This is the headline splattered across the cover of this month’s XBIZ world magazine. Only problem is, when you allow investors to come in and take control of 70% of the company it isn’t really YOUR company anymore. Suddenly it is their world and you just live in it. This is a lesson that industry veteran Briana Banks and up and coming hottie Alexis Texas learned the hard way.
The girls had the right idea. They wanted to venture out on their own, make their own line of movies, control the type of content that went into their website but in the end, all of those great ideas cost money and if you don’t have the money yourself you need to get it from somewhere. These girls found their investors from outside of the industry. These mainstream men prior to this venture claimed to have no involvement whatsoever in the porno business. But now with the swipe of a pen and the handing over of a check they had control of two very popular porn stars, their name, their likeness, their trademarks, their websites.
Having no experience in the business they were bound to make a few mistakes and that included little things like overpaying for web hosting and bandwidth, paying a full time web designer to be on staff at a rate of $4,000 a month despite the fact that he seemed to have no experience with these type of site designs or even the basic knowledge of search engines. These aren’t that big of a deal though. These are all little mistakes that in time they could have easily corrected in time. But some of the biggies really cost the company a lot. At start the one person who had industry experience got them using NATs as an affiliate software if for no other reason than it was trusted by many adult webmasters and trust is important when dealing with a company you don’t really know.
The investors however didn’t like having to spend money and paid a high priced programmer who did not have adult industry experience, to develop his own affiliate program.
Keep in mind this is the same programmer they paid to develop an in house CMS that cost them tens of thousands of dollars – depending on which account you read anywhere from $40,000 to $80,000 in cost of payroll alone for the programmer. Problem is the CMS wasn’t up to par with industry standards and wasn’t fully compatible with the affiliate software and as a result you had traffic leaks, which in essence would potentially screw some of their affiliates out of potential earnings.
When asked why they felt the need to re-invent the wheel, why not just go with a CMS like Elevated X who has a $500 setup, $150 a month option that several large industry sites use, even Club Jenna and was fully compatible with NATs, no response was given.
But I’m getting sidetracked. The point I was trying to make was that an outsider is bound to make some mistakes and those mistakes can often times be costly. But something still isn’t sitting right with me about this whole story.
The people in question have already invested the money to develop the websites, make at least one movie, the Briana Banks movie called Lustrous. This movie has been available on DVD and VOD for several months. However rumor has it the investors dropped the ball with editing in a big way. Critics are saying it could have been a great movie but the suck ass editing ruined any chance of that.
The investors paid for the girls to attend to adult conventions. These investors also paid for a large scale advertising campaign this month with XBIZ for their affiliate program.
In all things were starting to look better. The company was up to nearly 100 affiliates, sales were up for the websites over 130% from the previous 30 days and then just a week after launching the website for Alexis Texas, the investors come in and close things down.
They canceled all memberships to the website, crediting back anyone who was charged in the last 30 days for a membership. They cut off the websites all together and emails all their affiliates, telling them to remove their links. They also issued a press release how they have closed.
I don’t know about you but if I spend all of that money, would you want to try and at least recoup some of it? Why not keep your invention of closing secret a few more days, maybe a week max and try and find a buyer? Although Alexis Texas is still rather new to the business, Briana Banks is one of the most popular porn stars out there and has been for years. Her name alone is worth something. Why not try and make a quick sale?
Why would you get rid of all your members and affiliates, devaluing your product in a major way like that?
What kind of dumb ass investor is this? No man with that kind of money is that stupid. Clearly there is more to this story. It almost sounds like a personal attack on one of the girls. An act of revenge. Like maybe Briana Banks wouldn’t cough up some pussy or something.
What kind of dumb ass would piss off that kind of investment? Who would go out of their way to devalue their company / investment before even attempting to find a buyer?
The economy sucks right now. Nobody has that kind of money to just throw around like that and not worry about ever recovering. Clearly there is something else going on here and I only hope Briana Banks and Alexis Texas have great lawyers.