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September 11, 2017

Webmaster Access Entertains, Educates in Amsterdam

AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands—Remi St-Maur confirmed what many in the audience were wondering during the “Titans of Traffic” panel Sunday at Webmaster Access. “Media buying is not an easy job,” St-Maur, chief business development officer and partner for TrafficStars, told the crowd. “Today it’s all about data. Without data, you’re just another guy with an opinion.” St. Maur and five other traffic heavyweights drew a full house at the DoubleTree by Hilton as the largest adult tech conference in Europe sprinted to the finish line. Sharing candid remarks from the Seminar Stage in a blazing session moderated by SK Intertainment’s James Robinson, St-Maur emphasized there are no shortcuts to success in the unforgiving traffic game. “Without data you’re screwed today,” St-Maur continued. “You have to have the right tracking tool. If you’re not using those tools you cannot use our ad network to run your campaigns. “You have to have a strategy per product, per geo and know where your offer is going. A lot of people aren’t testing their offer; they start a campaign and let it run. There’s a lot of things to take under consideration. You have to look at the data and optimize your campaign based on that data. And if it doesn’t work you have to test and test and test—always.”Robinson, director of business development for the parent company of Mr. Skin who has 13 years of leadership experience in adult and mainstream, directed the panel that also featured remarks from Edward Austin (Flirt4Free), Brad Johns (WebClicks), Lee Robinson (Exoclick) and Dmytro Pereverten (TerraLeads). Austin, the media buying manager for Flirt4Free, suggested, “If you’re new to media buying, whatever your product is find out who’s No. 1 in that industry and imitate it, kind of piggyback a little bit. You probably don’t have the budget that they do, so you need to find an area to focus on. Focus on one that works.” With more than a decade of experience in the advertising industry, Exoclick’s Lee Robinson handles a global portfolio of publishers, including the day-to-day management of ad spots on some of adult's biggest sites as the company's senior publisher account manager. When it comes to data, Lee recommended “knowing your metrics going into the media buy.” “Try to understand average click-thru rates, know your average conversion ratios and understand member value of what you’re trying to get,” Lee Robinson said. “It’s about risk. You’re going to lose money in the beginning but it’s by optimizing and taking the data that you start to make money. That takes time.” Brad Johns, the chief marketing officer for WebClicks, said some of his affiliates have been with them for 10-plus years and some still run the same banners. “They’ve got banners that have been around for years—it’s because they convert,” Johns said. The “Cashing In With Live Cams” panel, moderated by Flirt4Free Director of the Business Development Jeff Wilson, came alive with insights from Yuval Kijel (Streamate/Cambuilder), Jim Austin (Stripchat), Katy (BongaCash), Shay Efron (ImLive/Pussycash) and Joey Kim (JoeyKim.tv). Kijel, who manages Streamate's affiliate program and white-label builder, Cambuilder, discussed the Seattle-based company’s still growing “black label” program. “A black label will basically enable you to do everything we have on Streamate on your own domain,” Kijel explained. “Users would stay on your site and have complete flexibility in promotion. You can design it however you want. If you have a membership site or a dating site you decide where to put it, how to put it—in the third page, fourth page, whatever you want in terms of promotion. “You can do the bidding on your own. … I can say if you do it right it will probably give you about 30 or 40 percent more than a white label, but again it’s not for everyone. It’s more complicated than a white label.” Efron noted that ImLive has its own version of a black label called True API, adding his platform has given models the ability to broadcast anywhere from their mobile phones. Now they can bring more of a “reality” style to their shows, streaming from the beach, the gym or wherever they may be. That technical advantage is something that Joey Kim has already brought to her own platform, JoeyKim.tv, where she has live-streamed to her members from places such as Pattaya, Thailand. The model and performance artist brought a seasoned affiliate’s perspective to the exchange, not to mention what she sees as a model interacting directly with her paid subscribers. “What’s going to bring customers in, not only bring them in but hold them, for me is the promise of something different than what’s out there, because the industry is so saturated,” Kim said. “My own model for my own platform is actually to have a premium, where my goal is not to have as much members as I possibly can or have as much conversions as I can but rather to have good conversions—long-term conversions. … It keeps me inspired to improve my platform constantly.” She added, “Your community is built from understanding the people who you convert. Not just knowing your audience but knowing where your audience is coming from and being conscious with where you’re trying to target your audience and where that traffic is coming from.” Discussing the pros and cons of a rev-share deals with affiliates, Stripchat’s Head of Business Development Jim Austin noted, “There’s multiple payout systems for a reason and that’s because of the needs of affiliates. “The most common mistake is not giving it time. You have to give it a legitimate amount of time. If you’re going to give something a shot, give it a real legitimate shot, two weeks to a month at least.” Kijel revealed that Streamate has seen “85 percent growth” in mobile revenue since the first of the year. “If you don’t have a great mobile site, that’s the first thing you should do tomorrow,” he suggested. “Two thirds of our traffic is on mobile—mobile is becoming the first start point for all users.” The “Up Close & Virtual” panel led off the morning inside the second-floor Leeds 1 Meeting Room, sending Jean-Claude Artonne (Terpon), Daniel Abramovich (VRBangers), Lily Campbell (YanksVR) and Jason Collins (Verotel) to the stage for a lively Q&A orchestrated by industry attorney Corey Silverstein. Based in the Detroit area, the 15-year adult industry vet runs Silverstein Legal and has been practicing law for about 12 years. He asked the group to address questions such as “How difficult is it to create VR content?” “VR is pretty difficult to create because the tech is not there yet—shoots take 12 hours sometimes,” said Abramovich, CEO of VRBangers, who has racked up more than 100 VR porn videos featuring top American and European porn stars since launching in 2015. He is one of the first to produce VR porn in 360-degree, 4K 3D quality and enjoyed a couple marketing coups by getting its all-in-one AuraVisor headsets into sperm banks such as USC Fertility and select hotels. Even though Artonne launched Terpon a year ago, the former pilot in the French Air Force has been involved with immersive technology since 1999. “We are on the tech side of the business, we are not in porn,” noted Artonne, who offers the first fully integrated and affordable plug-and-play, 4K 3D-VR camera. He brings his 30 years of entrepreneurial experience in a variety of sectors including optics, consumer electronics, biotech, aeronautics and real estate to the adult industry. “I don’t think mainstream will catch up because mainstream is also working on many incredible technology,” Artonne said. “I think it’s more a question of leverage. … The only way is to have two different businesses—one mainstream and one adult—and to leverage one with the other one.” He added, “China is far beyond us as far as solid applications in the market. It’s about marketing and how to leverage.” Campbell works as the primary producer for YanksVR, creating solo and girl/girl “female positive porn.” She said that with VR porn “there’s more opportunity to give them what they want.” “Women like all kinds of porn,” said Campbell, the eight-year vet from Oregon who shoots primarily amateur performers and some established adult stars. “With VR you can create an empathetic experience where they can feel like what it feels to be the woman in any POV situation, which is very rare.”      When asked what the affiliate marketing potential of VR was, Abramovich said, “I think VR is the No. 1 affiliate moneymaker right now.” A quartet of industry pros traded opinions on "what’s hot and what’s not" on the “State of Gay” panel that was moderated by AVN Media Network’s own Senior Account Executive Timothy Ferencz. Danny Zeeman, (ZBuckz), Gary Jackson (CCBill), Shane Aaron (Pothos Media/CollegeDudes247) and Porco Rosso (Kinkoid) kept things interesting discussing everything from social media to dating apps and affiliate management. “The latest trend we’ve seen is actually in the lifestyle—people building a relationship with their audience based on their lifestyle,” said Jackson, the vice president of sales and marketing for the Arizona-based CCBill who has been with the company for 11 years. He pointed out that models that are monetizing Snapchat is “blowing up” due to that one-to-one relationship and that “Instagram and Tumblr are the new gay portals.” “Especially for the Millennials,” Jackson said. “You have to have a good strategy. Know who you’re talking to. That’s your main traffic source and potentially your biggest traffic sources. People are coming to the model first and then to your site.” Shane Aaron, who produces reality style content for various niches including BoysHalfwayHouse and the older-younger genre, agreed. “In terms of actual bottom line, Tumblr does really well for me,” Aaron said. Danny Z, who has more than 15 years experience managing gay membership sites for an array of adult studios, said his biggest new acquisition is the Asian fitness-themed site, PeterFever, founded by Peter Le. “The site is about more muscular Asian men and guys that are into them,” Zeeman, who lived for 10 years in Bangkok and Japan and is also well versed in Asian traffic, told the gathering.   Rosso, an accomplished digital entrepreneur who has created several successful businesses in adult and mainstream since 2005, recently created the adult game HentaiHeroes which has grown to 1.5 million players in less than a year. This year he's releasing his new game GayHarem and his affiliate platform GamingAdult. “There is a huge demand for games in general,” Rosso said, noting it’s a 10 billion-dollar industry.  “I was frustrated by the lack of innovation and I don’t like to just complain. I said, ‘Let’s do something new.’” He described GayHarem as “a bit like Pokemon but with guys.” Zeeman said affiliate traffic remains viable and profitable. “We’ve always been a very affiliate-oriented company. I started ZBuckz in 2003 and our main traffic source has always been affiliates. Tube sites are still a big chunk of the market. It’s the worst converting traffic, but if you offer promotions or discounts or special landing pages, there are still ways to convert that traffic," Zeeman assured. “We still do well with review sites, just a smaller amount. Social media has helped fill that void. Our strategy to hit from all the angles.” Shane Aaron remarked that “one nice thing about the dwindling number of affliates is you’re able to have closer relationships with the ones who are left.” “My tube traffic converts wonderfully—RedTube in particular has amazing conversion rates,” Aaron said. CCBill's Jackson stated that overall affiliate traffic has dropped off to 18 percent. “The definition of affiliate has somewhat changed,” Jackson explained. “Models are becoming the affiliates. If you treat them like a customer they’re going to spend more time with you. They’re the new affiliate and the host.” Without question one of the highlights of the show was the “Dating Dominance” seminar moderated by Revolution Force CEO Sean Christian. Christian led a stacked panel that included Jenny Gonzalez (Dating Factory), Valeria Pagano (Dating Partner), Igor Komarenko (Aurora Global), Niels van Ingen (Masters in Cash), Paul Groen (Advidi) and Charlyn MacNamara (AdultFriendFinder). Christian, one of the top moderators in adult entertainment, commanded the packed room, walking up and down the aisles and sometimes sitting in the crowd as he fired questions at the experts on stage, tailoring them to each one's core business. McNamara, vice president of marketing for FriendFinderNetworks, said her company has remote teams in Taiwan and Philippines whose sole job is to delete fake dating profiles. “AdultFriendFinder deletes 4000 or 5000 fake dating profiles a day,” she said. Christian noted that some of the most expensive traffic in the biz is dating traffic.    In terms of user value, Gonzalez is finding conversions in unexpected places like Egypt and said the future is moving toward gamifying experiences. “We need new technology, new experiences. We need to add some value,” Gonzalez continued. “Before it was a numbers game. Now I think everyone has to be working on their technology and improving the user experience. The customer attention span is a fraction of what it used to be.” Brian Elkan from Affil4you moderated the “Mobile for Newbies” session about “What Webmasters, Media Buyers & Site Owners Need to Know.”Mobile gurus such as Andy Wullmer (SGM Media), Remi St. Maur (TrafficStars), Olga (BongaCash) and Lee Robinson (Exoclick) discussed the importance of carrier billing, building relationships with your account manager and compliance, among other topics. “At the end of the day the most important thing as a publisher is your user,” Robinson said. “It’s easy to take the highest CPA and highest revenue but there’s a price to pay for that—you lose a lot of users.” As the activities on the show floor wound down, some attendees hit the GayVN Happy Hour before heading to the city for dinner and the closing Leather & Lace Party at Air Nightclub.  For additional WMA coverage, click here. Photo from left: Jeff Wilson, Jim Austin, Shay Efron, Joey Kim, Yuval Kijel & Katy on the Live Cams panel courtesy of Mari Blue/ShootXEvents.

 
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