XBIZ Berlin Puts Paysites in Focus

XBIZ Berlin Puts Paysites in Focus
Stephen Yagielowicz

BERLIN — The exclusive paysite focus of the 2017 XBIZ Berlin webmaster conference, presented by TrafficPartner, was in full force today, highlighted by a distinguished group of experts taking the stage for a look at “Paysites 2017: A European Perspective,” an executive session revealing the latest trends in the business of premium adult websites.

Moderated by XBIZ publisher Alec Helmy, the expert panelists included James from Mr. Skin, Jesse from Kink.com, Adam from Met-Art, Cherry Pimps’ Jack Avalanche, Christian from WebClicks/FuckingAwesome.com, Andrew from Bang.com, and Andy from VR3000.com.

Helmy kicked off the session by asking the panelists to briefly describe the content types they offer.

James began by noting as it targets the celebrity niche, Mr. Skin doesn’t shoot its own content, with the exception of its edgy NakedNews program, which offers six daily shows per week, providing news with a different angle and a sexy slant.

“We’re limited in the material we have,” James said, but as the audience found out later, his material offers other benefits.

Jesse said Kink has exclusive content shot by its own directors as well as material from other directors and site channel partners including other fetish producers, while Adam said Met-Art produces its own exclusive high-quality content.

“We believe the models have to be real,” Adam said. “We don’t shoot ‘fake’ models, that’s what makes us special.

Jack said Cherry Pimps shoots around 150 scenes per month, including many solo scenes, as well as 30-40 live hardcore porn star shows on Streamate, which he lauds as being “pirate proof.”

Christian said FuckingAwesome features “primarily amateur content, straight from the source, always with exclusive rights — but we also produce high-end content ourselves. Everything we do is exclusive.”

Andrew said Bang.com offers a mix of content, with 115,000 licensed titles, as well as produces its own content, which adds an additional 25 scenes per month — while Andy echoed the trend of shooting exclusive content, which in his case is virtual reality, and underscored how many of today’s top paysites successfully blend licensed with exclusive content.

Helmy next addressed the subject of targeting paysites to a European audience, asking, “or do you just open a website and hope everyone likes it equally?”

Because the bulk of its video content is in English, James said Mr. Skin focuses on English-speaking Tier-1 countries, setting the stage for the responses that followed.

“We don’t do anything specific to attract European markets,” Jesse said but adds the company does specific promos for regional performers and notes the content for its PublicDisgrace site is now entirely shot on the continent.

Adam said Met-Art doesn’t do anything specific for Europe, either, but does feature mostly European women and notes that the German market provides its second-best sales conversions

For its part, Cherry Pimps produces language-based landing pages for select European geos, and with its live shows targets Europe with European porn stars and European time zones.

“[FuckingAwesome’s] customers are primarily from the U.S.,” Christian said, noting “European consumers usually convert very well with American landing pages,” and that the company targets other geos such as Taiwan and Japan.

As with the other panelists, Bang.com is focused on the American market, with Andrew saying those efforts bleed over into the European market, noting, “doing a better job of targeting content specifically to European consumers is something that is on the horizon for us.”

Andy says 70 percent of WebmasterCentral’s clients are Europeans, “and they use their own tricks.”

“A lot of the actresses that we shoot are European,” Andy told the audience, adding, “We have found a huge surge in social media [when performers use it to reach out to their fans], so we are getting a lot of European traffic via social media.”  

“When we all say that we don’t do anything to target it, it sounds like we’re leaving Europe in the dust,” Jack clarified. “But I think the reality is that U.S. porn stars and U.S. porn are in really big demand in the European market, so the way we accommodate that is through CDNs and the proper delivery formats ... that deliver [content] just as fast as if they were in the U.S.”

Jack reemphasized the importance of paying attention to European time zones, not only when scheduling live performances but also customer service hours, then concluded, “We’re hitting [the European market] without having to do anything specific for it.”

Andrew pointed to important role of regional billing, languages, and phone support in the equation, and notes that although Bang.com is not yet translated into different languages, the company makes it easy to navigate “even for people who do not speak English very well, to get through the site so they can find the content they want.”

Jesse echoed the importance of targeted billing and discussed a vital key — European affiliates that better understand their local markets than do their U.S.-based sponsors, saying, “They’re able to present our site and present our products in a language and country that we otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do as well or as expertly.”

Adam said Met-Art’s site is translated into 12 languages, helping reach consumers around the world.

Next up, the panel reflected on the prominent trends that have formed in the European market over the past three years or so.

Andy unhesitatingly exclaimed “social media!” doubling down on the assertion by noting how it has supplanted the vagaries of SEO/SEM as a traffic generation tool.

“SEOs like to change the rules a lot,” Andy explained, “so we have focused our attention on social media — it’s made a huge difference.”

“We have been buying traffic for a really long time, and really focusing on that conversion funnel,” Andrew revealed. “We’re also seeing a lot of higher quality content.”

Jack points to the evolution of delivery formats and billing models, calling it all “very seamless and fluid.”

“More companies are making data-based decisions rather than just throwing out porn,” Jesse said. “People used to just consume whatever they could get their hands on, but tubes really changed them into more savvy consumers. In turn, paysites had to look at the data to make better decisions about the content they produce and the directions for their paysites to take.”

Looking at traffic generation and the current mix between in-house sources, affiliates and more, the panelists offered some intriguing insights.

Christian said affiliate’s demands for enhanced services such as consolidated payments, smart links, and more, have helped the company evolve, as it relies primarily on affiliates for traffic.

Jesse said his goal is to always maximize the amount of traffic obtained through organic search, but also emphasizes the importance of affiliates.

“My focus lately has been more paysite partners,” Jesse said, explaining, “I’d much rather have ... higher quality traffic made up of qualified users.”

“Something that we are lucky with is our product is very mainstream, so we are able to get access to radio and television,” James explained. “Another aspect of traffic is that we white label our products, so we are able to integrate with a lot of different partners, and we rely on that to get cross-sales and links, to get mailers, and traffic in other integrated ways that has helped us substantially.”

Moving on to the topic of mobile, Christian said his company moved to mobile around five years ago, considering it to be the next big thing.

“We made everything responsive,” Christian told the audience, adding, “One of the most difficult things about going responsive is there are so many different devices out there, and so many different OSs, so where we really focused and spent a lot of money, is making sure our sites work on every single device, in any geo.”

Jack brought up mobile’s nebulous definition, asking if a laptop on Wi-Fi is “a mobile device,” and echoed the importance of responsiveness today.

Adam hit a home run by tying in the previous discussion of the importance of social media as a traffic source with the fact that more than 60 percent of social media consumption occurs via mobile device — so if you’re seeking social media traffic, make sure your site is mobile friendly.

“The users that come from mobile,” Adam said, “usually buy movies, and then download them to their phone.”

Jesse notes how many users use multiple devices to access a site, and recommends viewing mobile as a “gateway” to get customers into the door — where they can then consume your content on desktops, tablets, and phones.

“The majority of our traffic is mobile these days,” Andrew revealed. “We spend a lot of time working to optimize the mobile user experience to make it easier to gain access to the site.”

Many other topics were covered by the expert panelists, delivering true value to the knowledge-hungry attendees receiving a college-level education in the latest paysite trends.

In addition to the many paysite focused offerings at this year’s XBIZ Berlin, other event highlights include the keynote by CrakRevenue’s Axel Vézina; Traffic Pimps’ “Breakfast Networking Buffet,” CCBill sponsored speed networking and exclusive “Paysite Think Tank: Lunch” and “Networking Lunch,” courtesy of PornDoe Premium.

Other sessions today included “Age Verification: A Critical Update,” sponsored by AVSecure, along with “Interactive Insights: Camming Today,” while attendees will enjoy this evening’s CAM4 “Mix & Meet Happy Hour,” and Shaft Traffic sponsored “Sausage Fest,” with complimentary beer and bratwurst adding to the networking opportunities.

The evening will be capped by the “Berlin Boat Bash” tour down the Spree, sponsored by Traffic Pimps, FuckingAwesome.com, Jul Models and PornDoe Premium, providing a delightful day for attendees.