In this chapter, we go deep on all of the numbers of camming.
Including: Supply & Demand Principles. Key Metrics On Cam. The Big Picture.
One of the operational strengths that Pandora has brought to the cam world is our ability to aggregate data from all of our performers, learn things from it, and then teach that to performers. Being a part of Pandora Modeling means that you’re actively learning from the best cam models in the world, because they work for us, and we’re learning from them, and explain the insights we glean in real-time to the rest of our models.
More and more, we’re pushing this knowledge out publicly so that the whole industry can improve.
In this chapter, we’re going to give everyone a glimpse into the numbers that we see, and how we assess and understand the marketplace of camming.
The economics of cam modeling have always been completely obscured from performers at anything higher than the individual level. Every cam site considers their sales data extremely proprietary trade secrets and refuses to disclose it publicly. So, if you’re a top model on any site, you know what you make, and you can figure what a few of the people right above and below you make.
Can you use that data to know that you’re in the optimum arrangement? Can you really? What if you learned that the top models from another site, all ranked the same level as you, working as hard as you, all things equal, were earning twice as much as you and the other models at similar ranks on your site? What if you learned that 4 years into your cam career? That would sort of suck wouldn’t it?
We think that situation is utter and complete bullshit.
We don’t want to do business with sites that make it hard for us to understand why it would be in our best interest to do business with them. We don’t want to do business with sites that are unwilling to make a real, public case for why they ought to be our counter-party of choice.
We don’t want to do business with sites that would prefer performers remain ignorant of the types of facts that are pertinent to our work.
Come on, we’re all adults, if performers are expected to put themselves out there for the business to work, sites should at a minimum do the same. This chapter is our attempt at that.
We will be examining the economics of camming in 3 parts. Principles of Supply & Demand. The Key Metrics On Cam. And finally, The Big Picture.
Principles of Supply and Demand on Cam.
We think it’s important to lay out something of a philosophical argument in advance that defines how we view the camming economy. These views and premises are the basis of how we operate as a company and they inform what key metrics we analyze and how we value them. It really isn’t that complex, everything is oriented around the question “how do cam models make the most money possible?” Numbers that influence that are the numbers we care about.
That being said, Pandora Modeling has reliably generated sales numbers that confound the rest of the industry and everyone we work with. In aggregate our performers hit numbers that just do not occur anywhere else in the industry, and whoever second place is, they aren’t close. We want everyone to know why and our economic view on camming is foundational to what we do.
The Supply and Demand Matrix
Intrinsic Supply: Everything related to your individual performance on a site.
Extrinsic Supply: Everything related to the potential capabilities that you could develop.
Intrinsic Demand: The built-in demand for an individual model.
Extrinsic Demand: This is the demand that the model provokes from customers that, but for their provocation, would not have existed.
Intrinsic Supply & Demand
The intrinsic side is very straightforward and intuitive. Models that are more objectively attractive to customers are more in demand. If you accept that there is some skill related to being good at camming, the intrinsic demand is that which exists without any of this skill. Intrinsic demand is also affected by the makeup of the site.
Intrinsic supply pertains mostly to your relative availability. If Model A and Model B are identical in every way except that Model A streams for 5 hours per week and Model B streams for 50 hours per week, then Model B has a significant edge with intrinsic supply. This becomes important in a minute.
A high-ranked model on a site with high quality traffic will always have surplus intrinsic demand. Meaning you could stream for 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and maintain a high hourly earnings rate. This doesn’t mean that those performers are in show 100% of the time, but rather if they are in show on average 70-75% of the time, they could maintain that indefinitely.
Surplus demand matched with a sustainably high level of intrinsic supply = a very good cam career.
Extrinsic Supply & Demand
This is the less concrete, less straightforward, not entirely intuitive to everyone side of our economic analysis. You’re welcome to be very skeptical of it, we can’t really prove any of it. It’s a world of postulates and hypotheses. That being said, it seems that if you are a cam model, and you believe this section, you become more successful. So there’s that.
When I talk about extrinsic supply, the potential capabilities that you could develop, here is what I mean. Skill.
After 100 hours on cam, you know a lot more about camming and customer interactions and what makes a good private show and everything than you did before your first login. Seems fair, right? You get better at it. This is a simple version of extrinsic supply principles in action. And every cam model experiences it. You cannot help but get better if you are online and doing shows. The easiest way to get better and to capitalize on an increase in extrinsic supply is to be online a lot.
The reality is that intrinsic supply and demand are finite quantities. You have so many hours in a day, so many days in a week, so much energy that you can give to camming, so much physical capacity to do shows. You can do whatever you want to optimize this and in some cases you should but if you have your bases covered making yourself crazy about 0.25% of body fat, or sleeping an hour less to make your shift longer is more often the path to burnout than improved results. On the demand side, there are only so many customers, and each customer only has so much money. They are by definition finite.
Extrinsic supply and demand are infinite. The rabbit hole always goes deeper. That’s something we say a lot internally. The rabbit hole always goes deeper. You’re never done learning about camming, about customers, about yourself. Every new harvest of knowledge and wisdom plants the seeds for the next crop.
Models that go out and have cool experiences in life are more compelling to customers. Models that are learning and improving themselves are more compelling to customers. Models that enjoy life are more compelling to customers. Learn anything, whatever you want, and it will make you a better cam model.
Extrinsic demand is that which you create for yourself with customers. Boosting your extrinsic supply correlates strongly to increases in extrinsic demand, particularly if at the intrinsic side of things you’re achieving surplus demand. But they can also not correlate at all. Maybe you learn to play the guitar, and none of your customers could care less that you learned to play the guitar, and none of them want to listen to you play the guitar, or hear about the guitar. Are you losing out because of that? Was learning the guitar a waste in the context of camming? No, you win. You can’t really commoditize the extrinsic stuff in advance. It takes some amount of faith.
But provoking extrinsic demand… That… That’s what we’re kind of good at. And it’s the secret recipe for all of the good things that happen at Pandora.
Customers want to be provoked. They want to feel things. What things specifically? No idea, just ask them, they’ll let you know. Except they won’t, because you have to intuit it, you have to sense it, you have to subsume their personality, understand more about them than they do, and bring things forth from deep inside of them that they don’t know are there. Or something like that.
Customer don’t just fall out of the sky and spend $10,000/month on a cam model. There is something that happens and we seem to be able to consciously affect it by the things we do on cam. This is the extrinsic demand capacity.
Now that we’ve established our economic philosophical points, let’s get into the numbers.
Key Metrics On Cam
Individual Performance Metrics.
Hours broadcast per day/week/year.
Average broadcast length.
Time of Day Exposure.
Average sales per hour broadcast.
Total unique spending customers.
Average users per hour to chatroom.
Average conversion rate of new user to spending customer.
Average show duration.
Second spend frequency.
Spending Ratio (spending in private shows vs tips vs phone/sms vs VODs vs Other).
Let’s get into it.
Hours broadcast per day/week/year.
In terms of per day, what we’re looking at is when you have a work-day, how many hours do you stream? Streaming at least 4 hours per day on the days you work is a basic strategy. The use pattern from customers on the site is similar to an intermittent twitter scroll. So regular users might check Flirt4Free every few hours to see who is online, more hours in a day, at different times of the day, exposes you to a larger amount of the potential audience than if you are only on a few hours at the same time.
In terms of hours per week, this is relevant in terms of site rankings. Overall rank on the site is heavily weighted to consider the gross sales amounts for the past 7 days. As such, models with comparable sales per hour end up competing for rank based on how many hours they work. Given how heavily weighted the best traffic is to the top ranked portions of the site, winning this battle can massively impact your average hourly sales long-term. As a rule, you want to have the highest possible rank that you can achieve and keep it there. Being at the top of the site is like being in Star Power mode if you’re familiar with Mario Kart references.
Look at hours per year, we’re talking about your consistency over time. Great results on cam come from doing the hours day by day, week by week, all year long. The absolute strongest predictor of success is hours online. The difference every year at Pandora between the performers who make $80,000 and the performers who make $20,000 is hours. The people who worked 1,000 hours versus the people who worked 500.
500 hours in a year means 9 hours per week on average. That means perpetually low metrics for rank, time of day exposure, total user impressions, and so on. It is too few of hours to build really strong and engaged audiences. As such, your average hourly sales are skewed down. It’s extremely frequent that the model who works a few hundred hours in a year making $30/hr would make $100/hr if they worked 1,000+.
It is extremely easy to not cam, to not get engaged with it, and to not make it a part of your everyday life. When that happens, your stats suffer. Plan for what you want to happen in a year, break that down into weeks and days, and stick to a schedule, especially on the days you don’t feel like it.
Average Broadcast Length.
A big leak that performers have is quitting shifts too soon when things aren’t going their way. When we see regular broadcast lengths of 30-60 minutes, this is usually what’s happening. For much the same reasons that it’s ideal to work more hours in a day, maintaining a longer average stream correlates strongly to more success.
The vibe on cam ebbs and flows while you work. Ending stream every time you hit a downturn is a mistake. The models who wait it out and keep engaging the new customers coming into their room are the ones that make it long-term. There’s a level of being non-emotional and practical about your approach to camming that becomes easy when you just decide that this stream is going to last 5 hours, you set a clock, and refuse to logoff until it’s done. You get a lot better results.
Time of Day Exposure.
Customers of the site are very, very routine. As such, the times of day that you’re online are going to predict a lot about the customers you will meet. If you are exclusively online from 6-10AM EST you will miss the lion’s share of the American user base, but you’ll get far more Australian and Asian customers than the models working 6-10PM EST.
A lot of people want to know what the busiest times are to be online. While the answer is night-time in America, always, that doesn’t mean that that is the best time for YOU to be online. Plenty of models have great success working mornings and afternoons on US time while the night shift models are still asleep. The site is sufficiently busy for a good model 24 hours a day.
Being online across a wider range of hours will expose you to customers who otherwise wouldn’t see you. It’s worthwhile to make at least one of your streams each week on “off hours” to reach more customers.
A good time to mention that our list isn’t in any particular order. Total sales is the metric that we’re trying to make be the highest number that it possibly can be. Everything else is optimizing for this. It’s the scorecard metric. When you have good results on other metrics, correspondingly good things occur with your total sales metric.
Average Sales Per Hour Broadcast.
How much money customers spend on you per hour broadcast. In terms of optimization, this is the number we think the most about. The biggest influencer of total sales is hours broadcast, that’s very much arithmetic. But optimizing your performance leads to higher average sales per hour broadcast and when that happens the long-term effects can be staggering.
Subtle changes to your performance can nudge things in the direction of making hundreds of dollars extra per month.
Total Unique Spending Customers.
Considering this number is helpful in managing expectations throughout your career. On your first day, you start at 0 and hope to get to at least 1. Long term, you should aim to add about 1 new spending customer per hour to your audience. This won’t happen every hour you are online for ever, but 1 per hour is a good average. If you’ve broadcast 1,000 hours and have less than 1,000 unique spending customers total your conversion rate is likely too low.
Average Users Per Hour To Chatroom.
The more users per hour, the more opportunities to make the sale, and add a new user to your fan base. Where you rank on the site determines a lot about how traffic gets allocated to your room, but other things like conversion rate (average sales per hour) influence it also. Past that, how eye catching your main profile picture is in the sea of profile pictures on the home page makes a difference.
If you are ranked low, and thus your profile is at the very bottom of the site, and your picture is bad, this number is going to be a lot lower than it otherwise could be. What a tragedy when a model that would be successful if they were seeing 100-200 users per hour coming into their room fails to make any sales because they’re only having 40-50 per hour.
Average Conversion Rate Of New Users To Spending Users.
For every 100 customers that enter your room, how many of them spend money on you? For most models, the answer is well below 1. A 1% conversion rate of users to spending customers is unheard of. But the difference between 0.28% and 0.4% is significant.
There is a lot of skill in capturing the attention of users coming into your room and making them engage with you and subsequently spend money. Getting good at it will increase your conversion rate. That creates a positive impact on all of the downstream metrics.
Average Show Duration.
Once people spend money on you, then what happens? Average show duration is a good metric to consider. If your show duration is below average, you are usually good at making the sale but then not delivering on customers expectations in private.
If your shows only last 3-4 minutes on average, you should be concerned. There are plenty of short shows, yes. But you should also be getting longer shows that pull the averages up to 6-8 minutes at least.
Second Spend Frequency.
This correlates strongly with average show duration. If you’re having longer shows, customers are happy, and happy customers are repeat customers.
It is essential to focus on second spend frequency. One of the biggest leaks average cam models make is to have an initial good show and then not push for a second show to occur. Don’t rely on your innate awesomeness to bring people back. You get better results by following up with customers, pursuing them, making a date for the second show.
There is not a golden ratio here. It all breaks down according to your strategy. Most models have the majority of their spending take place in private shows and around 10% of their spending via tips. Some do very few private shows and focus entirely on tips in open/party chats, this can work too.
The point of considering your ratio is to maintain an awareness of all of the ways that you can make money. Ask yourself how you can increase the amount of tips you’re getting, your VOD earnings, your phone/SMS earnings, etc. You’ll discover new opportunities for content.
The Big Picture
With camming, the numbers tell a story. They’re the scorecard laying out what’s taken place. It’s easy to just focus on one number, how much money you made. And blindly hope for that number to be as high as possible. It’s better to consider all of the numbers. Each metric is a lever that you can pull on to affect the cumulative success that you have on cam.
Not all of these numbers are made available in the stats page of a cam site, most are not. But many can be calculated yourself and approximate is good enough. Simply thinking about the situations in which a metric could be calculated, for example, what percentage of first time spending customers go on to make a second purchase yields insights. If it’s 15% right now, ask yourself why the other 85% aren’t returning, and test new methods for increasing the rate of return customers.
In our experience, this can be a lifesaver. When things are not going well on cam, it’s frustrating. Models often look to every external cause possible to explain a lack of results on cam. Maybe it’s the season, the phase of the moon, the weather outside being frightful, or some conspiracy of people out to prevent you from succeeding on cam, the thinking goes, seriously. But more often than not, if you dove deep into your metrics and analyzed them, you’d notice that certain specific metrics have dropped off. If your second spend frequency goes from 20% to 10% for a few weeks it could be as simple as you haven’t been feeling it in your first private shows lately and customers are finding it less compelling.
What is the problem? That is the feeling a frustrated cam model feels. You almost always find the answer if you look into the numbers. Or at least, you are able to identify the area where things are hurting, and then work backwards to diagnose the circumstance you find yourself in.