight against a number of operators who operate file-locker sites. These sites are where the lion's share of pirated adult content is found.
There are lots of examples of piracy tearing apart the adult entertainment industry, Kuppens said.
On a screen behind the podium, Kuppens and Marcel showed examples of how a now-taken down site called GirlScanners.com was rife with nefarious activity in the past year.
"I think when we are probing unethical businesses, we should allow someone involved with bandwidth," Kuppens said, pointing to MojoHost's Mitchell.
Mitchell, taking the microphone, showed a strong example of just how large massive infringement is for online porn.
"I never really understood the scale of how these file-lockers are involved with content theft," Mitchell said. "It was brought to my attention that one company pushes about 800 gigabytes of traffic. Think about how much is being distributed to end users. It's easy to pretend that this doesn't affect, but it does.
"It costs about $500,000 to $600,000 a month, a couple million dollars for the servers, and about $100,000 to $150,000 for power," Mitchell said. "There are only five or 10 companies in the world that can push that traffic. If you pull the rug underneath these companies, there is no room for them to go."
Kuppens advocated an approach of educating hosting companies that are involved with mass copyright infringement. "I say you can't work with them and work for us at the same time," he said. "They need to change their policies.
"We need to unite. The more power we have the more we can do."
In the last classroom event of the day, Oystein Wright of Mansion Productions, along with Mansion exec Lars, put on the world premiere demo of the company's MPA3 v5 affiliate marketing platform.
The workshop gave a view on the newest edition of Mansion Production's flagship MPA3 affiliate software, as well as its newly relaunched CMS, MAS v2.
MPA3 v5 offers a comprehensive platform to track sales like its predecessor versions, but now it offers more flexible ways to process transactions and features more bells and whistles for established pros, as well as newbies familiar to such interfaces, to accurately gauge performance trends.
MPA3 v5's web interface also allows users to make available for different products and to establish initial and recurring rates, tours and processing, including cascading billing. It also offers an easy-to-use ticket system, currency conversion pages, a way to black-list affiliates and an affiliate area, where landing pages can be customized by affiliates.
Wright said the company is planning a video tutorial for MPA3 v5. "It is user friendly once you get to know it," he said.
Mansion Production's CMS, MAS v2, was also updated and now includes a video transcoder inside.
CCBill's happy hour, which offered complimentary cocktails and new conversation's among attendees, rounded out Tuesday afternoon's schedule of events prior to the Elite Dinner.