A combination of elegance and engineering, cam studios operate in a highly competitive environment where slim margins must be maximized through innovation and careful management. XBIZ recently asked a range of cam studios about their approach to the evolving camming landscape and how they are innovating to stay ahead of the curve while expanding their market dominance.
SmartChat Studio CEO Razvan Vasilescu told XBIZ that his company is always monitoring the newest developments in the market.
We created a franchise network to help any entrepreneur become a successful studio owner. In only two years since its launch, the franchise network already accounts for five studios (besides the four owned by us) and, most importantly, all five have reached break-even points and they now produce profits for their owners. -Mugur Cosmin Frunzetti, Studio 20
“We attend every European event and we are very open to new things,” Vasilescu explained. “More than that, we invest in the latest innovations to be on top of everybody and to provide the best content to our partners.”
CEO Mugur Cosmin Frunzetti said Studio 20 is usually the first to test new advances, from full HD cameras at 60 fps to VR rooms featuring augmented reality technology.
“We also believe the heart of what we do is ‘people relating to people,’” Frunzetti told XBIZ. “Our focus is on understanding the needs of our members and helping our models relate to them.”
It is Frunzetti’s strong belief that there is room for a Studio 20 in each of the world’s cities.
“We created a franchise network to help any entrepreneur become a successful studio owner,” he explained. “In only two years since its launch, the franchise network already accounts for five studios (besides the four owned by us) and, most importantly, all five have reached break-even points and they now produce profits for their owners.
“Our approach is to have at least 100 live cam studios in the next three years,” Frunzetti added, “by the end of 2020.”
COO Mia Saldarriaga told XBIZ that JuanBustos.com tries to cover all aspects of the live cam industry.
“We have studios, we are model advisers, consult for other studios that want to professionalize, we are partners and co-founders of LALExpo which is the only industry show in Latin America,” Saldarriaga said. “We have a small company of promoters driving traffic to our own models, we have strong alliances with the big players in the industry, and our blog which is the model’s source in Latin America and will start doing news very soon.
“We also try every new technology to always be at the forefront with our work,” she concluded, “and experience what works for the industry and what doesn’t.”
This broad approach to success is found in all top studios.
“We investigate, and review tendencies and develop projects for the improvement and innovation of the equipment (lights, cameras, computers, monitors and sound systems), room decoration and the company in general,” M Group Stars’ Diego Hernández told XBIZ. “Also we gather information related to national and international legislation or regulations, accounting and administration [to] provide more and better services for our models, clients and allies.”
This outreach to the broader community helps build the industry and is commonplace among those companies seeking a leadership position.
“We keep evolving with the industry and this is crucial,” said Silvia from Angels Studio. “We work on inspiring our models to try and strive for better without compromising their own limits and beliefs.
“Regarding expanding, yes, we are hiring and looking for new models that identify with our company philosophy,” she divulged, “but, we don’t really want to work with 100s of webcam models and we believe that quality doesn’t walk hand-in-hand with quantity.”
Chief marketing manager Madalina Chiouru said Charm Group is the most professional group of live cam studios in the world.
“The main reason for its success story is the high quality of the management, provided by a team of professionals with a strong corporate background,” Chiouru told XBIZ. “It is a key advantage that brings significant benefits to the models: efficient training, fast, useful services for all the models, an intelligent bonus system and impeccable competence.
“Nowadays, Charm Group continues to be the benchmark of professionalism in the Romanian live cam industry,” Chiouru concluded. “And we do grow up every single day….”
LiveStudio CEO Alexandru Miulescu told XBIZ that staying ahead in a market as dynamic as live cams is not an easy challenge, but noted, “We love challenges so we approach this matter from several angles.
“The first is the technological angle,” Miulescu explained. “We keep tabs on every new piece of equipment or software program that can benefit us and the models we collaborate with, so basically, we have the best of the best in matters of technology. The second angle is the training our models receive because it is not enough to just teach the model how to work on a cam site, it is a must for us that we evolve intellectually and on a personal level.
“We have seminars to learn how to express ourselves both verbally and non-verbally,” he added. “We learn notions of advertising and marketing to make sure we use every method available to become excellent in what we do, we organize workshops to learn how to perform at maximum levels without exhausting ourselves.”
Miulescu said the topic is quite extensive so it’s hard to express in a few words.
“The third angle is accepting challenges,” he concluded. “We are not afraid of change or trying something new whether it’s a new sales technique or simply a new gadget on the market. The difference is made by the bold and innovative.”
AJ Studios co-founder Anthony Rivera told XBIZ the company is always open to trying new things and collaborating with industry peers and competitors, exchanging experiences and knowledge; and he offered a few specific examples:
“We are the only studio currently in the world running 24/7 VR cam rooms. Most models and studios out there have [only done] VR sporadically. We have three full VR rooms with AliceX running models 24/7, [showing how we stay ahead],” Rivera said. “Besides live cams, we go beyond and are doing other live content products such as babe channels in the U.K. for Roku and Smart TVs with Rampant TV, and have also run babe channels for satellite TV with Babe station in the U.K.”
For another example of how the company is staying ahead of the competition, Rivera said that AJ Studios is currently working with Camsoda to launch language lessons, aka “hot cam model teachers.”
“Models will sell users a 20-minute private show where they can talk to their fans and help them learn their language,” Rivera revealed. “What better way to learn a language than to chat with a hot model? Models can also get naked and reward their student.”
Rivera said that AJ Studios has been doing monthly featured theme shows with Chaturbate for one of its top models, Esperanza Gomez, and brings a different themed show each month (“Fetish,” “Christmas,” “Gym,” “Casino,” etc.), illustrating the value it places on collaboration.
“We also got involved with our competition on a feature show in January,” Rivera said. “Thanks to this collaboration, this feature show broke [Chaturbate’s audience record], getting more than 22K people in a model’s room at the same time.”
Finally, Rivera pointed to the LALExpo, now in its fourth year, as enjoying more success than originally hoped for.
“All the top brands and companies support and sponsor the event because it promotes professionalism, trust, growth and loyalty in the webcam industry,” Rivera told XBIZ, explaining how “the LALExpo was created to provide a platform for studios, models, webmasters and professionals from the live cam industry to collaborate and enhance the international and global markets.
“One of the primary goals of LALExpo is to improve and expand the webcam businesses and industry,” he concluded, “and to ensure that webcam companies operate legally and safely while meeting their business goals.”
NightProwl studio owner Alexandru Gheorghe told XBIZ that over the years, the competition has grown tremendously, but this “tight competition is bound to make studios with experience even better, more focused on their objectives and more proactive.”
“One of the keys to success is represented by innovative strategies at all corporate levels such as management, marketing, model hiring and retention. Such strategies can surely make a great difference nowadays,” Gheorghe explained. “Also, this innovation process needs to be perfectly aligned with the desire of becoming the best version of you!”
Gheorghe always aims to create a compact group, “a strong and united team, which to some extent looks more like a family than a cam studio.”
“Working with happy people who perform their tasks almost like some sort of hobby can surely overcome each and every aspect of the competition,” he said. “Moreover, since the beginning, our policy was focused on empowering the ethical side of the cam biz, and based on my results, I strongly believe that such views and strategies are needed in order to ensure long-time success and sustainable development.
“Contrary to most people’s expectations, the high level of competition actually has a positive impact on my studio development since it motivates us to become better and better!” Gheorghe concluded, noting, “in order to differentiate from the competitor and to become and remain successful, a studio needs to be characterized by proactive management strategies, innovation and to provide a high degree of ethics and seriousness.”
General manager Evelina Cirlan said Pro AVC Studio’s main vision is to embrace challenges.
“These days, the challenge is to create, not just extract,” Cirlan told XBIZ. “Create people value. Create a system. Create a future. Create a path. Create a way of thinking.”
Cirlan said it is crucial to have a very well-structured, easily replicated way of working since Pro AVC Studio is continuously developing and expanding.
“In all our locations and departments we have a procedure system and are starting to be more oriented to recruiting experienced management people with a strong background in mainstream business,” Cirlan explained. “So, our approach is to have a very strong management [team that can] fully implement the procedures, control the business on specific KPIs, grow the studios to reach the perfect team and search for expansion opportunities.”
Live Cams Mansion CEO Adrian also said the company is innovating a lot and letting everybody know it.
“We are planning to have more features in a short time,” Adrian told XBIZ. “[This includes] fan pages for models, and also our own live 24/7 platform. We will open new locations with this concept, and we will launch a franchise concept of LCM.”
Discussing the state of the industry with these studio operators it becomes clear that although the cam market continues to evolve, its growth will provide numerous opportunities for those that can compete and innovate.