Content Junky: When You Gotta Get Your Fix

Tim Cooper leaves me a message that he’s going to have to postpone answering my questions. There’s a delay on information about exclusive deals with major cell phone companies in Asia and the Bounty Hunter program – backbone components of Content Junky, his multi-platform content delivery and licensing company. It’ll be worth it if we can be patient, he guarantees; he just wants to provide as much information as he can without giving away proprietary trade secrets.

That’s a pretty exciting introduction to a company that differentiates itself from other content providers by “actively brokering the content of the studios who signed up with us, not just to be used by webmasters, but also delivering multi-platform,” Cooper says. “Content Junky doesn’t produce its own content – we rely solely on the studios’ content.”

Cooper was born and raised in Southern California, “right in the porn capital of the world.

“I’m not a transplant. I’m just a kid from The Valley who’s going to make it big,” he grins.

His background consists of study and work in art design, marketing, advertising, logo design, corporate identity catered around advertising events, and methods of delivering high-impact television exposure. “I left working with the blue chip companies because I got tired and burned out on the blue chip bullshit,” he says. “When you show executives, top decision makers, CEOs, vice chairmen and their boards of directors a minimum of an 800 percent return on an investment and they don’t move on [it], it’s really a shock to your system. My best friend since first grade pulled me aside and said, ‘If you spent half the time working on your own company that you do on these blue chip companies, you would’ve been a multi-millionaire 10 years ago.’

“So I did.”

Like a lot of porn professionals, Cooper came from the mainstream and fell into making money with Adult product before taking it seriously. Almost on a lark, he placed a couple of Adult content items for sale on eBay, and they sold almost instantly. Then he did his research.

“I called the studios up, using the AVN resource guide and AVN magazine, to find out more about buying wholesale or studio direct. I spoke to just about everyone at that time.... and got the run-around and the ‘buy-in-bulk’ speech and ‘minimum-purchase-of- $2,000.’ In frustration, I took the 150 bucks I made from selling my used-up old porn, and [went] to Palmdale, Calif., to see some people who advertised in AVN called AA Video.

“This is where we [Cooper and Cecilia, his “partner in crime and associate”] met Beth Karas, who is my good friend now, and now works at Premiere Video Sales in Valencia.”

AA Video would deal in smaller numbers with Cooper, and he made his first wholesale purchase – using that $150 – and sold everything in one month on eBay, earning $500. Thus, “a new company was forged.

“We perpetuated this cycle for well over a year-and-a-half. We raised the total purchases from once a month to once a week [$3,000-4,000 of inventory] to flip on eBay.” Paypal/eBay rules forced a shutdown of Cooper’s accounts in 2002.

After several attempts, Cooper started up and its online store with leftover inventory from his eBay ventures. Karas told him about Juicy Video Distributors in Chatsworth, and another relationship was created.

“Everybody laughed when I told them [] was a DVD-only site. But I insisted that DVD was the future,” and he was right. With every transaction, Cooper learned a little bit more about the business. He names Alex Estrada as someone who patiently answered a “grueling amount of detailed questions” that Cooper considers his schooling.

Estrada asked Cooper to design a Web site for Exquisite Multimedia, which Estrada owned with Tony B. “I agreed [and created] was named the official online store for Exquisite Multimedia.” The site has been nominated for a 2005 Best Marketing – Website AVN Award.

It was in working with Exquisite Multimedia that Cooper had his first run-in with pirating. “I discovered that an outside company was licensing Exquisite’s DVD content without permission.... I became a [situational] private investigator and found other studios that were not receiving their licensing checks. I started to get calls and emails from several webmasters around the world on a regular basis, complaining that they were not receiving their licensed content in a timely manner – if at all.”

In October 2003, Cooper says, the seed was planted in his head: “Since I have relationships with the studios, why don’t I start licensing content for my friends who own the studios and represent the webmasters as well? This company I would form would be a global middle ground between the studios and webmasters, where they could get legal content and get it right away – at a fair price.”

Content Junky was launched in June 2004.

With a v2 in the works, Content Junky has been licensing full video and photo content on cell phones in Asia for six months now, using mobile 3G (third generation) technology. “We have an exclusive agreement with major telecommunication companies in Asia to be the exclusive supplier of Adult content,” Cooper says. “We are now moving to the platform of digital distribution known as DMB, Digital Multimedia Broadcasting, which delivers full and complete movie titles by satellite to any receiver, including cell phones, PDAs, automobiles, computers and homes. Content Junky also has exclusive distribution agreements with this new technology.”

The company has negotiated royalties for studios partnered with them. “Some cell phone video clips running between three and five minutes have earned as much as $100K per month in revenue.” Cooper notes that these are not garden-variety cels: These are $6-800 models that run on billion-dollar wireless networks.

The Bounty Hunter program is another Content Junky exclusive, and is set to launch in 2005. The program is designed “to effectively help curb the online piracy of our exclusive partners’ content,” Cooper informs. It allows Content Junky to monitor the Web for violators. “Those sites [using our exclusive content] that are not licensed through Content Junky will be served with cease-and-desist notices. If the notices are ignored, these webmasters should expect to defend themselves in court for Federal Copyright violations. Surfers and webmasters who report violations will receive a bounty in the form of free licensed content and/or money, upon successful resolution of the reported infringement.” This is similar to the reporting system used by ASACP.

Other services include converting content from three-quarter inch video, chromes and photos. They don’t run their own membership site. “Another thing that I think really separates us from the competition is that we have a personal relationship with not only each studio, but every client and webmaster who buys from us. A personal relationship that caters to our clients’ specific needs helps them run a more successful site.”

Also, “Having a content licensing source that is compliant on every piece of content is very important to Adult webmasters,” Cooper says. “They don’t want any grief from the Department of Justice, so we give them everything they need to be protected exactly as the studios are protected. It’s up to the webmasters to keep it maintained. When the content is purchased, model IDs and releases are included. In the event that [these] are lost, we will provide a back-up set at no charge.”

In the works is a full line of brand apparel, including T-shirts, hats, jackets, sweatshirts, key chains, mouse pads, “as well as some really nice women’s wear,” Cooper assures. This will feature the Content Junky logo, an illustration “based on a satyr’s face, which seems by definition very appropriate to the business,” he says. “The lettering of the logo is designed to look like a piece of armor or a shield. We’ll brand [these features] at every opportunity,” in the mode of the Nike “Swoosh” and the Playboy “Bunny.”

Cooper himself marvels, “What was once going to be trash and turned into a $150 investment has now become a multi-million dollar business. I’m very proud of what we’ve accomplished in such a short time.... but I’m really looking forward to the next five years. We are strategically positioned to represent every major studio now and in the future, maximize their investments in their films, bring them the most return on their investment, protect their content and bring first-rate content to webmasters, media syndicates, and cable television networks around the world.”