CHATSWORTH, Calif. - Effective immediately, adult video distributor Pure Play Media is selling direct-to-retail only.
"We will no longer offer our product to wholesalers or third-party distributors in the U.S.," Pure Play CEO Richard Arnold told AVN. “We've been selling direct to retailers in Canada and other territories for years. We feel it's in our best interest and the best interest of the retailers to do business this way."
Cutting out the middleman is a radical move for Pure Play - according to Arnold, wholesalers accounted for 51 percent of the company's domestic business. But given the economy, the glut of product, and the industry-wide downturn in DVD sales, Pure Play hopes that dealing directly with retail and online stores will boost efficiency and profits.
“This isn't about the wholesalers doing a bad job,” Arnold said. “We just feel we can do a little better because of our product knowledge and our ability to provide incentives to the retailers. It’s a reaction to the business climate; it's not done with malice, and it's not a knee-jerk thing.”
Pure Play represents some of the biggest brands in the adult video market: Private, Seymore Butts, Homegrown Video, Naughty America, and The Score Group. The company's roster also includes Swank Digital, Silver Sinema, Hundies, Suze Randall, Cousin Stevie, Asia Bootleg, Pink Moon Digital, Liquid London, Suite 703, Pink Lotus, and Hellhouse Media.
"One of the core strengths of Pure Play is our variety of product lines," Arnold said. "We've been very selective with the studios we've signed up, and we've tried to structure our catalog so that the different lines are noncompeting. The idea is to offer more to the retailer; it shouldn’t be all about price.”
A breakdown of the Pure Play portfolio shows how the company has smartly covered a diverse selection of genres, with an emphasis on quality over quantity.
Pure Play has the leading Euro line in Private, a cornerstone of the catalog that put Arnold on the map as a U.S. distribution 9 years ago. Score is the biggest of the big-boob brands. Homegrown is the original amateur label with a huge library spanning 25 years. Hundies and Naughty America are two of the top Internet-based brands on the market. And for gonzo, Pure Play's got one of the true masters in Seymore Butts.
Silver Sinema, the DVD production arm of online affiliate program Silvercash, produces hi-def content; the label recently issued its first Blu-ray disc through Pure Play. This year, Pure Play added a big-budget feature line (Pink Lotus) and a fetish studio (Hellhouse.)
Pure Play now handles 40 to 45 new releases per month -- "a fair amount, but not so many that we don't know what we're selling," Arnold said. In the future, the company is looking to add urban and gay lines to its release slate.
Pure Play has been preparing for the direct-to-retail ( “D2R”) move for well over a year. The company expanded its operations in 2008, hiring additional sales reps and moving into larger offices and warehouse facilities in the U.S. and Canada to accommodate inventory.
“We’ve invested a fair amount of money to make this happen,” Arnold said. “We’ve upgraded our server to handle more accounts, and we’re trying to use a lot of technology to do things better for retail customers. The old method was flawed, because a wholesaler that carries 1,000 titles a month can’t stock our entire product line; it was a cumbersome system for stores to re-order our titles. Now, we’re carrying the inventory, which speeds up the process.”
Pure Play and its affiliated studios will support retailers with POP displays and other promo materials. In the past, Arnold said, wholesalers were not always willing to pay shipping costs for such items. Selling D2R will allow Pure Play to control its prices, ensuring that all retailers get the same fair deal.
Pure Play is launching the new D2R business model this month with a special promotion offering retailers the chance to win a Chevy Malibu Hybrid.
The contest is open to all stores ordering from Pure Play this month. The winner will be chosen by random drawing and announced the first week in September.
For more information on the contest and to view Pure Play's catalog online, visit www.PurePlayMedia.com.