After a Virtual Goldrush in the TV/TS Market

Is the shemale gold rush over? After years of having only a handful of competitors in the transsexual website arena, it was no great surprise when every program whether large or small, started adding shemale sites to their roster in an effort to capitalize on what we’d known for years … shemales sell!

Every week a new tranny website would spring up, created by companies who had previously only catered to the what they’d thought was the mainstream porn buyer, not appreciating the crossover sales that could have been gained by encouraging that buyer to take a walk on the wild side. When they saw the potential in this niche and others saw the corporate giants creating transsexual sites, then a virtual gold rush on shemale porn began. As usual, these companies took the path of least resistance and to continue the analogy, strip-mined both Brazil and Thailand — the two countries which had an abundance of good looking transsexuals, willing to perform in all action and for reasonable costs. Existing photographers in these countries at first flourished but as the demand increased, producers with less experience of working in countries in which certain customs and legal issues need to be adhered, flooded into the market.

Websites set up covering every niche, sub-niche and crossover niche in the transsexual genre in an effort to stand-out from the general “Hot Brazilian shemale” website and to attract affiliates and customers. Creampies, bukkake, teen, public exposure, gang bang, black and even two tranny midget sites were among the more normal!

Usually, these sites were the bait to join a larger network and the content that the customer had signed up for was rarely updated. The one thing that all of these sites did have in common, was that all the models were either Brazilian or Thai and that the content on almost every site had a generic style and it soon seemed that Brazilian shemale content in particular was ubiquitous with shemale porn.

Producers in Brazil would rent farms and have busloads of models brought in every day to meet the demand — and in Thailand, it seemed that almost everybody in the bars were touting for one site or another. It didn’t matter if the models became more demanding or refused to do a scene, or a producer became a problem; there were so many more willing to do it at the price that was given.

We saw a decline in sales on our Brazilian/Thai websites and some longstanding websites simply gave up, being unable to compete with the flood of so many lesser quality sites, supported by larger advertising budgets and promoting unsustainable PPS headlights to the affiliates who were blinded by it. At least one of these big companies has failed to pay its affiliates for the last few months.

Whether it’s the advent of the tube sites, the loss of consumer confidence in the industry (many of the companies referenced above are also involved in nefarious billing practices) or the financial climate why people are buying less porn but the fact adult internet revenues have changed is relevant but not the only factor, as to why this gold rush is over.

The customer pool didn’t grow with the same speed as the product (due to the factors mentioned it probably contracted). The customer quickly tired of the generic look and the abundance of available content that promised but didn’t continuously deliver.

The new companies may have brought new consumers into the transsexual porn marketplace, but they were unable to keep them as the customers went looking for new and better content.

There are now only a few producers shooting regular content in Brazil, some simply stopping work and others trying desperately to reduce their costs and grab any work they can. In Thailand, where some of the new and naïve producers were arrested, the circle of photographers has shrank back to where it was a few years ago, with most of the photographers working for their own websites. Programs and sites have closed or stopped updating (or stopped paying affiliates!) and even some of the sbigger names in the industry have neglected their tranny properties.

Nearly all the new sites that are now opening, are from companies whose main product is transsexual porn and most of them were around long before the recent glut of sites. The difference is that they know their customer, they know what their customer wants and they provide that.

Gone are the micro-niches, which were unsustainable, and making a strong appearance are solo TS websites and websites featuring mainly U.S.-based models. There are still good quality shemale websites coming out of Brazil and Thailand but other countries are also explored (the U.K. is having a renaissance of transsexual porn). The more amateur models (in shemale erotica that may be cross-dresser or transvestite rather than transsexual) are also selling well.

The message that we and other quality shemale program owners tried to get out during this gold rush was that surfers from the mainstream are still looking for something new and that they can be converted over (we have a large amateur girl website doing a members cross-sell to our shemale site at under 1:100).

Savvy affiliates have always promoted quality transsexual websites and often alongside their mainstream campaigns, they’re continuing to do so with the new properties while affiliates who were promoting those short-term ventures (with the now non-existent big payoffs) are looking elsewhere or have moved on. Our affiliates know that “shemales sell” and that all that glitters, is not gold.