WARRENDALE, Pa. - Online retailer Adult DVD Empire has much to celebrate this year as it reaches its tenth anniversary. Since its launch in 1997, the company has risen to become the leader in its field, revolutionizing adult e-commerce and winning no less than four consecutive AVN Awards for Best Retail Website.
Founder and co-owner Jeff Rix began selling DVDs through the site with the very first adult release in the format, Vivid's Bobby Sox. "Within three short years, we were the largest Internet retailer of Adult DVDs, and had established ourselves as the online industry standard," Rix told AVN. "We achieved this by bringing the highest level of service, selection, technology, business ethics and porn expertise to the adult consumer."
Adult DVD Empire actively stocks an estimated 45,000 adult DVD titles from a wide selection of studios. The site expanded into video-on-demand several years ago, and currently offers over 20,000 VOD titles. The site also carries an extensive line of sex toys, and offers an online rental service that allows users to choose from a wide selection via subscription or a la carte selection. The same features are available through the company's gay offshoot, GayDVDEmpire.com.
"I believe our longevity can be attributed to the fact that we are constantly evolving--never resting on our past successes," said Director of Business Development Mike Barry. "We always try to push the boundaries when it applies to technology and e-commerce. We love what we do--it's not just a job for us, it's our passion to develop new ideas, launch them, and see the results of our efforts."
"I think they've changed the business completely," said Digital Playground's Samantha Lewis. "They've influenced a lot of other websites, even Amazon.com - they just know how to do it right. We do a tremendous amount of business with them. We laugh about it with Jeff Rix, because we were one of the few companies that returned his call the first week he was in business. We just knew that he was going down the right path."
"I've been working with Adult DVD Empire for 9 ½ of the ten years, and it's just absolutely great doing business with those guys," said Scott Taylor of New Sensations. "They always seem to be one step ahead of the pack, and they're the ones setting the trends for the other guys to follow. We've done lots of different programs with them; we've made specialty comps, special trailers for their site. It's a great way of gauging consumer interest."
David Joseph of Red Light District told AVN, "I do great business with Adult DVD Empire; they're a phenomenal company, and they're great people. I think they set the standard; you look at their websites, and you can see that other websites mimic them. I've dealt with Mike Barry now for 3 ½ - 4 years, and he's a very pleasant guy to deal with. They have supported us with Red Light District, all of our companies - Candy Shop, Amateur District, Platinum X - and every title that we have, they have taken them all. It means a lot."
"We test a lot of stuff with them, and we get great feedback," added Greg Alves of Zero Tolerance. "They do the right thing every day, and that's the kind of people you want to be in business with."
Vivid national sales manager Howard Levine echoed the sentiments of his industry colleagues.
"We've been doing business since Day One with DVD Empire," Levine noted. "We've always been one of their top vendors and continue to grow with them every year. They always do the right thing and have their hand on the pulse of cutting-edge technology. Jeff and Mike are two of the nicest guys to work with in this industry, and they've definitely become friends besides business acquaintances."
"From the start, Jeff Rix has always been about offering quality product," said Wicked Pictures head Steve Orenstein. "We hadn't put out our titles on DVD yet when he started. He would push us by saying, 'I know that if you put your stuff out on disc you will bring DVD to a whole other level.' They were never about pushing for a cheaper price. They have always said just keep giving us quality product to offer. Ten years later Mike Barry continues to support those values. They have always understood both their customer and our brand extremely well. As technology keeps changing with VOD, PPV, and downloadable product, I expect them to continue to offer the consumer what they want while keeping their integrity with the producers."
As for future plans, Rix told AVN he plans to stick to his winning formula.
"Our continued success has been attributed to running an honest business, cherishing our customer and studio relationships and always reinvesting our money back into the company," Rix said. "We're proud of the difference Adult DVD Empire has made in the industry, and look forward to many more years of continued success."
Pictured (l-r): Jeff Rix, Jon Michael D'Arcangelo (co-owners)