Compiled from per-view numbers for the more than 75,000 titles in the Hot Movies selection, Girlfriends videos have consistently showed up on the overall Top 10 Movies list with usually more than one film rated among those most-viewed.
Currently, there are five Girlfriends titles on the Hot Movie’s Top 10, all of which are from the studio’s “Lesbian Seductions” and “Road Queen” series.
“They have about 50 titles with us and they are our number one studio,” Hot Movies Director of Business Development James Cybert told XBIZ. “We have studios with thousands of titles with us and they don’t do as well as Girlfriends does. Our customers love Girlfriends films.
“We have a spot in our site for people to suggest studios or content that we might not have and they were one of the most-requested studios. So, we pursued them for quite some time before they signed on,” Cybert said.
After being approached by Hot Movies for several months, Girlfriends Films finally decided to make a deal late in 2006. Girlfriends president Dan O’Connell said he has always felt that VOD would be a growing distribution option for adult content, but even he is shocked at the small studio’s success.
“A year ago, if you would have said that Girlfriends Films is going to be the number one studio on Hot Movies throughout most of 2007, I wouldn’t have believed it,” O’Connell told XBIZ.
He attributes their success in the VOD market to the styling of Girlfriends content and its appeal to a more mature audience.
“Appealing to a more mature audience puts us in a market where people have more money to spend. My feeling is VOD will appeal to couples who might not want a video box lying around the house. They might live in a small town and not want to be seen in the video store,” O’Connell said.
O’Connell stepped into the lesbian market five years ago when he was in filmmaking classes. He produced a lesbian documentary titled “Lesbians Uncovered: The Naked Truth” with a fellow student, then started his own full-time DVD production company 2 ½ years ago. Currently the studio produces three to four DVDs a month. Specializing in authentic lesbian content with scripted plotlines and high production values, O’Connell explained they only work with female performers who are bisexual or lesbians.
“Our hallmark is ‘realism.’ We don’t have the girls going over the top. We keep the orgasms real and there's plenty of kissing,” O’Connell said. “There’s plenty of chemistry in our movies. Our product continues to evolve more deeply into story lines. Our goal in making a movie is making something that people would watch the nonsex parts [of]; if there wasn’t any sex there, it would still entertain them.”
Apparently, the videos found across-the-board appeal with Hot Movie’s end users, according to Cybert.
“I think that their name brand recognition is why they do so well and the true lesbian content that they make is highly sought after by a large segment of the population. They have a strong following from their DVD sales and people know their product and know it’s a good product. This being the first time it’s available on video-on-demand pay-per-minute; they’re just eating it up,” he said.