Friday, June 03, 2005

June 04, 2005

Billing for Content in Europe:
Dramatically Increase Revenues from European Surfers

By Marc Jarrett
YNOT news December 9, 2004

Over the years, the US has given us Europeans some great things to do in our leisure time. Undoubtedly the best movies, arguably the best fast-food, and certainly the best internet porn!

But it never ceases to amaze me how US-centric our American friends are. Not only do they seem to assume that everybody outside of the US can read and understand English, they also assume that the preferred payment method worldwide is the credit card. This is not necessarily the case.

In Europe’s largest market Germany, for example, credit card penetration is still relatively low -- and those that do have them are often reluctant to use them online, particularly with overseas vendors. Their preferred method of payment is an "Ueberweisung" (wire transfer) directly into the vendor’s bank account.

Since May 1st of this year, the European Union consists of 25 member states -- that’s 454 million potential customers folks, versus 293m stateside. But unlike the States, Europe consists of a group of countries, each with its own technical standards, billing capabilities, and consumer preferences for paying for goods and services. If you are going to sell to them, it is important to understand the dynamics of each individual country.

And sell you should. Given the underlying nature of the product we sell, the world is our oyster. Let’s face it; a blowjob is a blowjob in any language, making online erotica the perfect global product. However, getting potential customers to part with their hard earned cash for your content is not easy -- no matter how compelling your content might be.

So "Rule Number One" is to translate your galleries and tours into other languages. Our online cousins, the casinos, understood this a long time ago and have long offered their product in multiple languages. And if you are tempted to use online translation tools such as "babel fish" to accomplish this, think again. "Pussy" will be translated into the native’s feline version, and is more likely to do your sales process more harm than good. Employ the services of someone native to the country you are targeting -- preferably a fetish pimp.

Second, if you are to take the targeting of any given country seriously, you should register a domain specifically for that market. Having the translated version embedded within your existing English site is not enough. Having a standalone site for each market will dramatically increase the chances of your site being found by prospective customers who are actively seeking out your kind of content. It goes without saying that you should then place that country’s flag on your main homepage so that foreign surfers who stumble upon your main site can click through and get sold to in their native tongue.

Thirdly, and most importantly, you must offer more than just credit card billing. Make it easy for the customer to pay you. Working with a billing partner that can accept German wire transfers is a good start. Chances are no one partner can meet all your needs for all of Europe, so you will need to work with multiple partners who specialize in specific markets.

In theory, dialers were going to be the ideal billing mechanism for the global market. The end user’s modem dials a local premium rate number for access to your wonderful content, and pays for this on a per-minute basis via their telephone bills. Unfortunately, countless fraudsters thought it was a wonderful billing instrument too, leaving users with horrendous telephone bills for content they might not even have received by being tricked into remaining connected for far longer than they originally intended To this end, the reputation of the dialer has irreversibly been tarnished, and is an instant turn-off to many European surfers. Also, more and more Europeans have "always on" DSL broadband internet connections, rendering the dialer obsolete anyway.

For this growing army of potential customers, you should consider offering LAN-call as a payment option. Here, the customer dials a premium rate (1-900) number on their regular phone and is issued a PIN # which they then enter into your website. They are then granted access to your content whilst the phone is connected -- once they hang up, access to the site is terminated. Broadband customers feel comfortable with this payment method since no potentially harmful software needs to be downloaded onto their computer.

Another interesting payment option you should consider is the text message or "premium SMS" option. Over one million SMS messages have been sent in Europe in the time it has taken you to read this far. Premium SMS is a relatively new billing tool and is quite expensive since the mobile phone operators still keep a disproportionate proportion of what the customer pays -- but at least this way you can make money from the foreign free tour takers who never converted before. But if the old pay-per-call (or audiotex) industry is anything to go by, the margins for the content providers will increase as the industry matures.

Which brings me on to my final but very crucial point. Europe is a continent of cell phone junkies. There are now more cell phones in the UK than there are people. It gets better. The cell phone operators in Europe are currently in the process of rolling out their "3G" networks, for which the networks paid billions when various governments auctioned off the necessary airwave frequencies to gain licenses back in 2000. Vodafone -- Europe’s largest network operator -- has invested over $23 billion in 3G alone, so there’s a heck of a lot of money at stake. 3G handset owners can watch video-clips with ease wherever they are. But nobody is sure where the market is headed or how the operators are going to recoup their enormous investment.

Well, I’ve got some excellent news for you. I know who is going to drive the market forward. You are! Do you know what the ‘G’ in 3G really stands for? Girls, Games, and Gambling, that’s what. And do you know the best part? The Network’s won’t push the content that makes money since selling hardcore pornography will not sit well with the shareholders. That’s where you and I come in. Because, one thing is for sure, the novelty of playing soccer and comedy clips from anywhere will soon wear off -- whereas the prospect of being able of watch beautiful cum-shots anytime and anyplace has an almost universal appeal.

"Find a need and fill it" is the quintessential law of capitalism. We both know the need is there. So fill it we must. Anyone who is in this business for the long haul must begin to "mobilize" his or her content. You can do this already by creating a WAP site, which you can then cross-promote on your website, or offline. And given the fact that Europeans are already used to paying for content such as ring tones and logos, for and by means of their cell phones, the conversions you experience will be correspondingly higher than that of your website.

I’m not going to pretend it’s going to be easy. It’s not. Going global seldom is. But if you want to capitalize on the opportunities afforded by the global village and new emerging technologies, you will need to take action now. So here’s your New Year’s Resolution. Start going global. It’s going to cost time. And time is money. But the seeds you sow now will yield a long and healthy harvest for years to come. Content is King. So you are too.

June 03, 2005

PLYMOUTH, UK - The Brit Mobile Solutions specialists txtNation are poised to become key players in emerging new billion dollar industry. It may come as no surprise that erotica already accounts for more than 40% of wireless data revenues – such services historically have driven initial growth in any new medium, and it would appear that mobile devices are establishing themselves as the VCR of the new millennium. End-users are actively seeking out and receiving services for their personal portable pleasure anytime, and more importantly, anyplace.

One company that are ideally positioned to capitalize on the expected boom in such services are, the adult division of holding company, who are based in the UK which is fast becoming the silicon valley of all things mobile. The company is currently experiencing exponential growth with over 4000 clients and growing fast by deploying a dual strategy of on-going development of complex mobile solutions together with global billing and offering these to AWM in an open architecture, non-exclusive, modular basis.

"Our rapid growth can be attributed to the fact that all our management team come from a mobile industry background and have collectively amassed extensive experience in this field", observes Marc Jarrett, adult business development manager. "This, together with the ongoing liberalization regarding the sale of mobile erotica in many of the key global markets reinforces our belief that we are in the right place, at the right time."

Amongst txtNation`s impressive portfolio of product are which allows surfers to pay for website access by SMS, the popular web-to-mobile tool that allows AWM to sell their content straight to cellphones, and allowing customer`s to capitalize on the phenomenal popularity of SMS chat.

Furthermore, the company is due to launch mPUSHlive next month, which will support live-streaming to mobile – widely considered by many industry observers to become the next killer app of wireless, which Larry Flynt recently described as "the wave of the future, the crown jewel in the electronic distribution and delivery of content".

"Anyone involved in Web Livecam operations should not miss out on this one" notes Jarrett. "Web-to-mobile can be seamlessly integrated into existing operations - a new client base and revenue-stream overnight. This is a premium service for which customers will be prepared to pay a premium price. What is more, cellphone owners are already used to paying for content like ringtones for, and by means of, their cellphones."

Worldwide, the cellphone "tuning" market is already estimated to be a $2bn industry in its own right, and Txtnation have an extensive library of mobile content that can be promoted both online and off.

The thorny issue of unauthorised access to adult mobile services by minors is one that txtNation takes very seriously, and currently rates content in line with UK regulations so as to help safeguard the longevity of this new sales channel. "We are working closely with carriers to help develop viable verification procedures", confirms Jarrett.

All of the services currently on offer work with all current 2.5G GPRS-enabled handsets and the end-user experience will only improve as 3G handset penetration continues to grow globally.

Developing state-of-the art mobile solutions remains central to txtNation`s growth strategy, as the recent launch of their product bears witness, allowing dating and community websites to go mobile and take the end-user experience to the next level.

"Playboy, Hustler, Ron Jeremy, Private – all these Brands are positioning themselves to take a piece of what promises to be a very big pie"’ concludes Jarrett "Our solutions allow both companies large and small to start making mobile money".

For more information, visit

About the holding company
Adultmobilesolutions is the adult division of which was formed in 2002 in order to capitalise on the opportunities afforded by the convergence of mobile, web and billing technologies.

Part of the DCS Group of companies, a public listed company with turnover in excess of $134m, the company`s mission statement is offer "fully customised mobile commerce solutions". The company have had a head start over the competition, borne out of the fact that they already have had extensive experience of delivering complex software solutions.

The company has interconnect and revenue-share agreements in place with all cellphone operators that support the Premium SMS billing mechanism and offers 24/7 customer support for both customers and end-users.


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