Scott Schalin, President of Python Video (www.pythonvideo.com), began his career in broadcasting as a production coordinator for the television show 21 Jump Street. Schalin later worked as a freelance writer and editor for SPIN, Billboard, Request, and Music Connection magazines, and became an editor of Hustler Magazine. While working at LFP, Inc., Schalin helped launch the trailblazing Barely Legal, among others, and was promoted to Executive Editor of Chic magazine.
These days, overseeing the content division for Python Video, Schalin makes use of all that editing expertise, as he continually practices his brand of product tailoring and vigilant management.
"We've re-vamped the entire division," he says, explaining the creation of "new strategic alliances with content companies" and "cutting-edge products.
"I enjoy creating new products and finding new marketing hooks in an industry where seemingly everything's been tried before. Creating content also allows me to figure out what trends Webmasters see that are hooking users, so I can taper my products to the development of high-converting sites."
In 1996, Schalin was recruited by Internet Entertainment Group (IEG) to help launch their flagship site Club Love. In June of that year, Schalin left IEG to become the creative director of the newly-formed IGallery. By 1997, he was COO, and eventually became president of the adult Webmaster marketing company. Schalin left in 2002 and launched Seven and Change Productions, a consulting firm.
A lot has changed since 1996.
"The market has become so glutted over the past couple years... when I first began working on the Net, there were only a handful of programs and products, so the sky was the limit. Now, there's a million copycat programs and products - creating new twists and attractive business models is much more challenging.
"As a consultant, it's my job to lead companies in new directions. I offer a new pair of eyes that spends time looking at what other people are doing and finding ways of doing it better."
Schalin believes a few basic things differentiate what he has to offer. "I have over 13 years of experience," he says. Also, working for Larry Flynt taught Schalin about packaging and branding adult material to the consumer in what is probably the best real-time classroom in the world.
"So, for better or worse, I think I have a better insight into what the whacker is looking for than most people in our industry. I don't think too many Webmasters care about relevance within their Website, what the user is actually looking to see - I try to change those perceptions."
Plus, having grown in tandem with the adult Web world, "I've seen the evolution, gone through the trials and tribulations, setbacks, advances our industry has experienced." He knows something about the long-term model for success.
Future plans for Schalin include "continuing to work with the best companies in our industry to help make them as much money as possible.
"My primary focus continues to be running Python." The company's come out with an array of new content and free upsell products. "'I Dream of Teeny'" was a great spoof of Bang Bus, with a midget dressed as genie. We had tremendous mainstream exposure on Springer and radio shows around the world, and that translated into tremendous revenues as Webmasters started promoting ['Teeny'] on their front ends." 'Drunk n Sluts' was also released "at the right time," concurrent with the appearance of all the other "drunken girls gone wild" content.
"New Python products will continue to push the envelope - creatively and technologically," Schalin predicts. "My goal is to create content that not only retains members, but increases conversion rates as well.
"It's my job to stay on the cutting edge and decipher what industry trends will hit before they actually do - be it with content or with new billing platforms. At IGallery, we were one of the first companies to really maximize dialer business effectively, and I hope to bring [that kind of] foresight to companies that work with me."
Schalin believes the short-term nature of adult Internet money-making has the most downside potential for the industry as a whole. "I'm talking about over-aggressive cross-sells, inferior content delivery, outright lies to consumers, over-reliance on spam marketing.... And newbies, rightfully so, are following the leaders and creating the same deceptive models which, in the long run, will probably drive casual viewers of Web porn away."
He notes that retention continues to plummet as chargebacks continue to climb. "Credit card companies are, obviously, growing even more skittish about this business, and we don't have a great alternative billing solution that can collect money as effectively as VISA or MasterCard."
Schalin's advice to newbies, then, is "Traffic is always going to be king, but content is a close second. You want to offer surfers unique content on the outside of your sites and then deliver those goods instantly" when s/he joins.
"With the Python products, we create unique marketing hooks (midget porn in 'I Dream of Teeny,' drunken sex shows in 'Drunk n Sluts'), constantly updated photo galleries in every conceivable theme, or multi-themed video modules to capture eyeballs for any niche.
"When it comes to users, there's an ass for every seat, and Python provides a theater's-worth of seats to make sure Webmasters capture every curious onlooker who surfs through."
Typical of his formula for success, Schalin invites Webmasters to check out the product at PythonVideo.com. Then he says, "If we don't have what you want, I'll make it for you."