InterNext 2002 Commentary: You Get What You Pay For

By: , September 18, 2007 | Industry Event Reviews

So, how was Internext 2002 for you? If you made it, you'll have gone away with the abiding impression that the adult web market is buoyant.

Internext 2002 Commentary

By Jack Cool of Cool Piranha Inc | Reprint by permission from author only.

So, how was Internext 2002 for you? If you made it, you'll have gone away with the abiding impression that the adult web market is buoyant. The overall feeling I picked up on was one of enthusiasm for the future, with some exciting new products including broadband real time broadcasts which took up a huge chunk of screen and whose playback quality literally had to be seen to be believed. Of course, the big outfits had the big stands, as you'd expect. Cybererotica took up a big chunk of floor space with their squishy titties and t-shirts. As if we don't know who they are. They even made it in to Wired in February 2002, along with the information that they make several million dollars a month from the web. Well, that's news.

The mainstay of Internext, as usual, was the content provider. From the bigger outfits like with their classy stand down to the small mom and pop outfits operating with a couple of screens and some throw over rugs, content was there for the taking. There was just one problem with it. It was all depressingly similar.

We're in a business where tastes change and traffic can flow out just as quickly as it can flow in. Webmasters need to be on the ball 24/7, aware of shifting tastes just as they should be aware of shifting legal perspectives. So why were so many content providers offering such similar material? The answer lies in the way they source their images in the first place.

The best glamor photographers in the world don't shoot images for the Internet; they shoot for adult magazines. For the majority of these photographers, web sales to content companies or adult webmasters are a pain in the butt that just don't pay enough to make it worthwhile. That's why they either operate their own membership sites, or have one run for them. What they don't do is sell their best images for 25 cents. Not when Hustler will pay them $2000 for print.

So it follows that the images most webmasters can buy are shot by amateur photographers or snappers for whom the Internet is actually a viable source of income. The guys who can't sell to magazines, in other words. Which brings me to a question: why should you, the adult Webmaster, buy images that aren't good enough for the likes of Hustler or High Society? You shouldn't. You should have the choice.

Ever since digital cameras became cheap enough for all of us, the world has filled up with content providers. The back room boys who shoot their own stuff and believe that just because the girl's naked, it's good enough to sell. Wrong.

Good content images should be no different to magazine images. The only appreciable difference is in the resolution.

There still exists in the content market the notion that you can just toss a sheet up over a couch and get a naked girl to lie on it and bam, you've got high quality content. The truth is, adult websites need such a varied mix of material that the days of shooting your own content are long gone unless you happen to own a photographic studio with access to sets, props and glamorous locations.

A walk around Internext 2002 would have revealed one truth: most content providers are the same. They offer images so similar, that after one or two stands I had trouble remembering who was who.

But then I would say that, since I'm biased. I work for a content company who do things slightly differently. Cool Piranha Content didn't attend InterNext to sell content; we were there to observe. To check up on the competition and scope out who was who. And what we found-there were several of us there-was that there is certainly room for a new approach to content, and I think we've got it.

How do you think content providers get their material? For the most part, they approach photographers and buy up their back catalogues; the material the photographer has either sold around the world so it's dated, or wasn't good enough to sell in the first place. That's assuming the content company buys from an adult magazine photographer. If they don't, then they buy at bottom dollar from low rent photographers who can't make it in the magazine market.

Cool Piranha Content doesn't buy from photographers. We work with the photographer as an agent. That way we can be sure that we're getting up to date material (no 1980s hairstyles and shoulder pads) and that the photographers have a vested interest in giving us new content regularly. When we sell, they earn and the Webmaster gets brand new material that's never been seen on the web. Everybody wins.

And, because we're based in the UK, we can offer material that US Webmasters would otherwise not have access to. The photographers currently on our books sell their work to US magazines like High Society and Hustler, and UK magazines such as Club International, Mayfair, Men Only and Knave. The range of styles on offer is huge. We carry everything from traditional glamor sets of lingerie-clad girls to exotic location material, teens, shaving sets, pregnant girls and gonzo hardcore. With so many photographers on our books, we're always guaranteed fresh material.
So don't despair if you came away from Internext wondering if Eastern European girls were really the only new thing in content. They're not.

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