LOS ANGELES — If you could define a porn operation as “mom and pop,” then Kelly Madison Media fits the bill nicely. But proprietors Kelly and Ryan Madison are anything but stodgy — or small for that matter. In the last 16 years, the couple has built the business into one of the most progressive studios in adult.
From humble beginnings started out of a warehouse, the duo has managed to remain competitive even in tough times and an oversaturated market by constantly adapting to consumers’ desires. With its watchword (and website) “Pornfidelity,” that imparts staying true to its core porn values, the studio has shifted gears producing everything from rough sex scenes all the way to its recent amateur “breaking hymens” niche.
Of course it doesn’t hurt that the company’s marquee, big-breasted blonde appears in a number of scenes (now more than 1,000) with tons of sexual energy and that her partner delivers some of the most intense male performances in the business. But star power — as any savvy adult professional knows, lasts just so long — and it takes a lot of hard work and the right strategy to maintain an enterprise for more than a decade.
XBIZ wanted to learn more about the couple’s success and plans for the future that’s recently included a move to shooting in 4K that Ryan Madison recently explains, “Is all about the quality." "To be able to take a $20,000 camera and lens and be able to shoot video that looks like a Hollywood movie is epic. The draw to it was that we could create a product that was visibly appealing to our audience and give us a way to be more creative and really allow us to express ourselves visually.”
Kelly gave us some insight as to the inner workings of their company and why it was honored as Progressive Studio of the Year at the 2015 XBIZ Awards.
XBIZ: What was the impetus in creating Kelly Madison Media? When was it founded?
Kelly Madison: It was created out of the desire of a young, creative and energetic man with a penchant to start a business producing adult material and a not so young woman who fell madly in love with him. Truly, it was a business created from passion, hammered into place with persistence and desire over many years, nurtured with love and affection, and sustained by sheer sweat and tears.
Ryan and I had wanted this business the first time we sat down and talked about our dreams for the future more than 16 years ago. We worked together at a computer graphics firm and desired something outside of the printing industry and of course, what better avenue to take than porn? It was the year 2000 and the Internet and porn were just in their infancy. We were clueless but willing to work hard and learn on the job.
XBIZ: What is 413 Productions?
Madison: That is our parent company. Before we were Kelly Madison Media, we were 413 Productions. We like the ambiguity of the name and it was born from the old warehouse where we started our business, 413 is the address where it all began. It was a good name when we were producing other model sites but once we let those go and focused on our sites only, it seemed only fitting to promote the Madison name versus a nondescript name.
XBIZ: How has the company changed since its beginnings?
Madison: For one I don’t shoot as much, I work tirelessly behind the camera and I still love doing videos and photos for my website, KellyMadison.com but I have handed the reigns over to Ryan and he has taken Pornfidelity.com and Teenfidelity.com and our DVDs to a whole new level. Our stuff isn’t so much mom and pop anymore, but high end, 4K, cinematic, intense, and at times pushing the envelope — but always sexy.
XBIZ: Have you adapted to market changes? If so, how?
Madison: Yes, our videos got a bit more intense, more realistic, and more graphic over the years. We followed the trends and our loyal following responded well to the more sexually aggressive material we began to produce but we have still stayed true to ourselves and produce what makes us happy. We really got a bit out there with “Get My Belt” a few years ago, even winning an award for most outrageous sex scene and we thought we would scare off our viewers, but happily it was well accepted. I don’t see us going that extreme in the future again but don’t hold me to it. Sometimes Ryan and I just like to make videos that creatively challenge us and we find interesting to make, one day it’s a slave scene on “Get My Belt," the next day it’s “Adventures of a Teddy Bear” or a “Real Life” where the action and passion are super real, super amateur with no fanfare to get in the way of the action. Truly, we do what we feel like and we bounce around a lot. Just ask our distributor, Juicy, we like to keep them on their toes.
XBIZ: How do you remain competitive in the oversaturated marketplace?
Madison: Luck, skill, more luck, hard work, and trying to make ourselves happy and not always chasing the almighty dollar. It has paid off, when we chase after something it never seems to come to fruition, when we are true to ourselves, things just flow — the Zen of Porn.
XBIZ: Tell us about “Take the Condom Off”
Madison: Well, we don’t like being told what to do, we don’t like being scared by a small group of people that don’t understand our industry, threatening our livelihood and that of our employees so we made a statement. We all know what threatens our industry here in California and we all know that we can’t take our freedoms for granted. The Condom Bill only hurts us; I wish I had the ability to scream it from the rooftops so instead we made a DVD.
XBIZ: What was the idea behind Pornfidelity?
Madison: Our first endeavor was my personal site, KellyMadison.com. Then we started to do threesomes with other women and that’s when our members increased dramatically. We branched off to do another site, Pornfidelity.com, which would then focus on Ryan and myself and our adventures with other women.
We loved the idea of using the word “fidelity” in which the definition is faithfulness to a person, cause, or belief, demonstrated by continuing loyalty and support. Stick the word “porn" in front of that and the word “pornfidelity" defines us. Today we don’t focus on it being about threesomes as we did but when you work together as closely as Ryan and I do, I don’t have to be in bed with them filming to still be part of the action. So now our marriage is even stronger and remember, Ryan is almost 10 years younger than I am so he gets to do all the hard work now.
XBIZ: What makes Teenfidelity different from other teen sites?
Madison: Ryan works great with the teen girls, his prowess and their young nubile bodies and fresh sexuality just makes for a good combo. Plus, we try not to do a lot of the played out stereotypes. I like the girls to look real, not with pigtails and schoolgirl skirts you buy at the local adult shop down on the corner in the seedy part of town, though I am guilty of doing that in the past. Live and learn I say, live and learn.
XBIZ: Tell us about the “Break My Hymen” series. Is the title literally what viewers will see?
Madison: Yes, we put out Craigslist ads and said if you are 18 and virgin — please apply. That’s what I should have put on the DVD cover to sell more titles, actually. This is entertainment, I am very sure that those who want to believe it will, those that know the game, well, they know better.
XBIZ: You’ve recently announced that you are shooting in 4K. Why the change?
Madison: Progress, it either swallows you whole or you ride the wave. As a small producer you have to invest in your technology not just by throwing money at it but also, by figuring out what equipment and technology best enhances what you already do well and move in that direction. We’ve experienced that cutting edge keeps us competitive even if we lose some sleep over it and some hair in the process.
XBIZ: Are there any changes in store for KellyMadison.com?
Madison: Well, I’ve been promising a new members section for years. I have literally worked on it forever and have done two major design and functionality revisions with two different programmers but as of yet have not completed it. Just this week we updated KellyMadison.com my 1,080th scene so it isn’t an easy task to re-do all that content. I do promise to get it done this year and I shall continue to do my best at providing my fans with as much big titty fun I can muster up. I don’t plan on retiring anytime soon. I still update my site every single week and have done so since 2001.
XBIZ: What other new technologies are you embracing?
Madison: In addiiton to recently purchasing those expensive 4K cameras, and the computers to handle the large files, and the storage needed to back them — which has has been a daunting task — there is always more we can do. Plus, we are control freaks. Everything with the Madison name on it is done in-house. We do our own customer service, to writing code, to design, filming and editing, running our affiliate program, you name it we do it. Anything new that can make any of our many jobs easier is very welcome. We keep our eyes open to what may keep the machine running harder and faster. The future for us would hopefully include being part of the virtual porn market. What used to be considered sci-fi is going to be the driving force of our market sooner than we think.
XBIZ: Are live cams part of your plans?
Madison: No, not anytime soon, if ever. I tried it a few times and I’m terrible at it. I am not a good live cam girl at all, kudos to the girls who are successful. I like to do my own creative thing, on my own time and at my own pace. I’m horrible at selling myself, and I don’t take direction very well. Plus, I’m way too much of a people pleaser so I just give it all away for free. It is much better to keep me away from the general public in a live sense and just let them join my site and view my videos as they please.