Heavy Hitters Address Internext Crowd

LAS VEGAS - Panelists for "The Future of the Business" during Monday's seminars at Internext Las Vegas couldn't stress enough that all sectors of the adult industry need to do some serious analyzing if they want to continue.

"If you want to be left by the side of the road, then just keep doing what you're doing," said Tony Morgan, CEO of National Net.

His fellow panelists - Tim Valenti, CEO and co-founder of NakedSword; Steve "Lightspeed" Jones of Lightspeed Media; Steve Orenstein, founder of Wicked Pictures; and David Joseph, the president of Red Light District - touched on a number of subjects throughout the hour, including producing a quality product at a quality price, how to survive the current economic situation and working together to defeat common enemies.

With the economy struggling, all panelists expressed surprise that more companies were not out of the adult business. Each predicted that future headlines regarding the business will be for companies exiting adult or consolidating with one another.

But it's not just the economy that will force change, they agreed. As the industry moves forward, particularly the online segment, existing business models will change. Morgan noted that several years ago he predicted that the affiliate model as it is would change, and Lightspeed pointed out that specific types of programs are surviving.

"Just look at the sponsors these days," he said. "Dating and chat sites are doing very well."

But rather than encourage everyone to give up hope, several panelists offered some survival tips and advice.

Orenstein stressed that companies - no matter what area of the adult industry they are involved in - will make it through if they produce a quality product, while others suggested looking at cutting expenses where possible, maintaining control of the product they produce and maintaining control of how that product is delivered. Valenti also said there were some positive aspects to having to evaluate the way you do business.

"I think this is the best time in the world that you can look at how to grow your business," he said. "Usually we are so busy with all the other things that we never have time to sit and examine things."

Now, he said, business owners can slow down and look at what they currently offer and decide what direction they want to move in the future.

The panelists also agreed that now might be the time for companies that have traditionally been competitors to look at ways to work together on things like changing the current Digital Media Copyright Act or learning how to protect content.

Internext Las Vegas continues through Wednesday at the Palms Casino and Resort.