LOS ANGELES—In a move designed to meet the needs of its customer base, the MetArt Network has announced that it will now accept bitcoins as an alternative payment option for all of its sites. MetArt, which is the first adult network to offer the digital currency as a method of payment, is also offering 50 percent off the normal subscription price as incentive to users to try bitcoin payments right away.
"Bitcoins are a high demand option for both consumers and affiliates," said Jill Taylor, Vice President of Marketing for the MetArt Network. "We are able to accept bitcoin payments and track and pay affiliates for these sales. It opens up a new world of consumers for our affiliates and partners to tap into and allows our customers an additional payment option that many feel more comfortable utilizing than their debit or credit cards."
In an official announcement made Thursday, MetArt characterized bitcoin as the hottest topic in digital currency at the moment, with both internet surfers and online service and product providers becoming increasingly intrigued with its potential purchasing power. Benefits to accepting payments via bitcoins, the company added, include the fact that subscribers can join privately using their email address, no financial information is required and there is no risk of identity theft. Customers also can pay with bitcoins without worrying about rebills, and there is no restriction by country—bitcoins can be used globally.
MeArt also said it was already receiving abundant positive feedback from adult consumers, affiliates and partners.
"As an affiliate, I love the idea of the MetArt Network accepting bitcoins from customers," said an anonymous MetArtMoney affiliate. "Everyone talks about tube sites and file sharing, and there is no doubt that those things have hurt our industry. But I personally think credit card bangers and shady join forms have hurt it more. Allowing surfers to pay in bitcoin removes the very real fear that their $5 trial is going to end up costing them $500. They also don't have to worry about getting stuck in a difficult-to-cancel rebill scenario. They just pay and enjoy their membership. I think all that will result in increased conversions. Up until now, outside of disposable, pre-paid cards, there have not been payment options that allay their concerns."
Petra from FreeOnes stated, "We're looking forward to being able to offer our traffic the option to pay in bitcoins because we know that anonymity is important."
Acknowledging that there is much controversy over bitcoin value and the future of bitcoin regulation, MetArt noted that bitcoins are a means of currency accepted by a growing population of online shoppers.
A hot thread on Reddit all but confirms the high demand of bitcoins as a payment option, with posters stating, "Never had a subscription for this before, will try now..." and, "Woah, that's actually pretty surprising and cool."
AVN spoke with Taylor about the decision to add bitcoins.
How is it going so far?
“Bitcoin sales have been significant,” she said. “We started with an option to purchase on our metartnetwork.com site to test the waters. We did a few social campaigns and quickly learned that the option to subscribe to our sites via bitcoin was in high demand and extended it as an option on for affiliate sales and direct sales on all of our sites.
Are you thinking of using other alternative payment methods as well?
“No, not at this time”
Will not having the ability for recurring payments would be a problem for the company?
“Absolutely not,” replied Taytlor. “If it becomes an option in the future with bitcoins that will be great, but non-recurring subscriptions is actually a benefit from the consumer standpoint. They can use bitcoin without worrying about future rebills or unwanted charges. Our products sell themselves and our customers choose to remain long term customers. Bitcoins users can easily purchase a new monthly subscription after their initial subscription ends or they can choose a one year or lifetime subscription as well.”
How has the response been from affiliates regarding this new feature?
“There is a great deal of excitement,” she said. “Affiliate feedback has been nothing but positive. Our affiliates and partners see this as a trending new way to increase sales and recognize that bitcoin payments offer them new sales opportunities. While we accept the payment via bitcoin, we pay our affiliates in US dollars—our affiliates and partners do nothing but benefit from this added payment option.”
Do you see a significant future for bitcoins in the adult industry?
“What we see is a current need for bitcoin acceptance in our industry and a demand for it across many internet based product and entertainment venues,” replied Taylor. “The future of bitcoins is yet to be determined, but the fact is that at this moment, they hold value and the owners of bitcoins are most certainly consumers who wish to spend them on the products they desire.”
Regarding age verification and anonymity issues related to bitcoins, Taylor added, “We strictly adhere to policy and believe that adult content is meant for adults only. The fact that bitcoins offer anonymity for customers is a huge reason for their appeal. We are aware of this and we require all bitcoin customers to verify they are of legal age in the same manner that they must do so for credit card, debit card or check purchases. Anyone who does not verify they are over the age of 18 is directed away from the site.”
MetArt affiliates and partners can contact [email protected] with any questions or requests for additional information.