This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of AVN magazine. Click here to see a digital edition of the magazine. Pictured: Greg Clayman; photo courtesy Flirt4Free.
On June 4, 1996, the first iteration of what’s today known as Flirt4Free was launched in a small, nondescript commercial office building located in a suburb just south of Boston, Massachusetts. According to Flirt4Free President/CEO Gregory Clayman, “The company was founded by a small group of entrepreneurs with diverse backgrounds ranging from technology to insurance and financial sales. The initial group shared a common vision that still exists today, which was to create and operate the best live adult video chat platform possible, while maintaining a focus on quality and business ethics. From ’96 to ’98 the company grew to approximately 15 employees that worked 24/7 in its attempt to achieve this goal. By 1998, we began to gain a foothold in the marketplace and decided that if we wanted to continue to grow, prosper and build key relationships, we needed to head out west.”
The decision to evolve the business even while it was already doing well and pursue new advantages from any distance are hallmarks of the Flirt4Free brand’s success, according to Clayman, and can be traced back to the decision to move west long before many people even knew the internet existed.
“In late ’98 we landed in sunny Southern California and chose Westlake Village for the home of our new headquarters,” Clayman continued. “Within two years we were already outgrowing our office space at that time and knew once again it was time to relocate to a larger facility that would accommodate our growth and new goals. Our next move was just a few miles east to the Calabasas Technology Center, where we stayed for over a decade and began to lay down our roots as a company that was here to stay. It was in Calabasas where we really began to build and solidify relationships with companies and individuals—from across the San Fernando Valley, and around the globe. We will forever be grateful to all the individuals, affiliates, broadcasters, studios, etc., whom we currently work with or had the pleasure of working with over the past 20 years, as there’s no doubt that without them and their support, Flirt4Free would not be what it is today.”
Bringing the history up to day, Clayman said, “In 2014 it was time for another move, and this time we knew we needed to relocate to a facility that was not only commensurate with our existing goals and staff, but more importantly with our future goals and growth plans. In June of 2014, we landed in Westlake Village, California, which is currently the global headquarters of VS Media, Inc., the parent company of Flirt4Free.com.”
Looking at the Flirt4Free of today, Clayman points out the modern brand “is the result of 20 years of design re-engineering, relationship building, staying true to our core competency, lots of hard work and planning. In addition, we’ve always placed a strong emphasis on listening to the needs and wants of our customers, affiliates and broadcasters in an attempt to accommodate and implement procedures and features to meet their needs and goals as well as ours. VS Media, Inc., the corporation behind Flirt4Free, now has a staff of approximately 80 full-time employees and growing, while everyone still shares the original goal and vision of creating and maintaining the best live adult video chat experience possible while focusing on doing the right thing and being ethical as we believe there are no shortcuts to success.”
The resulting success of this undertaking is obvious to everyone. “Flirt4Free has entertained millions of customers throughout the years and maintains independent relationships with thousands of affiliates and broadcasters from around the world,” Clayman said with pride. “To date we’ve paid out in excess of $100 million in commissions to affiliates and broadcasters, including studios as well as training centers. Given that Flirt4Free was an industry pioneer, and is now an industry leader, we have helped to foster a community environment whereas everyone from the corporate headquarters to the affiliates, studios, broadcasters and training centers feel connected to something special. That’s why, for most, working with Flirt4Free is more than just a job; it’s a way of life.”
So, what can everyone learn from one of the most venerable brands that the online adult industry has ever produced? “There are so many lessons we’ve learned from both our successes and failures over the years,” answered Clayman. “From those lessons we have created a checklist of sorts that helps guide our brands and will hopefully be helpful to others who aspire to do even better.”
Stay true to our core competency.
• Do the right thing and be ethical.
• Foster and cherish relationships with those who share similar goals and values.
• Don’t plan on luck, as luck and opportunity come from hard work.
• Plan the best you can for the future but stay flexible for the unexpected.
• Get out and see people. Nothing is better than face-to-face interaction.
• Don’t be afraid to try new things and implement new ideas.
• Slow and steady wins the race.
Staying true to those values is a major reason why the future of Flirt4Free now looks as bright and prosperous as the company’s lengthy and successful past. “We plan on continuing to expand our corporate infrastructure as we take Flirt4Free to the next level,” Clayman said excitedly. “Keep your eyes out for many new and exciting features as we continue to implement the multitude of plans we have in the works. However, at this juncture, while celebrating our second decade in adult online, it’s most important that we take the time to thank all those who’ve helped and supported Flirt4Free throughout the past 20 years. Your support keeps us motivated and challenges us, day in and day out, to continue providing the best live video chat platform possible.”