In just five years, Ft. Lauderdale-based Cyber Entertainment Network (CEN), publisher of adult Web sites and E-zines, and developer of proliferous Web master programs, has built itself into a major player on the adult Internet.
This is no easy achievement. In an industry where one can easily drown in an ocean of confusing technological language, not to mention a perpetual temptation to play fast and loose with the rules, CEN has shrewdly grounded their success and future security on an old fashioned work ethic: consistency. "We pay weekly," says proud co-owner JoeE (with John Bennett) of the estimated $2,000,000 paid out per month to their client base of some 31,000 Web masters. "You have a regular job with us. You don't wait a month or two weeks. You get your check, it leaves here every Saturday and everybody gets their check on Tuesday."
CEN has never been a major creator of content, preferring instead to develop close relationships with some of the best content providers in the world, including Puritan Publishing, Bizarre Video, Suze Randall, Odyssey Group Video, and many others. "We have an exclusive agreement from Private Media to distribute their content in the USA," says JoeE. "We're the only company in the United States that is licensed to distribute their content."
Not to say that CEN has no original content: the company recently built a new still photography studio in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, the purpose of which is to showcase the work of top adult photographers. "We'll be offering the archives of Hank Londoner, Jay Stephen Hicks and some of the best photographers in the world," adds JoeE. "Nobody else has Hank Londoner, who is probably the most famous Penthouse photographer there is, with seventeen covers and I think twenty-five or twenty-two centerfolds."
Perhaps the single most impressive achievement of CEN is their sophisticated Web master programming, which earned them an AVN Adult Internet Award nomination for Best Marketing by a Company. There is Traffic Cash III, which has diverse payment methods, like Pay per Click, which pays 20 cents for every valid unique visitor; Pay per Sign Up, which pays $35 for every valid credit card subscription; or the "Whale Program," which pays $40 per membership subscription. The program also has "all new stats and redundant architecture to increase our sign-ups by about 2 percent to the Web Masters," according to JoeE. "We have E-mail Bucks, with eight to twelve different option lists which pay up to a dollar an E-mail. We have Join Bucks, which pays just by the sign-up, at $35 dollars a sign-up. We have Raw Cash, which pays twelve cents a raw click. CENNiche is an affiliate program for Web masters where they can send their traffic to niche/fetish sites. We have Fetish Machine, which is a line of videos and magazines that is sponsored by Pirate. Then we have CEN Free Hosting, which is completely free hosting. We also have Free Dot Com, where we actually give them their own URL. We give them a dot com name for free."
But no matter how many programs a company offers, its success will ultimately hinge on how it follows through on its promises. CEN's track record is sterling in that regard, even during recent problems with their hosting company, UUNET [see Bits & Bytes - Ed.]. "The first week that UUNET turned us off we lost over a million dollars in cash," says JoeE. "Then they put us back on. Now the second time they turned us off we've lost even more than a million dollars. The Web masters said they didn't have stats, so what we've done at CEN is take the average of their last checks and add ten percent to it, and we keep on paying them whether they're sending traffic or not. I'm paying them even though I'm not getting paid."
Further evidence of CEN's reputation for meticulous customer service can be gleaned from this board posting by Internet host Tony Morgan: "I was talking to Margie in their [CEN's] office about something and I happened to mention that my check was five dollars off for some reason. I wasn't asking for the five damn dollars, I just made an offhand remark. Within an hour Jay (John Bennett) had contacted me and told me they were tracking down the problem. I tried to tell him it wasn't a problem and not to worry about it. He got three other employees involved in finding out where my friggin' five dollars were... I do not send CEN very much traffic. I sure as hell ain't on their "A" list, but any sponsor who worries about five dollars will damn sure take care of you. By the way, I have learned that you can set your watch by when their check comes in. My missing five dollars came today. These are class people."