Internext Report: The Content Seminar

LAS VEGAS — The content seminar at the 2005 Internext Expo in Las Vegas was subtitled "Where to Buy it, How to Shoot it, Reselling, Licensing and Niches," and was billed as a panel providing a discussion on niches and understanding what the surfers want, which genres are trendy, tried-and-true or under exposed, with side discussions on how to shoot and manage talent, and "when, where and how to buy good content."

Moderated by President Katie Smith, the content seminar featured veteran panelists Eric Matis from, Steve Lightspeed of Lightspeed Media, Jason Tucker of Falcon Foto, Steve Jones from Webmaster Central, and James Seibert from

After a brief introduction by Smith, the seminar got quickly underway with a discussion of the basics of obtaining and monetizing content, with Jones offering that, "you can get your feet wet by buying content from reputable companies - it's a good way to start."

Beyond dealing with reputable content providers, however, is the issue of dealing with those who truly understand the material they are producing and marketing.

"Know your niche, and get your content from somebody who understands it," Tucker said.

Using the example of the foot fetish niche, the question was asked, "Who here truly understands foot fetish?" Only two of the many photographers in the audience raised their hands. The panel's response: "The rest of you - don't shoot feet - and if you want foot fetish content, buy it from those two guys!"

Addressing the basic 'types' of content available for purchase, Steve Lightspeed commented that "You can buy non-exclusive, semi-exclusive, and exclusive content - which is basically a contract between you and a photographer who shoots to your needs."

Discussing the importance of having exclusive content, Eric from stated that "The return on exclusive content is huge."

"When you're dealing with exclusive content, there is a 'viral' effect where the material is passed around, advertising your site," Matis continued.

Seibert warned that having exclusive content for the sake of having exclusive content wasn't the ultimate goal, however.

"If you're buying exclusive content, make sure it's worth it," said Seibert. "You have to like what you're trying to sell."

Tucker opined that, "you have to balance it out. Watch what you're shooting, and remember that niche-specific exclusive content pleases members and increases retention."

Lightspeed agreed.

"It's not just exclusive content, but exclusive models," he said.

Another issue that came up was the popularity of shooting photos versus videos.

According to Seibert, "there's still a lot of people who want to see pictures, while an increasing number of broadband surfers are demanding videos."

Tucker emphasized the fact that surfers do not see video screen caps as "pictures" and recommended that proper still photos be taken alongside any video shoot, a point which Matis concurred on.

"It's important to have pictures as well as videos. Like for us, we need stills for DVD box covers," Matis said.

Katie then posed the question: "How do you turn content into money?"

Matis responded that "If you're creating your own sites, it's simply a matter of getting the content to your designers."

Jones added that it's important to "Decide what you want to do. Shooting content and building sites is hard work."

Tucker discussed how surfers will seek out targeted content and advised producers to "shoot according to the niche - it will make a difference that the surfer will notice," and the other panelists picked up on the importance of this.

"All niches sell if you do them well. We don't decide what to sell, our customers tell us what we need to provide," said Jones.

"The surfers want to find a relationship. Content is coming full-circle with exclusive, solo-girl sites making a comeback," Matis agreed.

Jones added that, "You need to do your homework, otherwise you'll end up wasting a lot of film and/or videotape."

Finding a balance between self-produced exclusive material, licensed and leased content was of vital importance to the panelists.

"Leased content is a really good way to enhance the member experience," said Matis. "You have crossover guys who like big tits, but they also like MILFs, and leased content can keep them coming back for more."

Jones agreed and said, "You need leased content to keep your members."

After a round of questions from the audience, Smith asked for final comments from the panelists.

"For us, it's all about streams of income. Know your niche, do the best you can, and get in deep," Matis said.

Lightspeed offered that, "This business is all about people and relationships - treat each other fairly."

Tucker echoed the sentiment, adding that it was important to "understand who you're working with, and make sure that they're reputable."

Jones commented that content producers should "do your homework before spending any money," and Seibert finished with a final bit of advice for aspiring producers: "Enjoy yourself - it's hard work, but very rewarding."