LOS ANGELES — It’s no secret. Social networking has done more for porn stars’ careers than any top selling DVD ever could in today’s marketplace, what with thousands of followers with whom they can share their new appearances and personal lives.
Talent now has the ability to be their own PR agents and marketers Tweeting out just about every detail of their careers and using nearly every other porn-friendly platform to tell the world their stories.
Of course, getting the word out is important, but adult is a business after all and with tight-fisted studios not paying talent as they did back in the day, new methods of augmenting income has become a necessity.
Just over a year old, the social media website where porn stars can earn money by interacting with their fans, has found a way to take advantage of the explosion of social media, creating a new market for what founder Nick Stone calls “ exclusive, dynamic, up-to-the-instant content.”
"We recognized that this creates the opportunity for talent to engage fans on a very personal level. Talent gets to leverage their already growing social media following by creating content specifically for their fans and fans get a back stage pass to the life of a porn star. Frankly, we saw a need going unfulfilled and went for it. A full year later, we're thrilled with what we accomplished and this is only the tip of the iceberg,” Stone says.
The fledgling business is the brainchild of Stone, an entrepreneur, and third-generation inventor Seth Howard who is the company’s COO and has worked in the healthcare and emergency services spaces before co-founding the service.
Other principals include attorney Lindsay Salk, who Stone calls a “perpetual entrepreneur,” has a love for the entertainment and digital spaces, and believes that social media content is the next frontier for progress, both legal and otherwise.
Although SnapGirlz lives in the realm of social media, it wasn’t the first to embrace the idea, what with sites like PornStarTweet that gave talent the wherewithal to get out the word. But Stone says that few services are even remotely akin to SnapGirlz, and none deliver the fan experience. “We are also the exclusive social media membership provider for a large roster of the best talent in the industry, so we have a leg up on any competition,” he notes.
SnapGirlz works with talent to create a unique relationship with fans. Members receive exclusive content and interaction. Talent on the service shoot new dynamic content exclusively for their SnapGirlz Theatre. Stone says, “That being said, you'd likely find our links on PornStarTweet as they are an aggregator; collecting social accounts in one place for fans to browse.”
The attraction to performers, according to Stone, is that the site adds value to each stars' brand by allowing them to leverage their social media following and generate revenue directly from that following. Rather than simply relying on social media as a brand identity and advertising tool, talent create mobile and/or dynamic — often daily content — and make money. SnapGirlz manages the customers/fans, administers the accounts and monetizes the content so talent need not deal with customers or worry about collecting.
Stone explains that his site is also constantly evolving. He’s recently added the management and monetization of Custom Clipz & Offers that allows members to upgrade and to purchase personalized content created just for them by their favorite star.
To date, SnapGirlz has signed up more than 35 performers and is looking to expand talent acquisition in 2015. Notable stars include Sophie Dee, Gianna Michaels, Vanessa Veracruz, Dakota Skye and Belle Knox.
A unique aspect of SnapGirlz is that it has capped the amount of members to each girl to about 3,000. “We believe that exclusivity is the key to social media content monetization. By limiting the members allowed in each theatre we create an added layer of exclusivity. Getting behind the ‘red velvet rope’ is something special, and our community members have responded favorably to the idea of being treated like a VIP,” Stone explains.
And it’s apparently working. The company claims double digit growth throughout most of 2014 with monthly membership fees set by talent that ranges between $5.99 a month up to $35 a month. Most talent fees fall between $7.99-$10.99 a month. SnapGirlz receives a share of the talent’s membership revenues.
As far as a marketing strategy goes, SnapGirlz says that as a social fan engagement service, it’s all about leveraging the power of other social media to promote stars’ individual brands. Twitter and Instagram have been the two platforms that have shown best results.
Just recently the company endorsed the MeWe mobile platform. “One thing that stood out to us was their manifesto, which draws a clear line in the sand for their users' privacy. Unlike many apps, MeWe provided the most amount of security for our talent and fans — an environment that remains a priority for us. In addition to their privacy promise, they also have a desktop version which allows our community flexibility and choice should they get tired of staring at their phones all day long,” Stone says.
And it won’t end there. SnapGirlz promises to embrace technology as it evolves and believes the future of this industry is all about customization...on multiple levels. As the social space expands, the creators say they will be on the frontiers helping fans interact with the stars.
He says the industry should stay tuned and reveals that the company is also looking to launch “SnapGuyz” by the third quarter of 2015.
Founder Nick Stone pictured.