Making Social Networks Work

Making Social Networks Work
By Jett Lynn

from xbiz:
The advent of social networks can be a pain in the financial ass, but there are ways for marketers to use them to their advantage.

MySpace’s audience grew 24 percent between September 2006 and September 2007, according to Nielsen Online. The top contender in the online social-networking niche now enjoys 58.6 million unique visitors monthly.

As impressive as 24 percent growth may be, it doesn’t come close to the 252 percent experienced during the same period by relative newcomer Buzznet or the 183 percent gained by Club Penguin, both of which nearly broke the 4-million-unique-visitors monthly mark in September.

The upward trend in social network popularity shows no signs of slowing. Even AOL, which hasn’t managed to do much right since the early days of the web, maintains some pretty impressive numbers for its Hometown and People Connection networks.

With its reputation for pushing the technology envelope and exploiting social phenomena, it’s no surprise the adult industry latched onto the social-networking movement as quickly as it could. By the fall of 2007, there were several well-known websites attempting to do for porn what YouTube and MySpace did for (or depending on one’s viewpoint, to) the mainstream. Predictably, the sites became almost overnight sensations, with the most popular, YouPorn, growing its reported 15-million-member audience at a rate of 37.5 percent monthly and outranking CNN, About and on Alexa, according to the November issue of Portfolio magazine. On Nov. 1, YouPorn’s rank was 45.

Sadly, the owners of YouPorn are notoriously reclusive and did not return XBIZ’s requests for comment. Perhaps there’s a good reason the owners of sites like YouPorn don’t do a lot of talking to reporters. Attorney Robert Apgood thinks he knows what it is: Social-networking sites of all kinds face mounting criticism and legal action not only from copyright holders whose property is under attack, but also from consumers who’ve experienced identity theft and privacy invasion in which social networks have played a role.

Copyright infringement on sites like YouTube and MySpace is legendary. It is equally problematic for their adult brethren. Although most have learned to respond to Digital Millennium Copyright Act notices and promptly remove offending content, none yet has found a way to discourage users from posting it in the first place. Worse, “fair use” has become an incredibly nebulous phrase in the digital age, when any piece of copyrighted material may be incorporated in whole or in part into another work simply by employing a few quick keystrokes.

“Lawsuits may force the courts to define clear meets and bounds,” Apgood said, “[Fair use] is kind of a moving target right now, but I think [a court-rendered definition] is an inevitability.”

Although identity theft and privacy invasion may not receive as much press as copyright infringement, they actually may be bigger issues, Apgood said. Federal and state laws prohibit identity theft, but typically they are employed only in financial situations. Potentially of more concern to most social-networking site users, however, may be the kind that amounts to little more than a charade: one person knowing enough about another to impersonate him or her online, sometimes with truly awful consequences. In a milieu in which content of all kinds takes on a life of its own as it’s linked to, shared, quoted and repurposed almost endlessly (not to mention cached by well-intentioned search engines and stored by commercial data repositories), even unintentionally incorrect information and regrettable private photos can haunt job applicants, political aspirants, spouses, community leaders, credit seekers and others seemingly forever.

When someone intentionally assumes the identity of another, posts injurious material in that person’s name, and then sits back to watch what happens, the results can be much like the digital equivalent of arson.

“[Social-networking sites] allow anybody to sign up and pretend to be anyone else,” Apgood said, partially because in general terms the less social-networking site owners know about their users, the better.

Malicious impersonation opens the poster to a lawsuit if the injured party can determine the poster’s identity, Apgood said, “but the site owner also could be liable. They’re safer if they do absolutely nothing about content unless they receive a DMCA notice.”

In either case, site owners are on the firmest legal ground if they make no money from their efforts. Apgood pointed out that Google no longer posts advertising on its image-search-results pages, partially as a result of copyright-infringement lawsuits filed against the search giant by Perfect 10 Publisher Norman Zada. The suits were unsuccessful in forcing Google to stop indexing copyrighted images on the web, but the company no longer derives revenue directly from that effort. That, Apgood said, should be a wake-up call for adult social-networking sites, the majority of which support themselves at least in part by selling advertising on their pages. There is a successful legal firestorm lurking in that business model, Apgood said, because the sites essentially are deriving income from stolen content even if they remove it immediately upon request.

Legal headaches aside, social-networking sites can be a boon for marketers who know how to use them. People who see social networking and user-submitted-content sites as nothing more than thieves’ paradises “are clueless,” according to Oprano owner and self-described “consultant at large” Jim “GonZo” McAnally. McAnally, who counts PornoTube and Xpeeps parent company AEBN among his clients, said adult social-networking sites provide a wealth of opportunities to upsell free-content consumers. In the case of PornoTube and Xpeeps, “we created the traffic others were unwilling to sell us, so the true value lies in the upsell to [AEBN’s video-on-demand] theaters,” he said. “VOD is a dependable, recurring revenue stream.

“It pays to look at [posting content to social-networking sites] like the free samples they give out in the mall: If your product is good, people eventually will buy,” he said. “It’s the cost of doing business, but in a different way.”

The PornoTube model is one way of generating revenue from what otherwise could be a money pit: direct users to your own revenue-generating content by teasing them with free snippets. XTube Director of Sales and Marketing Lance Cassidy said there are other ways to earn a living in the social-networking wilds. XTube is Toronto-based Webnovas Technologies Inc.’s only product, so the developers had to come up with some creative ways to make money.

“It was a struggle [to survive and grow] in the beginning, because the website was completely free,” Cassidy said of the product launched in mid-March 2006. However, at press time XTube was operating well in the black with a staff of 13 people and plans to expand to 20 or more by year’s end. Cassidy said XTube has 3.58 million registered members and receives more than 4 million unique visitors daily. That’s not too bad for a site that bought 5,000 clicks at launch and hasn’t spent a dime on direct marketing since.

From the very beginning it sold advertising space, but over time that stream became little more than a drop in the bucket. Within the past year the company has joined a number of affiliate programs from which it makes a decent income. It also added its own branded-merchandise store, and that adds a few more shekels to the coffers. Cassidy said two soon-to-be-released sections of XTube — XTube TV and live, interactive video chat — are expected to be moneymakers as well.

According to Cassidy, the lion’s share of XTube’s income comes from its VOD theaters, where users can pay to watch movies by the minute or the day. However, that income source rapidly is being overtaken by another: selling members’ amateur content and splitting the revenues with the creators.

“VOD movies earn more right now because there are more of them,” Cassidy said. “Amateur videos compose a tiny fraction of the number of VODs — about 1,500 amateur videos to 8,000 VODs — so there’s more revenue from VOD currently. But apples to apples, amateur completely blows away VOD.”

Cassidy also said members of XTube are using the site to promote their own content.

“We enable anyone who is a legal producer or owner of content to use XTube to promote their own products,” he said, adding that many studios and paysite owners post teasers with links back to their revenue generators. There’s a catch for affiliates, though: “The affiliate’s sponsor must approve [of posting copyrighted content on XTube],” he said. Some affiliate programs, like SilverCash, allow their affiliates to post promotional content with embedded affiliate codes. Others, like Traffic Cash Gold, do not.

Of course, user-submitted sites are not the only social networks that can be exploited by smart marketers. In fact, AdultWhosWho — a sort of combination MySpace and LinkedIn for adult — has proven popular and profitable for its developer and its users, according to founder Derek Meklir.

“We have more than 4,000 registered users from the adult industry, with another 6,000 or so constantly perusing the site every month,” Meklir said. “The extremely important aspect of those numbers is that they’re all business professionals in the adult industry.”

Although it’s not a direct revenue generator for its members, AdultWhosWho affects their bottom lines by saving them time: It allows them to connect with one another in a variety of ways, setup meetings at future events, disseminate information about their businesses, and finalize deals, Meklir said.

“AdultWhosWho enables people not only to meet new people in the industry, but also to market themselves to the whole industry. Through blogs on the site and [AdultWhosWho-sponsored] private and public events at shows, anyone can market their company to the whole industry.

“The site also enables people to decide on which shows they are going to attend during the year by seeing who else is going to those shows. After the shows are over, it also allows people to reconnect to associates they met at a show so they can proceed with finalizing deals.”

He cited an example: “At the recent show in Florida, I had a lady come up to me and tell me she had set up 22 meetings for that weekend directly through AdultWhosWho. I have also had people who weren’t able to attend shows for a while tell me the only reason people still remember they’re in the industry is because AdultWhosWho kept them alive.”

In the final analysis, Meklir said he’s a believer in the power of social networking — despite its drawbacks — for a very simple reason: “Social-networking community sites allow a person to connect with like-minded individuals from around the world for work or pleasure, and that would be impossible otherwise.”

Making the Sale

from xbiz:
By Stephen Yagielowicz

I’ve seen a lot of comments on the boards of late, concerning the growing difficulties in making sales – difficulties driven by a number of factors, including one that doesn’t get an awful lot of recognition: an operator’s understanding of basic marketing concepts such as AIDA, as well as the psychology surrounding these concepts.

AIDA, an acronym within marketing circles for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action, is used to describe the four common steps within the consumer’s purchasing decision cycle; and is a concept that I saw vividly demonstrated in a porn purchase I made a while ago, when I saw an adult magazine on a newsstand – and I just had to have it.

No common occurrence, it may have been well over a decade since the last time I bought a men’s magazine; and while I purchase many periodicals, in today’s digital age, I don’t seek out print publications for my porn fix. Indeed, with the exception of the occasional pay-per-view cable television episode of Naked News, I don’t tend to purchase any type of adult entertainment, given the volume of it available for free online and the size of my own personal collection of homemade erotica; featuring myself and my favorite model.

But as this story illustrates, it’s not that I’m unwilling to pay for porn, it’s just that so few producers, publishers or website owners do a good-enough job of selling their wares that I’m willing to pay for them: And I’m not alone, as the current market conditions confirm.

There wasn’t simply one key to making this sale; but several “button-pushing” emotional elements combined, that made me pull out my wallet and step up to the counter. A closer look at these elements may help unlock some of the secrets to reaching prospects today – turning curiosity-seekers into customers and making profits in a challenging marketplace:

The magazine’s title, “Naughty Neighbors” (a part of the SCORE Group), caught my attention first. I’m an amateur fan from way back, preferring the natural beauty of the girl next door to the artifices of a goddess that spent three hours having her makeup done and another few hours having her picture ‘Photoshopped’ to achieve an illusion of perfection.

The “naughty” part of the title is self-explanatory: it’s naughty. “Neighbors” makes me think that I just might see “the little teaser from next door” inside this magazine – which got me interested. The subtitle, “The original amateur magazine,” conveyed a feeling of trust that this publication had been around for awhile; that its content would be adequate; and that it might feature the reader-submitted photos and “real” amateur models I like.

Another thing that caught my attention was the magazine’s plastic wrapper: since it was a “see through” wrapper that didn’t hide the cover’s imagery, it wasn’t necessarily there to keep adult material away from children: but it did keep me from seeing the actual content – which added to the mystery and made me curious as to what was inside…

Website owners take note: rather than giving away too much for free, these folks gave almost nothing away and still made a sale. Had I been able to look through the magazine, my curiosity would have been satisfied, and I would have left the magazine on the rack.

Right away, the marketers had created desire within me: a feeling which increased as I held the magazine in my hand and noticed that it was the only copy left on the newsstand. This led to my feeling that Naughty Neighbors must be a popular choice; the exclusivity of this last remaining issue providing the impetus for me to make an immediate purchase; since if I didn’t get it now, it may not be available later.

The design of the cover art further heightened my desire: 14 thumbnail images plus two larger photos showed the variety of featured models; with extreme softcore teaser shots depicting these wholesome girl-next-door types looking directly (and invitingly) at me.

The sparing use of text (all of which is bright, bold and graphical) provided purchase “hooks” – text like “super-sized edition!” and “23 first-timers!” reassured me that there was ample content and variety to satisfy my needs – and to justify the price – all of which served to fuel my desire and decide to take action.

It’s in taking action that most sales break down. In my example, many potential sales are undoubtedly lost simply because the customer doesn’t want to face the embarrassment of bumping into a friend, family member or co-worker while buying a porn rag at the local convenience store. In the online arena, although ’embarrassment’ is eliminated due to the transaction usually taking place in the privacy of the customer’s home, everything from insufficiently varied payment options to language difficulties, server errors and more, can impact whether or not the prospect takes action – and whether or not it will be successful.

At this point, I’m really interested in seeing how a real amateur paysite, designed with all of these hot-button factors in mind, would perform. For example, using a one-page tour, styled with the same type of layout and attention to detail as a magazine cover and giving very little away, might prove quite profitable in comparison to other approaches.

A Step Further
Beyond this, I want to take things a bit further and discuss satisfaction: while older school marketers such as I, may be more familiar with AIDA; today, AIDAS is more common, as it incorporates an emphasis on customer Satisfaction that was missing in AIDA.

For adult website operators, customer satisfaction is not only about the site’s ability to retain members and enjoy re-bills; but about keeping the sales they’ve already made – since an unsatisfied customer can do a chargeback, making your sales efforts for naught.

To sum it up, sales can still be made even to those folks that wouldn’t normally be buyers if you can hit these prospect’s hot-buttons: attracting their attention, piquing their interest, developing a feeling of desire and then spurring them to take action. The power is yours – especially if you can satisfy your new customers in the process.

Making it big in the porn production business

Making it Big
(article from Xbiz)
By Acme Andersson

So you’ve made a great adult movie and you’re ready to watch the big bucks roll in. After all, doesn’t porn just sell itself?

Of course, it’s not that simple. Competition is fierce. Shelf space is tight and it’s easy to get lost among the thousands of new releases that are produced every year. That’s where a savvy marketing plan comes in. In an age where the budget on an adult title can go into the hundreds of thousands, marketing may be every bit as important as the quality of the actual product — or even more important.

Just what can an adult publicist do to make sure the big-budget movie actually becomes a blockbuster? It comes down to a great product backed up by a long-range marketing plan. And a little luck doesn’t hurt.

While it’s the end user who ultimately makes the purchase from the retailer, the distributor and retailer must buy into the hype before the title makes it that far. A movie actually is sold three times before the consumer plunks down his or her cash: the concept is sold to the producer, the DVD is sold to the distributor, and the distributor then must sell it to the retailer.

“If you can hit a chord with the buyer on the other end of the phone that he’s heard of it or he thinks he’s heard of it or it sounds familiar, he’s more likely to take multiple copies than pass,” said Jeff Mullen, president of All Media Play and X-Play.

Joy King, vice president of special projects at Wicked Pictures, agreed that targeting the distribution chain is an important part of the process.

“Part of the big push to get to the retailers to get to the consumers is to get the distributors excited about it,” King said. “To get them excited about it you need to have a product that really sells. It’s going to sell if it gets a good review and on top of that if it has something different, unique and interesting about the packaging that sets it apart from other products on the shelves.”

Wicked puts a lot of thought into packaging. For example, the recently released “The Craving” included a booklet and a bookmark, because it’s based on “Grimm’s Fairy Tales.”

“We do things that are very connected to the product and that make it stand apart from other products,” King said. “When the consumer picks it up they may not even necessarily know the cool things they’re going to get inside the package, but when they get it home they’re going to feel the experience of the entire project firsthand.”

While some of these major productions may take a long time to shoot, the marketing and promotion is in place from the beginning. While the occasional lucky fluke might push a title over the top, more often the plan is in place before the first scenes are shot.

“You need to have the patience and the confidence to do it,” Brian Gross, president and owner of BSG Public Relations, said. “You have to take the time. ‘Pirates’ is still selling because it took time to come together, it took time to create, it took time to market and promote. You don’t do something like that overnight.

King agreed that marketing is a substantially important part of planning for a major movie.

“I don’t think you can create a blockbuster without conceptualizing what your marketing strategy is going to be from the very beginning,” she said.

Last year All Media Play did the marketing for SexZ Pictures’ breakout hit “Corruption” and this fall Mullen has been riding a wave of mainstream publicity for X-Play/Hustler Video’s “Not the Bradys XXX.”

For the latter, the excitable publicist’s movie had the good fortune to come out at the same time as reports surfaced that “The Brady Bunch” stars Maureen McCormick and Eve Plumb, better known as Marcia and Jan Brady, had a lesbian affair while working on the show.

While McCormick does have a book coming out next year, her publisher denied there would be any Sapphic bombshells. Either way, it gave the X-Play title more mainstream attention than Mullen could have dreamed of.

“Great timing is part of my genius,” Mullen said.

“Marketing comes down to reaching the audience,” he continued. “Our attack is based on what the project looks like and what it needs and each attack is slightly different. In the end we’re still all trying to reach the end consumer. You do that either by reaching the buyers or by actually reaching the end consumers themselves.

“In the case of the Bradys, we’re doing both right now. We’re reaching the buyer via TV and radio, and we’re reaching the person that makes the choices on the store shelves, and that helps influence the buyer.”

Gross boasts a client list that includes Adam & Eve Pictures, which along with Digital Playground co-produced “Pirates,” the most successful release in the past two years. Gross said the goal is always to reach as large an audience as humanly possible.

“There are a lot of people out there who have an interest in pornography but don’t read porn magazines,” Gross said. “When it’s fed to them through other avenues, there’s interest. Part of creating the blockbuster is doing something that can lend itself to getting the type of attention we’re looking for.”

Today, the Internet plays a bigger role than ever in marketing, especially in the formats that are driven by the mainstream like YouTube and MySpace. Wicked now makes a point of creating soft trailers for new releases that can run on sites that don’t otherwise allow adult fare. King said the number of views some of them received has impressed the company. At press time, an “Operation: Desert Stormy” trailer on YouTube had more than 115,000 views.

“I think the web has a lot to do with it, the use of YouTube and MySpace certainly have a significant role,” Gross said. “We create special trailers that are super soft that we can put on those sites to create interest in the project.”

King said that mainstream coverage is always part of the strategy for a release. The Wicked contract performer system comes in handy, since the company can dispatch stars like Stormy Daniels and Jessica Drake for promotional purposes.

“We have the girls out on the road doing radio shows when they’re doing store signings,” King said. “We’ve launched huge store signing campaigns for our three big movies this year, and literally these girls are going all over the world promoting these movies. This is a global effort, it’s not just something here in the U.S. where we’re sending a girl to a store and hoping they promote it. They’re promoting it on their dance gigs, when they go to towns to do these dance gigs, they’re doing radio; it’s definitely part of the big picture.”

There is an exception to every rule. Evil Angel does very little in the way of promoting individual titles, instead opting for on ongoing campaign promoting the EA brand.

Still, when the company put out the half-million dollar production “Fashionistas,” certainly they had a more wide-ranging marketing plan, right?

“We didn’t do a lot different,” Evil Angel publicist Tricia Devereaux said. “We made posters; we had Belladonna signing at stores, which was really above and beyond what we do for a normal release. We did a few more radio interviews than we normally do. That’s about it.”

Devereaux said that they were confident that if John Stagliano shot arguably the best movie he had ever made, with its all-star cast, that it would outsell everything else in the company’s catalog. And it worked: A title that was forecast as a loss leader has gone on to turn a profit as big as its budget, spawned a Vegas show and still sells briskly.

“We tend to be a lot more about brand name and consistency,” Devereaux said, “so we tend to market the company more. Our company has always been more about word of mouth. Because our content is a little bit harder, we know that our demographic isn’t going to be the person who watches only one movie a year. We think that the people who identify with our product are the people who are used to watching porn a little bit more.”

There is one thing that the marketing gurus could all agree on: The most important part of creating a blockbuster is producing a superior product.

“Knowing you have good product is the key,” Mullen said. “People can make shit product all they want; this world is full of shit product both in mainstream and in porn, but when you have something that’s good it makes it a lot easier to market.”

Publicists are quick to concede that media — both adult and mainstream — just like distributors and buyers, will tire quickly if every movie is pitched as the greatest movie ever.

“There’s so much competition out there that you have to take advantage of every possible opportunity imaginable,” Gross said. “You’re working against all of the odds anyway. I believe there are two secrets: make a really great movie and follow through. That’s it. And you need a little bit of luck in everything in life, too.”

Mullen, who is one of the industry’s most relentless promoters, knows that part of his job is simply to get the conversation started.

“We just try to talk about it with everybody. If we don’t talk about it, who’s going to start the discussion?” Mullen said. “People get sick of us, but nobody had a better year than we had last year.”

FTC Fine against adult friend finder makes some porn pop ups illegal

Details are sketchy as of this writing, but from this article at Tech Crunch it seems that the FTC has fined Adult Friend Finder for some of the pop up ads that have been served around sites that are coming up for some vanilla search terms. We are unsure at this time as to

Details are sketchy as of this writing, but from this article at Tech Crunch it seems that the FTC has fined Adult Friend Finder for some of the pop up ads that have been served around sites that are coming up for some vanilla search terms. We are unsure at this time as to whether or not these ads are being served by affiliates alone or if adult friend finder was itself going for some of the non adult keyword searches.

adult friend finder menage

A chunk of the article from tech crunch:

Adult dating site AdultFriendFinder, rumored to have been acquired in November for $1 billion is on the wrong side of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with a settlement that restricts AdultFriendFinder’s promotional activities.

The FTC said in a statement that AdultFriendFinder affiliates used pop-up ads to drive traffic to the site, and exposed consumers, including children to sexual explicit images when search for terms including “flowers,” “travel,” and “vacations.” More seriously the FTC alleged that the ads were also distributed with spyware and adware.

The FTC found that “the practice of displaying graphic pop-up ads without consumer consent was unfair, and violated the FTC Act;” essentially saying that porn pop-ups are illegal.

AdultFriendFinder agreed to a settlement with the FTC which sees the company admitting no guilt in return for not displaying sexually explicit ads to consumers unless they’re looking for that sort of content (or are already on an adult site) and to cease using pop-ups. AdultFriendFinder must also force affiliates to comply with the settlement or terminate them should they not comply… more of the article and comments / discussion at Tech Crunch here.

Another big question in our mind is how in the hell is adult friend finder going to go through the tons of affiliates and the insane amount of incoming traffic to determine if people are using nude ads served for the millions of generic search terms that are out there. More to come with this story I’m sure.

Nectar Offers Hard and Soft Options for Covers

Nectar Offers Hard and Soft Options for Covers
From AVN
By: Thomas J. Stanton

Nectar Entertainment has announced that every title released through their Nectar and 1st Strike lines will include a reversible hard and soft cover.

While Nectar continues to ship their latest titles with the soft version of their foil cover on display, their DVD jewel cases have been including reversible covers that offer both a soft and hard version for nearly a year now.

“In terms of both material costs and labor, reversible covers present the most efficient solution offering retailers display options,” says Sean Logan, CEO of Nectar Entertainment.

“It’s much easier for the retailers, many of whom have some stores where they prefer to display the hard cover and other stores where they prefer to display the soft cover. “

Retailers who prefer the hard version can easily reverse the jewel case insert to display the more graphic version. “The hard versions of our covers tend to be extremely graphic,” notes Logan. “Our hard covers are more than hard enough to attract even your most perverted customers.”

Both the soft and hard versions of Nectar’s covers utilize the same hard back cover.

The Personal Collection Introduces Customer-Designed Print Products to Webmasters

By: Jonah P. Davies
from AVN

The Personal Collection, a Northern California company specializing in customized consumer product development, is introducing its latest line of “personalized products” to the adult entertainment industry via the Internet.

The company’s Web-driven system allows customers to create print products such as “fanbooks” and calendars, using the content provider’s current library. The customer chooses the models and adds personal touches, such as his or her name and other designs.

The Personal Collection is investigating partnerships with adult content providers both big and small. Launch partners have all layout fees waived, and pay zero setup costs. “It could not be easier for the customer or you, the content partner,” says the company’s business development spokesman Daniel Mills. “You already have the content and the fans. Why not offer more ways to increase revenue without spending more money?”

Because of the latest print-on-demand technology, order volume is not an issue. Even relatively low-traffic websites can offer customer-designed products showcasing the websites’ content, thereby increasing revenue.

“Personal Collection acts as a bridge between the two current forms of adult content delivery: printed materials and online streams.” says Ciprian Dosofti, chief executive officer of Evoleto LLC, a cutting-edge European Web development company. “The audience is not only familiar to both technologies, but shows a huge collective interest, which is growing every day. Personal Collection just fills the gap between.”

“The Personal Collection knows that as popular and accepted as the Internet is, there will always be intrinsic value in printed products,” Mills adds. “We allow the adult content provider to easily leverage the latest print-on-demand technology to make their current and future content more valuable to your customers. It’s that simple.”

Playboy to Test Viral Impact of MySpace

By Matt O’Conner
From XBiz

Playboy has published plenty of pictorials using the “Women of” theme, from the Women of Wal-Mart to the Girls of Reality TV, but the Women of MySpace pictorial, which debuts today as centerpiece of the June issue, might change the way the company markets itself online.

“This is a unique pictorial for Playboy because of the popularity of Playboy as social network,” Playboy Vice President of Public Relations Jay Jay Nesheim told XBIZ. “These girls have so many friends in their own networks, so it will be interesting to see how the viral nature of MySpace will affect the sales of this particular issue of the magazine.”

The pictorial features nine women selected from an online casting call. More than 600 women from around the country answered Playboy’s invitation earlier this year to pose for the issue.

Nesheim said the theme will extend to a multi-tiered project that includes a larger feature on with unpublished photos and video as well as the planned release of a DVD.

If the company sees a real impact on sales thanks to the viral aspect of MySpace, you might be seeing a whole lot more of the Playboy bunnies on the social networking site in the future.

Women featured in Playboy’s Women of MySpace pictorial include Jessica Difeo, Huntington Beach, Calif.; Heather Lutz, Reading, Pa.; Carrie Vaughn Huntington Beach; Brittany Fuchs, Annandale, Va.; Jeska Vardinski, Fullerton, Calif.; Chantal Alexandria, Los Angeles; Betty Lipstick, San Francisco; Ana Georgian, Chicago, Ill.; and Heather Lynn, Davenport, Iowa.

Babeland Launches Sex Toy Design Contest

Babeland Launches Sex Toy Design Contest
By Steve Javors

From XBiz:

LOS ANGELES — Babeland, a sexuality boutique owned by women, has launched a sex toy design contest called “Project Sex Toy.” customers will judge contest finalists online beginning in June of 2006, and all entrants will retain ownership of their designs.

The first place winner will receive $250 cash, a $250 gift certificate to Babeland and a package of sex toys. Prizes also will be awarded for second and third place winners.

“This contest will be fun as well as productive. We are definitely looking for the next great sex toy,” explained Babeland co-founder Rachel Venning. “All entries will be judged on viability, originality of design, functionality and safety, aesthetics and the ability of the toy to advance the cause of human sexuality.”

All designs must be received by May 26, 2006 and both two-dimensional and three-dimensional entries will be accepted. Final judging will be conducted on July 11, 2006, in Babeland’s Los Angeles store.

“I am so excited that the Los Angeles store has been chosen as the site of the final judging,” said L.A. store manager Kristina Garcai. “I know we are going to get some phenomenal entries and having a talented panel of judges reviewing them is going to be fantastic.”

Babeland was co-founded in 1993 by Venning and Claire Cavanah to be a woman-friendly destination for adult-oriented products, beginning with its first Seattle location. The company started a mail-order operation in 1995 and expanded into New York and, later, Los Angeles.

Babeland has received numerous honors in its thirteen years of business, including a Zagat Survey Awards for “Top Service” in New York City in 2003 and 2006. The store was voted “Best Place to Buy Sex Toys” by The Village Voice, New York Magazine, New York Press, Miami New Times, Seattle’s The Stranger, and The Seattle Weekly.

Vivid to offer movies to burn onto discs

Vivid to offer movies to burn onto discs

From Reuters

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Adult entertainment giant Vivid Entertainment Group said on Wednesday it will start next month selling downloadable movies that viewers can burn to DVD and watch on their TVs.

Vivid said it will start selling burnable movies May 8 through online movie service CinemaNow, an Internet provider of on-demand movies, which had previously agreed to distribute Vivid films.

Earlier this month, CinemaNow and another online movie service, Movielink, said they will begin selling major films such as “Memoirs of a Geisha” on the same day DVDs are sold at stores in a watershed event for Hollywood in the digital age.

Movielink said it signed download-to-own deals with six major studios, and CinemaNow unveiled similar pacts with two big players as well as independent LionsGate Entertainment Corp., the studio behind this year’s Oscar winner “Crash.”

Both sites allow consumers to copy digital movies for backup use. Those copies will be software protected so they can not be burned onto DVD discs and replayed on DVD players.

Vivid’s move to enable viewers to burn the films onto a DVD for about $19.95 apiece and then be able to watch them on the TV marks a first for Hollywood.

“With this, we’re giving users the ability to download and burn a movie. And not just a movie, but all the things that come along with a standard DVD, like menus, graphics, art,” said Bill Asher, co-chief executive officer and co-owner of Vivid.

Video Secrets Partners with Liberator.

Video Secrets Partners with Liberator.
By: Todd Lewis
(From AVN)

CALABASAS, Calif. – As the result of a new partnership, products manufactured by Liberator Bedroom Adventure Gear will be featured on Video Secrets’ flagship video chat website, Flirt4Free.

Liberator’s furnishings come in many shapes, sizes, and colors, and are labeled with names like “The Fascinator” and “The Ramp.”

“Liberator brings excitement and offers a new interactive element to the live shows,” says Video Secrets’ owner, Gregory Clayman. “This will, in turn, generate more VIP upgrades, and the number of one-on-one chat sessions will rise. The combination increases webmaster revenue on two fronts.”

VS Cash affiliates earn 50-percent recurring revenues on every VIP membership, and affiliates can earn additional revenues of up to 35 percent on private sessions.

According to Michelene M. Wasil, publicist for Liberator Bedroom Adventure Gear, “We’re very excited about this partnership. It’s an honor to be associated with a company like Video Secrets, who has achieved a reputation of excellence and longevity in the marketplace.”

Video secrets / flirt for free

Liberator wedges, ramps, esse and more for sale.