Valenti: NakedSword, AEBN to Share Revenue on VOD
NakedSword owner Tim Valenti told XBIZ that while both companies will remain independent entities in Charlotte, N.C. and San Francisco, he called it a “clean merger” that combines assets and gives NakedSword a solid stake in the vast AEBN network, which is unparalleled in terms of traffic and brand-building power.
Valenti and partner Greg Lindberg will report directly to AEBN President Scott Coffman
The tradeoff, Valenti said, is a windfall of gay content for AEBN, which prior to the merger already had a gay library but now will have access to NakedSword’s premium brands from studios like COLT and Falcon, to name just a few.
“We really wanted to make sure that the culture we’ve been able to cultivate is able to foster and grow in partnership with AEBN,” Valenti said. “We’re a unique group, and we’ve built a very successful web development company with very close ties to the community.”
One of the main provisos of the deal with AEBN is that NakedSword will continue to build out its brand, in addition to overseeing the strategy and branding of gay content for both companies. NakedSword will retain its own technology and programming team, and no layoffs will occur as a result of the merger, Valenti said.
Additionally, NakedSword will shift from a membership model to the same pay-by-minute model as AEBN. NakedSword also will rollout retooled membership sites and more niche-oriented content.
NakedSword, which launched in 1997 under the stewardship of Valenti and Lindberg, maintains a library of more than 4,000 full-length titles from more than 100 studios.
“One of the reasons I got into serious negotiations with AEBN was because I respected him [Coffman] on a personal level as well as a competitive level,” Valenti said. “AEBN has always responded to us and treated us well. I don’t think we could have found a better situation.”