This past summer, live cam brand Studio 20 planted roots in North American with a production facility in Hollywood, Calif.
It’s a remarkable studio that houses 14 sets where glamour cam models provide a live, adult experience to their online visitors, just like the four other established Studio 20s in the Romanian cities of Bucharest, Timisoara and Cluj Napoca.
Once our business model is validated in Los Angeles, we plan to open up 50 franchises all over the U.S. in the next two years.
For many it might sound odd to open up a live cam studio halfway around the world in Tinseltown.
But for Studio 20 owner Mugur Frunzetti, it became an outright necessity that helped him keep up with the 24-hour demand supplying models for the web and the demand for camming more American-looking talent.
With the opening, Hollywood’s Studio 20 has been receiving plenty of media attention, including in the Los Angeles Times, which published a write up about the studio and Frunzetti’s entrepreneurial efforts, painting him as “an unlikely porn baron” who, before breaking into the adult live cam industry, operated a flower distribution company, owned an insurance firm and managed a gourmet popcorn company. Frunzetti even holds a license to practice law in Romania.
XBIZ recently sat down with Frunzetti for this Q&A interview to find out more about how Studio 20 got started, what types of models fit in his business and where he sees the future of the live cams sector.
XBIZ: Tell us a short history about Studio 20? And what inspired the name?
Frunzetti: Studio 20 started when I had about 12 years in the industry and enough capital to grow it without looking for profit in the first years. That was a unique combination that made us what we are today. Studio 20 name was suggested by one of my friends that helped me start it and it relates to this beautiful age of 20 but also to our first location, whose address was “20 Workshop Street.”
XBIZ: What sets Studio 20 apart from other live cam studios?
Frunzetti: Lots, but my first three picks are:
• We are not looking to do everything. We stay with our glamour niche even when we lose “opportunities,” because we refuse models that simply can’t fit in. Many try to copy Studio 20 and fail because they cannot see we only cover like 10 percent of the entire spectrum of models and it would be much easier for them to develop their own niche on the other 90 percent.
• Team is the most important asset of our brand. Models, trainers, coach, support, make-up, photo, video and so on … we only work with A-plus people. I will always pay twice as much an A-plus employee and not hire two weaker ones and pay them half. I always reward and promote employees that prove they are not only professional, but also have personal values like honesty, respect and have a pleasure in helping others.
• Nobody is perfect and that includes me. Studio 20 is not the outcome of my personal ideas and my exclusive input. We build it together. Everyone in our company is encouraged to speak up and come with new ideas and different approaches.
XBIZ: What types of models do you seriously consider for the job and what are the requirements?
Frunzetti: Girls, smart and ambitious girls, who are 18 to 35 years old and willing to understand this is long-term employment — a job that brings you incredible rewards both financial and personal, but it also needs time and dedication. And if we speak only about cam models, this is their own business — they are entrepreneurs and not our employee.
XBIZ: Tell us about the new Los Angeles studio and why it was a good opportunity to open a franchise there.
Frunzetti: Los Angeles is a city of hope, dreams and ambitions. It is the perfect city to validate our business model in the U.S. despite high local costs. It still is not easy, and a new environment is a challenge for me, but I am a builder.
XBIZ: Are there any plans on opening Studio 20 franchises in South America or elsewhere in the U.S.?
Frunzetti: Once our business model is validated in Los Angeles, we plan to open up 50 franchises all over the U.S. in the next two years. We already received more than 20 requests, and I feel more will come in the next months.
XBIZ: Where do you see the live cam market three years from now?
Frunzetti: The live cam market is growing fast and, most importantly, it diversifies every year. Three years from now I see a market double from what it is today, with sex and porn clearly separated from glamour and mainstream.
XBIZ: When not thinking about the biz, what do you like to do?
Frunzetti: I like to spend time with my kids, dive, swim, sky, snowmobile, friends, party and travel (a lot) ... and try anything.