The people behind PK 62, one of Europe's largest producers of erotica, are aware that people's tastes tend to change like the weather, especially amid a climate as diverse as the 15 member nations that make up the European Union.
With over 150 employees, PK 62 has established a stable European footprint, with subscribers in Germany, Austria, France, Norway, Russia, Slovakia, Poland, Hungary and within its base in the Czech Republic.
According to PK 62 sales director Petr Jahoda, the company is the world's top producer of erotic MMS pictures (content transmitted over DSL cellular phones) and among the first to supply adult video content to mobile phone suppliers. Some of the Websites that fall under the varied PK 62 umbrella include XXXstreams.com, PussyHarem.com, EuroHotGirls.com, Nichedom.com, and MuffWeb.com.
"Images are the industry's past, pre-recorded videos are its present, and live streams are becoming its future," Jahoda says.
Behind the scenes, PK 62 uses a mix of Intel Pentium III and AMD Athlon mainframe computers, most of them running on various versions of Linux RedHat. Dozens of Webcams, mostly Sony EVI-D31s or SSC-DC30Ps, capture footage for live feeds. When it comes to digital video, PK 62 favors the Panasonic NV-DA1EG camcorder.
"I started programming when I was seven. I used some ancient languages such as BASIC or PASCAL on my old 8-bit Sinclair ZX Spectrum computer. Later, I moved to other languages, such as Microsoft's version of VisualBasic," Jahoda says.
The first site Jahoda developed was his personal Website, created with an eye towards promoting his services among job headhunters. He later graduated to a beginners' HTML handbook; Jahoda says he learned how to use most of the tags overnight.
The accounting major received his formal education in Prague, specializing in corporate finance. "Now, due to my sales director job tasks, I don't have much time to do programming," he says.
To mitigate some of the waiting that Internet surfers often endure during content downloads and to manage their content better, the PK 62 support crew developed a proprietary publishing system called UniWEB. The protocol was designed to maintain image integrity regardless of whether a dial-up or broadband connection is used. "We developed UniWEB because there wasn't anything comparable to it on the market and we found that customers lacking the latest equipment were willing to endure longer downloads in order to receive higher image quality," says Jahoda. Plans are already in the works to convert all of the PK 62 sites onto UniWEB.
In addition to its Internet presence, the privately held company publishes more than 30 European magazine titles. Among them: Leo, the Czech Republic's most widely-circulated general softcore magazine; France's Debauches and Poland's Extasy, both specializing in general soft- and hardcore content; Hungary's Ext�zis, featuring more edgy content; and Russia's Strip, a premium softcore brand heavily marketed to the upper classes.
PK 62 started in 1990 when its founder published the first legal East European adult magazine. In 12 years of continuous expansion, the company has grown into a major player in Central and East European adult entertainment.
And while the imposition of the European Union's single currency system was widely expected to wreak havoc on the economical and financial lives of its citizens. "The reality is that the currency conversion seems to have had little effect on the revenues of the European adult Internet industry," Jahoda says. "On the contrary, it may have streamlined business transactions across borders since it makes it easier for us to publish both printed magazines and Websites in different E.U. countries at the same time."
A "team" attitude with a shrewd awareness of the diverse E.U. audiences has fueled PK 62's ascent. "We compete head-to-head with other key online adult companies, that is an everyday motivation itself. Plus, we have a great support team," says Jahoda.