LOS ANGELES — The adult entertainment industry’s web and technology segments are alive and well, thriving upon excellence, innovation and high quality user experiences — if the results of last night’s star-studded XBIZ Awards are any indication.
Presented by Fleshlight and sponsored by Adult Webmaster Empire, California Exotic Novelties, Pipedream Products, Masque Sexual Flavors, CECash, ImLive, EroAdvertising and Epoch, the XBIZ Awards ceremony was hosted by adult video superstar Tera Patrick at the elegant Century Plaza, in Century City, Calif.
Kicking off the 2013 XBIZ Awards, PremiumCash.com’s official site for popular adult performer Alexis Texas, AlexisTexas.com, was honored as Performer Site of the Year. Alexis Texas is not only active on the adult entertainment circuit, with numerous credits to her name, including work for Elegant Angel and Naughty America; but is a crossover actress appearing in mainstream projects, such as the independent horror-comedy movie, “Bloodlust Zombies.”
VOD Company of the Year Gamelink recently underwent a major restructuring, shedding its ties to Private Media Group as part of a settlement agreement. In addition to hosting the popular Bay Area XBIZ.net gatherings, Gamelink is constantly on the move, with the launch of advertising platform RedHotTweets.com; high-profile deals with Homegrown Video, Channel 1 Releasing, Zero Tolerance, Nina Hartley and others in 2012; as well as a series of mobile website upgrades, including pay-per-minute streaming for Apple users. The company was also recognized by XBIZ as Retail Affiliate Program of the Year.
For Adult Site of the Year BangBros.com, 2012 was eventful. The site made headlines when it pursued a trademark infringement case against a rogue affiliate, and it maintained its standing as a perennial favorite among porn fans. It did so by featuring a roster of today’s top performers engaged in explicit hardcore action, depicted in high-quality video clips.
Live Cam Affiliate Program of the Year AWEmpire is on a winning streak — also taking the XBIZ Award for Progressive Company of the Year. Among its achievements in 2012 was the revamping of its flagship live webcam site, LiveJasmin.com, which now caters to mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets — boasting an iOS-friendly system that works equally well on iPad, iPhone, Android, laptop and desktop platforms. This upgrade earned Live Jasmin the XBIZ Award for Mobile Site of the Year — making three for ‘13.
The 2013 XBIZ Award for Live Cam Site of the Year went to MyFreeCams.com; while Dating Site of the Year honors went to AdultFriendFinder.com. Dating Gold was named Adult Dating Company of the Year.
NaughtyAmerica.com was honored as Studio Site of the Year, in recognition of a range of achievements — including the company’s aggressive release schedule; which brought new sites and series, including Naughty America’s first girl-girl site, to adult consumers. Deals with Fleshlight and Pure Play Media, the surpassing of its 5,000th scene milestone, and the launch of an innovative facial recognition based performer search tool, helped put Naughty America into the winner’s circle.
Glamcore Site of the Year SexArt.com is a new addition to the adult scene, which was launched in 2012 by erotic porn website MetArt as a hardcore combination of sex and art, unlike anything else then available in the marketplace. A management deal with veteran adult website ALSScan.com, and issuance of The MetArt Philosophy of quality, honesty, innovation and social involvement as fundamental core values, boosts the parent’s profile but it is the quality and presentation of SexArt’s original content that puts the site on top.
Twistys.com was named Photography Site of the Year, while FreeOnes.com took the nod as Fan Portal of the Year. BelAmiOnline.com, TrannyBox.com and Kink.com received the win for Gay, Transsexual and Specialty Site of the Year Awards, respectively.
On the Multi-Platform front, Affiliate Program of the Year Gamma Entertainment has made recent headlines over a number of high-profile acquisitions, including a range of massage-niche sites as part of the NuruMassage.com network now managed by Gamma’s FameDollars affiliate program. A new gay tube site, among other adult website launches; a deal with Bluebird Films; being named the 2012 Internet Company of the Year by the Free Speech Coalition (FSC) and ASACP Corporate Sponsorship among other highlights, once again earns Gamma its accolades.
Single-Platform Affiliate Program of the Year, CrakRevenue, an advanced CPA platform that provides affiliates with custom landing pages that have been tested and optimized for maximum conversion rates, is known as a premier revenue solution for Eastern European countries — such as the Russian Federation, Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Moldavia, Tadjikistan and Ukraine, as well as other hard-to-convert regions; but its tools are equally at home no matter what country an affiliate is targeting, earning its spot on our list.
The European, Mobile and Specialty Affiliate Program of the Year Awards went to Wister’s Affil4You, GroobyBucks and PartnerCash, respectively.
HotMovies, XBIZ’ VOD Site/Service of the Year, has recently seen several internal moves and reorganization initiatives: From an abandonment of affiliate-owned URLs on custom video theaters, to a high-profile deal with Clips4Sale.com, to a re-launch of its sister site, HotMoviesForHer.com, the company is on a roll. Featuring a range of first-release videos as well as classic titles, HotMovies shows that a premium video site can still compete with the glut of free videos available on the Internet.
Reprising her role as XBIZ’ 2012 Web Babe of the Year, Vicky Vette was voted 2013’s Web Star of the Year, amid considerable competition. It is not only the performer’s good looks and sultry scenes that set her apart, but her bountiful business savvy as well, which includes releasing customized cam software for solo girl websites. From the soap opera saga of Vette’s Vette Nation Army (VNA), which involves oral sex and NBA champions; to Vette being recognized as Twitter’s most popular Norwegian; deals with Doc Johnson and Red Light Center; new site launches and more, Vette’s popularity was underscored when Comedian Jon Stewart acknowledged her on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show.”
The XBIZ Awards are not only about performers and performances, however; as they are also a means of recognizing excellence amongst the companies that provide the necessary infrastructure and services to power today’s online adult entertainment industry.
IPSP Billing Company of the Year, Epoch, which saw high-profile client additions such as live video chat software provider 2much.net with its LiveCamNetwork.com flagship site and proprietary billing script; and veteran cam powerhouse Video Secrets (VS), which now offers Epoch integration to approved affiliates seeking a one-click upsell tool, retained its 2012 crown in 2013 — as did XBIZ Merchant Services Billing Company of the Year, NETbilling, which recently celebrated its 14th anniversary; added two offshore platforms to the dozens of options available on its payment gateway; and deployed phone swipe devices in addition to its popular Smartphone virtual terminal.
The Alternative Billing, European Billing and Payment Services Company of the Year Awards went to 2000Charge, CommerceGate and Paxum, respectively.
Web Host of the Year MojoHost celebrated its 10th anniversary with a repeat win and a continued reputation for web hosting excellence; while Mobile Company of the Year BrokerBabe used the past year to expand its reach past Switzerland and Germany to serve Austria, France, Italy and Spain. The company also joined the esteemed ranks of ASACP Corporate Sponsors, increasing the brand’s recognition amongst its peers.
Traffic Services Company of the Year ExoClick has been on a roll, recently releasing a flurry of service enhancements; including the addition of Paxum as a payment method, plus an innovative new retargeting tool. Ranked eighth in the Deloitte fastest growing 500 Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) tech companies, ExoClick has broken its previous traffic records by serving more than 2 billion ad impressions daily to both web and mobile devices. The launch of ExoClick Mobile, a new campaign creation tool and the new MobileTubes.com monetization platform boost ExoClick to the top of the pack. Add in a new mobile-carrier targeting filter; deals with DrTuber, Nuvid.com, xHamster and others, and it’s simple to see why the company serves as such a great example to adult digital media marketers everywhere — and is thus deserving of an XBIZ Award.
XBIZ Content Provider of the Year AdultCentro and 2013 Design Studio of the Year Wolume Studios joined Innovative Product of the Year WebcamWiz in the winner’s circle this time around; while Dominic Ford, noted for his anti-piracy efforts, garnered this year’s honors for Gay Web Company of the Year.
Mansion Productions, XBIZ’ Software Company of the Year, once again proved that the online adult entertainment industry is a hotbed of technological innovation; with the firm being honored for the release of its MAS Version 2 content management system (CMS), which is now also in use by leased content services provider Webmaster Central; plus the launch of its MPA3 v5 cascading billing and affiliate management system, premiered at the 2012 XBIZ EU event in London and adopted by XBIZ Award winner CommerceGate as its proprietary affiliate program.
Once again, the annual XBIZ Awards for adult entertainment industry excellence and innovation on the web/tech front illustrates the continuing relevance and vitality of this mature market segment, and sets the standard by which the best of the best are judged.
Photo of Douglas Richter of AWE and LiveJasmin and Nikki Benz by Rick Garcia.