How It All Works | Technical Deep Dive Of The Broadcasting Process.
In this article we're going to cover the technical side of our work: the broadcasting software, technical specification requirements, the administration site, and basic setup best practices. By the end, you'll have everything you need to know in order to broadcast successfully.
What You'll Need:
- Your account information for the administration site. You receive this from us when your account is activated.
- A laptop or computer that runs Windows or MacOS.
- A webcam.
- High-speed internet access.
note: This article contains a lot of links to the model administration site. If you don't have login credentials, these links won't work. Since this is public and we know people who aren't yet models are curious about the actual workflow, we're going to include a lot of screenshots wherever possible.
1. The Performer Application
The performer application is the software that you'll use to actually connect to the site and stream your video. You can click through to any of the rooms on flirt4free.com to see what happens after that. You enter your own chatroom where customers come in to chat with you. They can see/hear you, you can't see/hear them. The goal is to get one of those customers to start a private show, but more on this later. For now, just note that this software is what every model on Flirt4Free has running on their computers. It's the only way to be on the site and you have to be a registered model to access the software.
When you first start camming, it's essential to stream as much as you possibly can. Being online for 8, 10, or 12 hours a day isn't abnormal. When you're new, you don't have any fans. The faster you can attract clients, the easier this gig becomes. To that end, we recommend you having this particular piece of software open and connected as often as you can manage.
Now let's dive into the technical components of the performer app that you'll need to know about.
- Login Types & Rates
- Audio/Video Settings
- Break & Fake Show
- Party Chat
- Group Chat
- Show Offers
- Alert Monitor
- Clear Chat
- User Types & Options
By default, new performers should select Private + Voyeur 60cpm.
Here are what the three login types mean.
Private + Voyeur: This means that 1 person is able to start a private 1 on 1 show with you at your rate and any amount of customers can "voyeur" on the show. That means they can pay 1/3 of the show rate (20cpm at 60cpm login rate) and be able to see the video but not hear audio or read any of the chat. This is the standard login type that everyone should use by default.
Multi-User: This means that any customers can start a show at your rate and additional customers can join the show and pay the full rate. All customers can see/hear/type and see what other customers are typing (unless they whisper). If you have 2 user in a multi-user show at 60cpm you're making 120cpm. That's pretty great, but the demand for multi-user shows is lower as many customers want an exclusive 1 on 1 experience. Multi-user can be the right fit for certain models but it's not ideal when starting out and building your initial fan base. The exception is duo shows where multi-user tends to be the most lucrative option.
Private or Multi-User: This is a combination of the above two with the caveat that there are no voyeurs in the private shows. The customer chooses when they begin the show whether they want to start a multi-user show or private show. This is a fine option, however we generally hold the opinion that forcing the customer to make a price consideration immediately at show time is a negative user experience, which is why we favor the standard private + voyeur option.
Understanding Rates: 60cpm means that the customer is paying 60 credits per minute, which costs them approximately $6 (depending on the amount of credits they purchase at once and whether there is a promotion running). Generally speaking, 10 credits = $1 spent by the customer. At the lowest level of the pay scale (26%) this equals (0.026 x 60) $1.56 per minute in show. At a 30% commission rate (0.03 x 60) it's $1.80 per minute in show. This difference adds up, so it pays to put in the hours to make the credits necessary in a pay period to raise your pay scale rate (this is intentional). You can skip making the calculations by simply checking your stats in the studio admin, where everything is calculated for you.
You can adjust your audio/video settings by clicking on the gear icon on the bottom-right of your video in the performer application.
It's usually best to just select built-in and let the software automatically configure the best settings. However, if you experience degraded video quality performance it can help to manually lower the quality to create a more stable video feed.
Break & Fake Show
You can start a break anytime by pressing the Start Break button. A break simply tells all of the users in the room that you're away (and blocks your video feed). You cannot type during a break. And to anyone not in your room, it will appear that you are offline if they search you. You should start a break if you walk away from the computer for more than a few seconds.
Fake show makes it appear to the users in your room that you are in a private show. You will still see your open chat users in your list while in fake show and what they type. Fake show is good for breaks when you don't want to do a break and appear offline.
If you're in standard private/voyeur login and some tries to voyeur on the fake show, they can. This weird thing happens where they can't type/hear you but can see your video. So you can pretend to do a show for someone to keep the voyeur (or more cleverly, end show and try to get them to start their own private).
In multi-user fake show happens differently. If someone joins a fake show while you're in multi-user, a regular multi-user show starts. In that login type it can be an OK tool when your room is busy to lure people into show who might not start one on their own.
Party chat is something you can switch on/off while you're broadcasting. When you start a party, no one can take you private anymore. The concept of a party chat is an open tipping show. You get access to party chat when your power score is in the top 50% of models.
Party chat takes a special skillset. You'll get a flood of people to your room (many of them looking for a free show). But party chats can be really lucrative if you're good at them. It helps to start with having 1-3 regulars who are interested in a party chat and will tip some amount to get it going. From there, we recommend doing a show in party no matter what. The best results models get come from high energy, aggressive party chats. Just put on a show and encourage people to tip. The more popular you are, the easier this is.
There's nothing at all private about party chats. You'll have upwards of 100 people in your room (hopefully) watching you perform. Not all models are comfortable doing party chats, so some simply don't, and that's fine. But if it sounds fun to you it can be a great way to attract new customers as you'll have a lot more people having a memorable interaction with you if your show is good (make your show good).
Lavish praise and attention and good vibes on anyone who tips. Quickly ban anyone that makes requests without tipping and after a few party chats you'll start to build a good culture in your party chats.
The reason we recommend just putting on a show when you do a party chat is because the model's who start a party and try to squeeze customers into tipping to see something tend to have very boring party chats. A lot of customers come in, a lot of customers leave, and the whole of the time is spent negotiating (unerotic). Make it erotic and entertaining and get a lot of people to enjoy it and the tips will come.
It's good to inject a lot of teasing into your party chat if it's slower, while still maintaining high energy. Holding back, denying, hiding from the camera, giving everyone just enough to want more. These are some of the basic concepts we teach models about party chat. Try them, experiment, and you'll find what works for you.
Group shows are a feature similar to party that you can switch in/out of from your normal login. No one can start a private while you have a group show pending.
The format of group shows are that customers "pledge" credits as a group to start a show. You set the price/duration when you initiate the group. I.E 15 minutes, 1,000 credits. You also describe the plan for the show. If enough customers pledge, the show starts. If it doesn't, the customers get their pledges back.
The pledges are "guaranteed" meaning when the person elects to pledge the credits are taken from their account (it's not just them typing "I pledge" an actual transaction occurs). The transaction just gets reversed if the show doesn't happen; they get the credits back. You can also opt to take the credits and start the show for the lower amount if the pledges don't quite reach your goal.
Typically in a group show you'll have 3-10 users pledging 50-100 credits.
Group show can be extremely good if you have the right fans for them. But it's best to negotiate it in advance with your room a bit to make sure there's interest (because you can't get private shows while a group is pending). If 5 people say they'll pledge 100, that's enough to get started. And you can probably leverage those 5 into pledging another 100 each if the show doesn't quite get there.
A popular high energy party chat that gets people really excited rolled immediately into a group show can be a good approach.
Show offers... Sigh... We've long had a hate-hate relationship with show offers. Because statistically speaking, when you're a new model, you cannot be trusted with show offers. You just can't. You will mess it up and take an offer that's too low, because you have absolutely no comprehension of the market dynamics of the.... Anyways, we could go on forever about show offers, but here's what they are.
If you have show offers on customers can "make an offer." This means that they choose a show length and a rate. Most commonly the show length is short and the rate is 10cpm. Let's revisit our math from earlier. At a 26% commission rate, 10cpm is... 26 cents per minute. Versus $1.56 per minute at 60cpm. Note: 26 cents per minute doesn't add up particularly fast. Bad. Bad. Bad.
Where it could be good is for example a customer offering you a 20 minute show at 50cpm, 1,000 credits. When your rate is at 60. If you accept you're guaranteed that show length and you get the credits. That's the carrot.
Our primary beef is that new models don't know their worth and accept show offers at ridiculously low rates, not understanding what it really means. This artificially skews your stats to the negative and kills your hourly rate. If a model that we estimated would make $30/hr is making $15/hr, 9/10 they're accepting show offers at low rates. We'll cover this more later, but that's a basic intro on how show offers work (and why you should never, ever, ever use them).
You can alert a Flirt4Free monitor by pressing this button. They can ban customers (so can you), answer questions, help with your video settings, etc.
If someone wrote something you don't want to stay up on your chatroom, you hit this button and it erases the chat history.
User Types & Options
Now, we'll cover the basics of user types and what you can do to them in the performer application. There are 4 user types: Guest, Basic, Premium, VIP.
Guest: Have not registered an account. Grey usernames. Can turn off their chat.
Basic: White username. Have created account / confirmed email. Personalized nickname. Have never spent money (no credit card attached). So they're basically greys, but they are closer to converting. If they say they'll spend money, no that around 1/100 ever do and act accordingly.
Premium: White username. Credit card on file. Have spent money. We like premium users.
VIP: Gold username (or they can choose white). Have spent money. We also like VIP users. Roughly the same amount as we like white users.
You can select who can type/whisper to some extent by clicking the gear icon to the right of Clear Chat.
Whispering means that the user can write in your open chat where only you can see it. Normal messages are publicly visible to everyone in the chatroom. Whispers are generally fine.
While live, if you right click on a username from the chat list you can make notes, silence (prevents them from typing for 5 minutes), eject (kicks them out but they can come back), or ban (bans them for 24 hours from your room, you can extend the ban in the studio admin under Manage > Chatroom Bans.
We recommend taking copious notes on users that spend money on you. It's a best practice. You won't be able to remember everyone's details.
That covers the basic functionality of the performer application. The only other button to keep in mind is the Start Chat button. This is the button you need to press when you first login to the performer application. It's the button you press to go live on the site. Make pressing this button a part of your everyday lifestyle.
2. Technical Specifications
This section covers the best practices for your equipment. Everyone starts with what they have, but it's helpful to know what good looks like. So here is our advice on everything you need tech wise.
A. The Computer.
Most models opt to broadcast from laptops because it's what they have and the mobility of laptops makes it easier to do good shows. Some broadcast from desktops to give themselves a larger screen area and arrange their room in order to make the setup work. Both are fine, what's important is what's on the inside.
Processor: The performer application is quite resource-intensive when live-streaming. It can take upwards of 1GB of memory on it's own. So if you, like us have a minimum of 50 tabs open on your web browser, Apple Music playing Migos at all times, Discord (you should), and the performer application all running concurrently, problems occur. This is due to your computer running out of RAM.
You can tell it's occurring because you'll hear the fans kick up a notch to accommodate the extra load.
The first thing that tends to happen is your video quality degrades a lot. It will start skipping and lagging. A lot of people attribute this to internet speed, but 9 times out of 10 these days it's a memory issue. Sometimes apps will crash, your screen will freeze, performance of the whole machine will slow down.
As such we recommend having at least 8GB of RAM on your device. Lower-end laptops these days tend to start at 4GB. While this could work, we'd suggest closing ALL applications besides the performer app when working for the best results. Even with 8GB of RAM you should be conservative about what you have running. A bunch of web browser tabs open will eat up your RAM.
You can check how much memory you're using on Mac through Activity Monitor and on Windows under Task Manager. If you're using any amount of Swap memory, you're in trouble.
Higher end laptops with more memory tend to have other superior components when it comes to graphics, video cards, etc. We recommend Macbooks if you're an Apple person or any gaming series laptop if you're on PC (Razer, ASUS, Alienware, MSI, etc). The equipment that makes it possible for people to play Fortnite really well also makes it possible to cam with exceptional quality.
B. The Webcam.
There isn't a gig in which the quality of the webcam is more important than adult video chat. Most other video related pros can easily use DSLRs to film super high quality content, edit it, and put it up. We can't. We have to do everything live.
Even other live streaming professionals like pro gamers, the quality of the webcam is never paramount.
For us, it's everything. You are broadcasting your video feed, in HD, live, to the customers. It's the only medium they have to interact with you.
Bad quality video drives customers away. Great quality video attracts customers. This is the single most important aspect to adult video chat. Seriously, it's more important than your personality/looks. If the video quality is not good, no matter how awesome you are, people aren't going to be as interested in paying for a private show.
Currently, in the webcam game, Logitech is King. We recommend the following 3 models.
- Logitech C930 | Tried and true. Used by most of our top models.
- Logitech BCC950 | For those who like to have a remote to control the view.
- Logitech Brio 4k | The most expensive but highest video quality in our lineup.
You'll have great video with any of these (providing your computer is sufficient and your internet is stable). For the Brio 4k, you'll absolutely need a solid computer. I wouldn't even think about trying it on a 4GB processor.
C. The Internet.
Short version: Get the fastest possible internet speed from the most reliable provider in your area and plug your computer directly into the router.
Please don't try to save $10-20/month on your internet bill. While realistically you're only going to need 3-5MBPS of speed to stream HD video, you should get the fastest residential internet speeds you can. Shared connections are not ideal (e.g dorm room, or the apartment community provides internet, etc). And if you have room mates that will be using the internet, always opt for the fastest connection. 100MBPS+ packages allow virtually unlimited use of internet in a normal household. To make a second Fortnite reference, your room mate can be playing Fortnite and you can stream without a problem.
You'll get a much more stable connection (and thus better video quality) if you're plugged directly into the router. If, like almost everyone, the room you are going to cam from and the room your router is in are on opposite sides of your home, you can use a Netgear Powerline. This handy device essentially turns your home electrical lines into ethernet cables (not literally). You plug one powerline in right by the router and stick an ethernet in it and then plug the other in by your computer and run an ethernet from that to your device. And like magic, you have a hard-line connection.
This has solved a lot of issues for us over the years with models who experienced poor video quality.
Even if you're speed tests show super fast connections, if you're not hard-lined in the speed variability can cause degraded video performance.
Rule: Fastest possible internet, hard-line connected to device.
D. Additional Setup Considerations
With the technical setup taken care of, we thought we should mention a handful of the other devices/gadgets/tools that models end up using as a basic part of the work.
You probably need more light shining on you than any room in your house normally provides. Models use anything from a standard floor lamp to studio umbrella lights, ring lights, etc. The blue light from a computer screen doesn't make ANYONE look better, so you have to work with your setup to find the lighting that is just right for you.
Realistically, you might spend a few hours early on fooling around with lighting: how many lights, where at, what time of day, what's the backdrop, direct light or reflected off the wall, what brightness on my screen, what kind of bulbs, any shading?
It's actually not too complicated, just turn your cam on and play around, see what looks good. Some models use orange hued lights in the winter time when they aren't getting much sun. Models who work from larger rooms tend to need to use a lot of ambient back lighting.
There's no one size fits all solution. So just know that it's a thing and we'll help you figure it out if you need us to.
The truth is, some amount of fabric is going to be used while you work. Mainly clothes and bedding, unless you hang a rug on the wall behind your bed (protip: don't).
For clothes, our advice is simply to dress nice. Dress like you're going to a club or on a blind date where you might meet someone that who you'd like to make a good first impression with. You can really do anything. Some models go full formalwear and look cool and excite customers while doing it. Others go casual. It all works. Unless it's orange, you probably shouldn't wear orange on cam under normal circumstances.
Bedding on the other hand often ends up being a predominate color scheme for performers. Meaning, the bedding is often a highly visible part of the video feed and as such the choice of color has an affect. Most often neutral colors that contrast your skin tone are best. Everyone looks good with clean white bedding. But you sort of need to have a more formal bedding setup (think, gasp, throw pillows) or else white can look a bit anemic.
If you want to go with louder colors, obvious example being hot pink, our general advice would be simply that it will work as long as you pull it off. Meaning, if you're personality and style are such that you're all about pink, rock it, and you'll look cool.
If you're quiet, toned down, shy, and facially unexpressive on the other hand; hot pink will clash with that and the vibe will feel confused. Seriously, stuff like this matters on cam.
Surround yourself with color that you love, if you have colors that you love. Otherwise go for white or dark earth tones. "And when you find bedding that you love, buy a couple of sets, you're going to ruin them."
This part is entirely subjective, we don't have any recommendations about decor specifics. But we do have very strong recommendations about decor generally. Which is this:
Everything that will ever be seen in your video feed matters, a lot. Nothing should be there by chance. Set your camera up how it is normally going to be setup and look at the view, is it nice, is it you, is it aesthetically satisfying? If the answer is no, change it.
And herein lies decor. Beyond the basic setup, it's a great idea to add in things that make your video look better. Throw pillows, nightstand lamps, flowers, plants, wood, art, etc. Anything is fair game, just do it on purpose.
And avoid the absolute no-no's like: anything even tangentially related to laundry (baskets, dirty clothes, etc), tapestry rugs on the wall, clutter, messy bed (unless you JUST made it messy on purpose), uncased pillows, your high school yearbook, etc.
Your phone should be on silent. A notification going off on your phone reminds the customers that a real world exists. We should never remind the customers that a real world exists. You being on your phone means you're paying attention to your phone, not your users. It's just a bad move overall. Everyone does it from time to time, there's no penalty for it, but it's something you should try to avoid. At the very least have your phone on silent if you can.
3. The Administration Site.
Since you presumably know how to use a website, we're simply providing a list of helpful links that models tend to ask about as the internal site isn't the most user friendly experience.
Main Stats Page: https://studios.flirt4free.com/models/stats.php (click view report, by Current Pay Period)
Performer App Download: https://studios.flirt4free.com/models/performer-app.php
Change Password: https://studios.flirt4free.com/admin_password.php
Chatroom Bans: https://studios.flirt4free.com/models/banned-users.php
Filters (Blocking States/Countries): https://studios.flirt4free.com/models/filters.php
Room Receptionist: https://studios.flirt4free.com/models/receptionist.php
Sample Photos: https://studios.flirt4free.com/models/samples.php
Social Media: https://studios.flirt4free.com/models/social.php
Messaging Inbox: https://studios.flirt4free.com/models/messages.php?a=browse
Another page that a lot of people ask about is the payment page. You give that to us directly, right here.
4. Conclusion | The Workflow
That was a lot of links... And screenshots. And explanations about things that if you haven't ever streamed before, might make absolutely no sense. That's OK. This is a reference document. Here's the stuff you really need to know.
If you have problems with your gear starting out, we'll try to find a way to make it work until you can upgrade it to something better. Most of us were broke when we started, so do what you can with what you have. You'll want to spend a lot of time thinking about the aesthetic appeal of your setup while streaming. Give people a nice view.
The studio admin is where you're going to check your stats and count your money. You'll also use it to exchange offline messages with customers, because following up is essential to building strong relationships with them. From time to time, you'll update your profile photos. You might make a blog post or two now and then, but probably not consistently. Before your first login you'll block the states that you want under filters. You'll always obey the rules. And when you're ready you'll configure Flirt Phone and Flirt SMS because they're a great way to make money while not streaming. If you're a super pro, you'll name/categorize all of your VODs once a week because named VODs sell a lot more.
The performer application is where you go to work. It's your office. It's the tool you're going to use to stream and make money. You are judge, jury, and executioner when you're live. The performer app is your domain. If people don't behave the way you want them to, bounce them. You should use the performer app to go live as much as you possible can when starting out. The more hours spent live, the more exposure, the more fans, the more privates, the more money, the more rank, the more traffic, and so on. Success breeds success. Stream all the time.
When you go live, within 10-20 seconds usually the first few grey names will start showing up in your chatroom. Within a few minutes, you'll start to get some white usernames. You'll say hi, or they'll say hi. Just talk. Catch someone's attention. Start a conversation. Be curious and learn as much as you can about them and take notes. When you feel you've established a connection you can talk to them about private and ask for a show. Most won't convert, some will, and that will be enough. The game is private shows. How many can you get. How many people can you attract. How long of a show can you get.
On one side, it's ruthless warfare of us vs them, with our goal being to separate them from as much money as we possibly can. On the other side, it's only possible to do that by making them want to. What they want varies infinitely from customer to customer. Some are similar, but no two are alike. We can't ever make someone press private. Customers will do what they want and only what they want. Have the best shows, make the best connections, be the most interesting, and you won't want for customers.
The work is learning about people. Getting to know them. Understanding who they are, what they want, what they need, and what will make them feel the feelings they want to do. And then doing that thing, always that thing.
It's actually sort of fun.