AVS Systems - Is The Proverbial Sky Falling?
With the announcement yesterday from several of the large AVS systems, Free Age Card, Sex Key and, Gay Passport (also speculation on and off the forums state that Mass Pass were aware of this happening) that they will no longer allow webmasters to use the terms; AVS, Adult Verification Service, AGE Verification Service and, Access to thousands of other sites what does this hold in store long term for AVS webmasters?
Quite simply, it looks at first glance as if these changes have something to do with the speculation surrounding VISA and AVS systems from a few months ago.
In fact, these changes have been on the horizon for some time now however, until yesterday webmasters seemed to be unsure as to what, if anything will be changing. Even though the speculation has been circulating for some time, one of the first AVS systems to envoke these new rules, Sex key, came out with the following statement; 'While we knew changes were coming, we just now found out what we believe are the new requirements. With this new information, we are trying to comply as quickly as humanly possible.' quickly followed by; 'We felt it was better to give people a chance to modify their sites this weekend rather than to not be in compliance Monday.'- Craig Tant.
One thing is certain, come Monday, there WILL be a lot of unhappy webmasters
So apart from the added workload for webmasters what other issues is this likely to bring up in the immediate future, well, again, based on the rumours and, i should stress that is all they are up to this point in time, from a few months ago we could expect one or more of the following items to happen to the AVS model as we know it.
1) Visa starts to charge the AVS companies the $750 fee just to process memberships.
2) Visa starts to charge individual webmasters the $750 fee to use an AVS service.
3) AVS Systems cease to exist.
So, lets break each of the above items down and see how it will have a long term effect on both AVS webmasters and, the adult industry as a whole.
AVS Companies Charged $750 Visa Fee's.
In itself this isnt a big issue that we should be immediately worried about, afterall the AVS company will be the one footing this bill and, with the amount of traffic and sales that these programs get $750 is a relatively small pebble at the foot of a mountain. That said however, some of the smaller AVS systems might end up having to close because they cant afford the fees in much the same way that some Amateur paysite owners had to close their aff programs.
Webmasters Charged $750 Visa Fee's.
This is the option that i am most concerned with, afterall, with thousands of AVS sites being built each day and being submitted to literally hundreds of AVS companies the potential cost of this could run into thousands for individual webmasters.
Of course, with this expense there also comes some benefits. The immediate benefit that comes to mind is that a lot of the dishonest webmasters will refuse to or, be unable to pay this fee that in itself will lighten the strain for the rest of the industry.
There is also the possibility that webmaster may need to pay this fee for each and every AVS that they submit to which, in itself will not only harm the individual webmasters but, it will also see the rise and, dare i say it, fall of some of the smaller or less profitable (from a webmasters point of view) AVS companies. No doubt if this did ever happen the likes of Cyberage, UGAS, Global Male Pass et al will be unaffected as, they have enough of a webmaster following and traffic base to ride this potential storm out.
AVS Systems Cease To Exist.
This is potentially the worst case scenario and, whilst i will be the first to admit that this is VERY unlikely to happen, the possibilitie needs to be looked at.
What happens to all of your sites you have in the AVS systems? What happens to all of your potential rebills? What happens to all of that AVS traffic?
Well i would say for the most part, changing your sites from AVS to the free model wont be such a big deal for webmasters however, the finacial losses to individual webmasters and companies could run into hundreds of thousands a month. With these financial losses will more webmasters leave the industry or, will more of the AVS webmasters start running TGP's and dilute the traffic quality even further?
Speaking of traffic, we all know by now that AVS traffic is qualified potent traffic but, what will happen when this traffic, should the AVS be closed down, hit the adult web again? Quite simply long term the effects of such a force could have positive and negative effects ranging from paysite memberships sales rising to the onslaught and proliferation of free porn being searched for again - good news for TGP owners.
As you can see from the above, all of the speculation, rumours and, facts speak for themselves in so much as, if you are an AVS webmaster, you NEED to start diversifying your business model to ensure that even if the worst doesnt happen, you are still able to be profitable online.
Article written by Lee.