CYBERSPACE—Since entering the adult entertainment industry in 1989, porn star Sean Michaels has done it all as a performer and director. But this year he’s diversified even further.
Back in April, Michaels organized Sex & Sativa, a 4/20-friendly event in Las Vegas. Now he’s involved in something even bigger: a mobile app that gives models and performers another avenue to use in monetizing their interactions with fans.
Calling it “state of the art” and “an important, essential tool for one-on-one camming,” Michaels is working with his manager, Ron Hancock, to introduce the app—called SemienX PocketPPV—to industry folk.
PocketPPV allows fans to purchase tokens to use within the app for direct video chat with the performers they love. Michaels says he uses the app. “It works smoothly and fans seem to like the one-on-one interaction as well,” he said.
“As a 30-year entrepreneur in the adult industry—director, producer, performer—I felt the need and necessity for a better avenue to communicate with my important supporters, fans, etc., so I collaborated with my website designers,” Michaels explains.
He says the platform will be useful to many in the industry, including cam models, dancers, promoters marketing people, company sales managers and entrepreneurs.
“All can utilize our PPV3 app to enhance and grow their everyday businesses,” Michaels says. The one-on-one contact is what fans want, he says, because it creates a sense of intimacy.
Michaels will serve as the face of the company while Hancock works behind the scenes. Hancock shared some information about the company itself, which can be found online at SemienX.com, and talked about the app.
“It’s the one and only mobile smartphone way to connect to your fans and cam and get paid for it,” Hancock says. He asserts that because there are no sign-up fees or redirection to other sites, models and performers can webcam “anywhere at any place at any time.”
Hancock emphasizes the app is “not trying to take away from any cam site. … People are webcamming already. But this way the performer is not stuck in front of the computer. The thing is the mobility.”
Fans log into the site and pay for a token that can be used for a set amount of time—with the rates and times negotiated between the model and the fan. The fan purchases the token and makes the call using the app. Once all the time is spent, fans can no longer get access until after they purchase another token.
“It’s like Facetime,” Hancock says, “but they don’t have your phone number because they’re making contact through your app. And they can only get contact through the app if they have pre-paid.”
According to the site’s FAQ, PocketPPV is a peer-to-peer video conferencing app that allows users to accept paid calls from viewers and fans. All they need is a smartphone or computer and a major credit card. It’s differentiated from apps like Snapchat and WhatsApp because the video conferences are peer-to-peer. “Nothing is stored. The site is just used to process the payments and route the call,” he says.
The app can be useful to anyone who wants to monetize a personal brand. PocketPPV could help veteran performers who have a strong fan base but who do not cam. And it allows models who cam regularly to augment their income in creative ways. For instance, Hancock suggests, a model could “shoot the breeze for an hour” when they’re riding in a car or pursuing hobbies.
“It’s a no-brainer for our industry,” he says. But he also believes the technology has utility far beyond adult entertainers. Mainstream personalities—YouTube artists, reality TV stars, celebrity chefs, fashion designers—could also use the app to engage with the public.
Hancock says the site is up and running and he is focused on spreading the word. “It’s really easy to use and can be a big hit,” Hancock exclaims. “It costs the models and performers nothing up front. We make money off of a percentage of what you make, so it’s a win/win for everyone. … Just get on, do your thing—you make money, we make money.”