Webmaster Central is a broadband content provider with a pinpoint focus: "To have the most complete broadband niche package available," explains Andy Alvarez, vice president of marketing at Entertek, Inc.
Advertising itself as "your one-stop shop for recorded feeds" has a historical precedent. "As MegaHardCore, we started back in 1996," Alvarez says. "We were the first real big content providers at the first IA2000.
"We focused on content in the beginning - we tried to put out the best package. We were the first to have 1,000 feeds for $1,000.... Then we lost focus, we got off track. We got into pay sites, and into a click-through program, mailing programs, because [back then] anything you did made money."
Now, however, the strategy is one of concentration, not expansion.
"About six months ago," Alvarez says, "we saw that once again there was a [hole in] content. Everyone was looking for it, people were begging for the real niches that are selling so well right now: transvestite, pregnant, all the fetish stuff; the really niche gay that no one does.
"We're looking at niches [within niches], like 'Latin Transvestite.' Just to focus on content at Webmaster Central."
The success of honing in on a single objective speaks for itself. "It's been incredible," Alvarez says. "In our first two months open, we had 350 of the biggest Webmasters using us already.
"What we're doing now - we saw that there was a big problem with the little Webmasters; the guys who can only afford $99 a month. When they need content, there's nobody out there who has it, and if they did have it, they never updated it."
Alvarez updates frequently, knowing that the resulting higher consumer retention rates will keep Webmasters coming back. "They grow from a $99 Webmaster to a $1,999 Webmaster, three to six months down the road - they can now afford it, thanks to [a low start-out rate]. We're the only people out there who are offering broadband packages for $99.
"We'd like, ideally, to be the content provider that every small Webmaster has to begin at. As they grow, we grow with them, and help them find other content out there if we can't supply it. We'll get them in touch with people who can," he continues.
"We also want to be known as a site that the larger Webmasters can come to and bulk up their paysites. When a Webmaster gets to 50-60 Websites, even though they can afford everything, they start seeing that they're spread too thin. They have to aggressively hawk content, and that's what we do for them."
Alvarez feels strongly that the money is all in niche. "Now everyone has niche. I mean, I have people contacting me about balloon content. 'Where can I get a balloon broadband feed?' I'm like, 'Wow.' It keeps us on our toes. I'm always on the phones with the big distributors, trying to find content or having them create it for us."
Webmaster Central has several potential growth options, one utilizing pay-per-view. "Usually a lot of these are full-length movies with an upsale option.
"Now a lot of Webmasters don't want to see an upsale," Alvarez notes. "We're staying away from that right now. We may offer it as an option down the road, but we don't want to take members away from clients. And that's really what upsales do. Like when you go to somebody's member section, and it'll have a movie going, and maybe a button up top that says 'Click here for more.' When you 'Click here,' you're taking [the surfer] off the site."
Tracking down unique content and exploiting unused distribution avenues has served Webmaster Central's intense focus.
"We go after video distributors who are lesser-known - people who do a lot more amateur stuff. All of them are very niched. One specializes just in fetish, one in gay... we go after the boutique-style distributor."
This has made all the difference, according to Alvarez. "I mean the really hard-to-find, impossible-to-find stuff. Some of that stuff, in broadband, is nonexistent. We have seven [feeds] right now that no one has."
Webmaster Central is scrupulous about abiding by the law, even when dealing within "extreme" niches; "You have to [be able to] trust your video distributors. I trust them, and my guys have a good eye for if there's something wrong. We get model releases with all our content."
Alvarez is a believer in getting the word out. "We do a lot of advertising." Print, trade - "We get banners on the boards everywhere we can," he says.
"We're going to be adding up to 60 different categories of niche content, and it's possible we're going to get even more niche than we are now." Plus, Webmasters can tailor their own packages. "We can do custom quotes. For instance, if somebody's just starting out, and they want a $199 package; they're running a little tight, and they want to maximize their content - we'll give them a two-for-one. Just to get them started, you know? We know that means better retention for them, and they're going to come back and pay their bill every month because we're going to make them more money."