Digital Playground Cleans Up at Empire Awards

VAN NUYS, Calif. — Digital Playground was honored with six trophies at the 2004 Empire Awards, more than any other production company. Sponsored by retail site, the awards recognize excellence in the world of Adult DVD.

“Our awards are different because we focus on DVDs, not just movies,” said Mike Barry, director of adult operations at Adult DVD Empire. “Making a quality DVD goes beyond just shooting great content. You have to transfer it properly to DVD, make the menus, take some time to add extra features for the fans and a host of other details.

“Making an award winning adult DVD is an art in itself and should be recognized,” Barry added.

Digital Playground won the largest number of awards, including Best Overall Studio and the Viewers Choice Award for its best-selling “Island Fever 3,” which also collected awards for Best All-Sex DVD, Best DVD Video and Best DVD Commentary.

Directed by Joone and starring Digital Playground exclusives Jesse Jane and Devon, “Island Fever 3” garnered 63 percent of all votes in balloting for the prestigious Viewers Choice Award.

“The Viewers Choice Award is the most powerful award we give,” said JT Smith, marketing manager for Adult DVD Empire. “We select the nominees, but our customers make the final call. They vote on the DVD they like best, period.”

Smith attributed Digital Playgorund’s success to a combination of production quality and marketing savvy.

“Not only [does Digital Playground] create a great product; they also do an excellent job of marketing their girls and releases,” Smith said.

“This year, [Joone] took our ‘Island Fever’ series to a new level [by] implementing HD, and the results have been staggering,” noted Samantha Lewis, president of Digital Playground.

Other big winners in this year’s awards were Wicked Picture’s “Eye of the Beholder,” which took home Best Menu Design, Best Feature DVD, Best DVD Extras and the Editors Choice Award.

Nominees are selected and voted on by a panel of critics that includes DVD Empire editorial staff, in-house reviewers and other industry experts. Titles that perform well in terms of sales and customer feedback are considered in the nomination process.

“We’re the only adult retailer that has it’s own in-house editorial staff, including a group of over 50 Adult DVD reviewers,” said Jeff Rix, founder of Adult DVD Empire. “As the company grew we hired dedicated staff members to fill our site with as much extra information as we could think of. These awards are the culmination of that philosophy — putting our experience to work awarding the best DVDs released each year and showing our customers the difference between a great adult DVD and your average, run-of-the-mill adult DVD.”

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