From its pioneering VR ventures to its three-tier model support system, with global around-the-clock coverage, one-on-one coaching and personalized account management, CAM4 stays competitive in the massive camming market to this day.
Since inception in 2007, CAM4 set out to distinguish itself from the pack by skipping past the slow application process cam models used to contend with in those early years on other platforms.
Instead, all were welcome right away, with the click of a broadcast button and the meeting of basic 18-plus requirements. Soon thereafter, the diverse CAM4 community started expanding fast, and continues thriving to this day.
Savvy marketing and traffic-boosting channels are also key ingredients to making this company tick, as they wield everything from SEO and paid media to old school offline advertising and events. Organic recruiting, of course, plays its part in spreading the good word.
To paddle alongside the streaming river rapids that CAM4 travels in the digital multiverse, XBIZ sat down with the brains behind the international enterprise for this exclusive company profile.
XBIZ: Tell us about the origins of CAM4 and how the platform made a name for itself in those early days.
CAM4: CAM4’s journey began in 2007. It started slowly. It can be nearly impossible for a new webcam website to launch. Having enough webcams to attract a large audience while having a large enough audience to help performers feel successful is a “chicken and the egg” problem that often requires a touch of luck or magic to solve.
We made one key choice that, looking back, was a critical factor in helping us break through. While most webcam sites at the time required performers to submit an application to become a model — a process that took some time and a manual review of your headshots — CAM4 placed a broadcast button in the main menu and created a policy that anybody would be able to broadcast as long as they were of legal age. The results were amazing.
Suddenly anybody could be a webcam performer, not just beautiful straight women. CAM4 quickly became a top destination for gay male performers as well as amateur performers of all shapes and sizes. The internet took notice! So did the internet “trolls.” Much of CAM4’s important early traffic came from a notorious forum called 4chan which got their kicks from scrolling through the pages of CAM4 to find interesting, eccentric and sometimes shocking performers and sending droves of traffic to mess with them. They were wild days.
XBIZ: What innovative site features and business initiatives have truly distinguished CAM4 in the increasingly popular camming market?
CAM4: Our three-tiered approach to performer support has been our key differentiator in recent years. We saw webcamming become quickly adopted into a more mainstream audience and we know there was an opportunity to give better support to people who are interested in broadcasting.
By offering around the clock support on a global level, we remove a lot of friction that people have when they first think about camming or first sign up. Additionally, it builds confidence with our existing models to know that someone is always there.
Our second tier of performer support involves providing every single model on CAM4 with a coach in their language who does live coaching once a week. As well, these coaches provide one-on-one coaching for the performers looking to kick it up a notch.
Finally, our third tier of support ensures their ability to reach their goals with our platform by giving them their own account managers who help performers to grow their viewers, take advantage of our various programs, incentives and contests, and to help them achieve overall success on CAM4.
XBIZ: How do you recruit new cam models and build a strong CAM4 community that inspires brand loyalty?
CAM4: Recruiting is organic for us; a lot of our models hear about CAM4 through other models, whether it’s on social media or events. Community has always been our focus. Through hosting contests and different community events throughout the year, we always try to give our users a free and safe place for self-expression. Additionally, our recruitment team travels to many events and scours the ends of the earth looking for new talent.
XBIZ: On a similar note, describe your approach for attracting viewers and keeping traffic levels strong.
CAM4: All internet sites use the same mix of channels for generating traffic to their sites, be it adult or finance. Our choices are SEO, SEM, paid media, affiliate traffic, emails, social media, old school offline advertising and events. Of course, the most important thing for making any of those channels work are the relationships and people you work with to bring the traffic to the platform.
I am not sure there is anything I could say to you here that would be particularly special about how we acquire viewers other than we spend a lot of resources on making sure that we continue to keep our traffic growing and, of course, returning. Currently, we are developing our Affiliate Channel and a steady stream of offers, promotions and innovations on webmaster tools seems to be the way to go in the cam market.
XBIZ: With the ability to filter cams by various categories like gender and ethnicity, what consumer trends have emerged as far as popular niches?
CAM4: We see a global world where people want to see people from outside of their countries or cities. The wild, unexpected shows will always draw in the most viewers; but at the end of the day we’re seeing more and more global connections.
XBIZ: How do you balance incorporating feedback on CAM4 features from your users and cam models, with rolling out new updates that push the platform in a risk-taking (perhaps unexpected) direction?
CAM4: Feedback is intrinsic to our product up-dates and even our contests or promotions. For marketing, having strong feedback channels has helped us to gather enough input without getting overwhelmed. Back to our three-tiered approach, this helps us to move feedback to the correct team or channel.
XBIZ: Talk about your high-tech endeavors, such as venturing into VR, and how such efforts have paid off.
CAM4: We’re currently working on revamping our VR experience and doing a long-awaited overhaul of our performer tools. In the new year, performers will have a seamless way to cam and track their stats or request payouts.
VR has not really paid off at this point but we continue to forge ahead in that market and try to innovate as this industry has always been ahead of the curve and we feel that while VR right now is a fun gimmick, it will evolve to something in which people find a real entertainment value.
XBIZ: What is the office culture like behind the scenes at CAM4?
CAM4: We are very much a global company with offices in multiple cities; which creates a unique challenge for communication. Our team is very diverse, open-minded and incredibly talented. There are a lot of people that have worked with the parent company for more than 15 years, which creates wonderful friendships and camaraderie in the workplace.
XBIZ: Discuss your affiliate program and what sets it apart in the market.
CAM4: Our affiliate program has been a long time coming. For a company so rich in affiliate marketing history, it is a bit of a surprise that this particular marketing pillar is so new. However, that is really our edge right now; we are a new offer, but an old product, and we have had affiliates literally lining up to get on board and promote us.
We are getting ready to launch our white label solution and this is going to truly set us apart from the competition. Of course, all of our competitors offer this tool. But again, being late to the party has afforded us the opportunity to build something that answers all the needs of our affiliate marketers, as well as include some new features that we anticipate will be well received.
XBIZ: What are your plans for 2019, as far as new features, milestones and growth?
CAM4: 2019 is set to be a very exciting year for CAM4. We have new versions of just about everything underway with launch dates through the year. Some pieces are complete overhauls, others are simply new features, but a lot of these changes have been anticipated and will allow us to be the nimble site that can change and grow quickly as needed … along with the debut of a real game changer.