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January 14, 2017

Internext 2017 Ramps Up With Expanded Show Floor

LAS VEGAS—The adult industry’s original adult digital conference went big this year with an expanded exposition floor that doubled as Saturday’s main attraction—the Meet Market. House music, crepes made to order, free tech swag and a man wearing a middle-finger costume each provided entertainment in the Artist Hall Foyer of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino as Day 1 of Internext 2017 cranked up the volume for the 1200-plus attendees. ImLive/PussyCash executive Carole Wood called her booth concept a “team effort,” noting her colleague Shay Efron “was hungry one day” and inspired the idea that led to a chef cooking crepes with fresh fruit toppings for all comers as they circulated the room. “He went, ‘I’d really fancy crepes right now. And I said, ‘no problem, let me make some calls,’” Wood told AVN. “We did fries in Amsterdam [at Webmaster Access]. But I think everyone enjoyed them. We sold out.” While Darcie Dolce, a porn star and professional DJ, threw down a sizzling mix of house and hip-hop music in the front of the Hall, Internext attendees enjoyed cocktails and a lounge area in the back as they networked with some of the top adult tech professionals in the world. More than 60 companies set up exhibits at the 17th annual webmaster show, presented by BitterStrawberry, discussing their latest product launches and giving out branded souvenirs such as portable phone chargers, lip balm, baseball caps and t-shirts. Mat Chow, publisher, business development for ReviveAds, donned a goofy costume as if he was promoting a sandwich shop on your local street corner. “It’s a big middle finger,” Chow explained. “We’re giving the middle finger to ad blockers. We have our own solution called ReviveAds. ReviveAds essentially unlocks these impressions that are lost to ad blockers. And we’re kind of promoting it in this funny way. “We have one way of dealing with it; other companies have their own way. We’re one of the first to do it and it’s been doing really well for us in 2016 and in 2017 it will do even better.” Chow said ReviveAds president Mark Bauman “is the creative genius behind all this,” including the silly Meet Market outfit. “I wouldn’t purposely do it, my boss put me up to it,” Chow joked. The CrakRevenue team came out in force for Internext, leaving nothing to chance with its vibrant green booth that payed homage to the iconic “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign while also sending a message to their prospective clients. Their artist’s rendering of the sign became the theme for their booth as their “Whalecome to Fabulous Las Vegas” illustration commanded attention. “Follow the Whale” is Crak’s tagline. Arnaud Guilon, Business Manager - Cams for CrakRevenue, told AVN that by early February Crak will be launching an all-new platform. “And the biggest part about that is now we’re able to promote all kinds of product,” Guilon said. “We are here to show to everybody we promote a lot of product. … The whale for us is like all of the biggest affiliates. When we have a new affiliate we send a bunch of good traffic and make a lot of money. We call that ‘the whale.’ Everybody wants to follow the whale you know.” Guilon said it was important to remind its existing clients and prospective ones they can monetize “every kind of traffic, every kind of product.” “So we are able to monetize all kinds of traffic—for dating, for cams, for VODs, for whatever you want,” said Guilon, who is based in Quebec City with the CrakRevenue team that has grown to close to 100 employees. “We promote the fact that now every affiliate provider can sign up right at our stand to create their account. For example, you are a brand new affiliate. We don’t work together and you want us to promote your product. You just came here you are able to fill in the form, put your offer up live and start sending traffic before the end of the week. That’s why we are here. “Before that was very time consuming for a provider to integrate the offer. Now it’s so easy. Now we are able to promote all offers. There is no limitation for us. That’s insane.” Speaking of things that are coming soon, Brian Shuster, president of HoloGirlsVR, told AVN his company was in the final stages of launching a Virtual Reality portal that is only days away from being unveiled. “We’re going to continue to run our own website, HoloGirlsVR, and all that. But we’re starting to partner up with production studios big and small if they want to get into VR,” Shuster said. “We’re giving them access to our state-of-the-art VR rig. So all year we’ve been developing and improving the way that our rigs work. And now we’re manufacturing them so we’re able to roll out as many rigs as we need.” “We’re getting them out to our production partners. We’re training them on how to shoot. They’re going to shoot. They’re going to send us the footage. We’re going to offer a whole post-production back-end on their behalf. … and we’re going to start releasing those scenes on behalf of our partner companies.” Shuster revealed “the first two are KinkVR and BurningAngelVR and we’re very shortly going to be rolling out other genres.” “I’m trying to make VR easy,” he added. “That’s my thing for this year. To get this whole industry able and capable of shooting the best quality VR. We’re going to have camera rigs that people can look at.” On other side of the Hall, Lernmond Khodaverdy, the VP of operations for Twistbox, said he brought the whole LA-based team to Vegas as his company works on expanding its reach. “I think one of the issues that at least I’m seeing is there’s kind of plateau right now in the industry, whether it be for lack of new products or innovation or whatever. So we need to start looking at really squeezing all the juice out of it that we can,” Khodaverdy said. “So whether that be full expansion into new markets or new products or crossing over or whatever the case may be for Twistbox in particular we’re going to be focused on launching new markets. So we can bring our solutions that have been working well for all of our partners and affiliates and getting even more opportunities to earn more revenue.” Twistbox already has strong footprints in Portugal, Greece and South Africa and is soon launching in Spain, Czech Republic and India. Kay Matsangos, manager of operations for Stripchat, said his cam company is only a year-and-a-half old but doing well with its low-key approach. “We are the webcam product of XHamster and XHamster is huge,” the Cyprus-based Matsangos said. “We are new in the market but doing good. It’s very simple, smooth and not aggressive marketing. Not aggressive advertisement. It’s like easy-going. And it’s premium. So basically you can go watch and if you like to pay, you pay; if you don’t, you don’t.” Another seasoned pro working the room was Jim Gunn, a veteran porn producer based in Pompano Beach, Fla., near Fort Lauderdale. He said he’s been ramping up with VR production, noting that a scene he shot featuring Katy Kiss for VR3000 received a nomination for Best VR Sex Scene for the 2017 AVN Awards. “She had so much fun and was such a pleasure to work with. It was a great experience. I was kind of glad that she got the nomination,” said Gunn, who has been coming to Vegas in January for more than 20 years. As with every Internext show, there were rookies in the crowd, such as Conor from MomPOV.com, a six-year-old site based in San Diego that also works out of Las Vegas. “We understand that the AVN and the AVN Awards have grown to a spectacle and it’s nice to see a tradeshow come up in the week before, similar to what South By Southwest did with the tech week beforehand,” Conor said. “For us, this is where we can be more globally oriented. This is where we can more focused and start building the Rolodex with the real players.” Former adult performer Rebecca Love, whose popular podcast, “Talking Dirty,” is part of her Adult Film Star Network, said she was at Internext for the B2B connections. “I want to teach you how to make money, awareness on product and how as a newbie or a veteran to succeed in this world,” Love said. “It’s very diluted now. It’s very compromised and now we have to have the education to go along with it.” Love said she used to host KSEX Radio in the early 2000s. “I loved KSEX and everything they were about. It was ahead of their time at the moment. My thing is about taking what I love about the adult industry and not hiding. … I’m kind of like a blog, but I’m an audio blog. I still webcam. And I do standup comedy.”

 
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