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January 19, 2016

Industry Leaders Talk Technology on Day 3 of Internext

LAS VEGAS—Some of the leading executives in digital media offered a few words of wisdom to Internext attendees as the “Future Forecast” panel wound down Monday. “Continue coming to shows like this one and get out of your shell,” Netbilling president Mitch Farber recommended to the crowd packed into the Monterrey Room inside the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.  “Don’t get stuck in your existing model,” said Brian Shuster, founder of Utherverse and Holofilm Productions. The president of VS Media, Greg Clayman, emphasized “mobile responsiveness” for your web presence, while FriendFinder CEO Jonathan Buckheit pointed to “intelligent traffic analytics” as a crucial factor in moving your business forward. Shay Efron, the VP of sales and marketing for Pussycash and ImLive, ended his remarks on a lighter note, saying, “Be transparent. Be loyal. And don’t do drugs. But if you do drugs, do them with me.”  The heavyweight panel—which also featured MojoHost founder Brad Mitchell and Revolution Force CEO Sean Christian and was moderated by Wasteland’s Colin Rowntree—turned into one of the highlights of the final day of the Expo, bringing together more than 140 years of combined experience on the Internext stage. Revolution Force’s Christian said it’s important to focus on “ad technology, big data, user flow and correct billing.” Mitchell, whose hosting company has been on top of its game for more than a decade, acknowledged the remarkable growth of the live cam sector of adult entertainment, noting that his client base now includes several different cam companies. Buckheit revealed his company is going to do a 3D live cam site this year. The conversation shifted largely to the emergence and viability of virtual reality content in the coming months.  “VR is going to be transformative for cams,” HoloFilm’s Shuster predicted. “It’s going to be interesting when we see what happens.”  Shuster added, “VR has finally arrived after half a dozen false starts.” He said that people may not be paying for porn much anymore, but they are willing to pay for “new kinds of experiences." The annual legal panel did not disappoint either, delivering an hour of essential information for industry professionals courtesy of seasoned attorneys J. Michael Murray, Clyde DeWitt, Corey Silverstein and Larry Walters, who moderated. Murray is leading the adult industry’s ongoing litigation regarding 18 U.S.C. 2257, 2257A, the federal record-keeping statutes that govern sexually explicit material in the U.S. in Free Speech Coalition v. Attorney General. FSC has argued that 2257 is an unconstitutional violation of the First and Fourth Amendments of the U.S. Constitution, while the Justice Department disagrees, saying the law does not impose an unconstitutional burden on producers of adult content. Both sides made their most recent arguments in the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia in December.  “Perfection is the minimum requirement for 2257A,” Murray warned. “You better be vigilant and you better be achieving perfection.” The topic of the presidential race came up, creating some interesting remarks about which Republican candidate would be the worse-case scenario for the adult industry’s interests. “They’re all bad,” Clyde DeWitt said. Michael Murray concluded that Texas Senator Ted Cruz would give the industry the most headaches. “He’s the most conservative. He appeals to the evangelicals. He has slammed the Supreme Court. He would be in my opinion the worst option,” Murray said. Silverstein said that if a Republican was elected that “Donald Trump probably for our purposes would be the best one.” “Frankly, I don’t see him giving a shit [about adult entertainment],” Silverstein said. “But I think he’s an act, an entertainment act. And it’s a shame he’s gotten this far.” The final day of education started with “The Do’s and Don’t’s of Successful Media Buying” panel moderated by DigiWorldPartner’s Nigel Williams. He led a spirited discussion with fellow experts Brian Elkan (Affil4you), Geoffrey Bonnechere (TrafficStars), Alex Lecomte (JuicyAds), Brent Simpson (Revolution Force) and Chris Lebrun (Etology). One thing the group agreed on was that buyers should be asking a lot of questions. “Especially if you’re not a seasoned media buyer,” Williams said. “Start small and scale quickly,” added Lebrun. Elkan maintained that “tracking is the No. 1 thing in buying traffic. … My philosophy is the more tracking the better.” On the importance of re-targeting, Bonnechere noted that “only 2-3 percent of users buy the first time.” “The other 98 percent will buy upon returning,” he said, adding that negative re-targeting is also key so that “you only pay for traffic that hasn’t bought your product.” Pete Housley, the founder of PornStarTweet, moderated a strong panel titled “Rules of Engagement: How to Optimize Your Social Media Imprint.” His panelists included Lauren MacEwen (7Veils), Christophe Peyras (Streamate) and Dan Leal (Immoral Productions). MacEwen said placing a link in the first 1/3 of your tweet improves click-through ratio on Twitter by 30 percent. Leal, who runs several social media accounts promoting his production company and live shows, reminded attendees to not forget about adding some personality to your posts, such as "a funny picture." Peyras, who runs social media for Streamate, agreed. “Don’t spam, make it original,” he said. Housley imparted perhaps the most sage advice of the session, concluding with “Remember, social media has to be social.” And it’s importance shouldn’t be discounted. “This is not your receptionist’s job. This is your brand,” Housley said. 

 
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