Is Chaturbate in a State of Decline?

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Jun 27, 2017
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I have had a number of models comment to me lately that their revenue on Chaturbate is declining. Have others seen this trend as well, and what do you think the reasons are for it?

I wanted to see if this was a problem with traffic, so I did a quick comparison of CB and MFC in Google Trends. the graph showing searches on Google for "chaturbate" and "myfreecams" at least superficially suggests that CB continues to grow its traffic, while MFC is in a long term decline:

upload_2018-10-19_16-41-16.png

What are some possible causes for declining revenue in the face of rising viewer traffic?

One possibility might be that viewers are spending less money faster than the number of viewers is growing. Or another angle on that might be that the incremental new viewers that Chaturbate has been adding are freeloaders. Since CB is heavily revenue driven by advertising revenues that it does not share with the model, changing the marketing mix away from paying viewers and towards advertising revenue benefits CB but hurts the model.

Another possibility might be that the industry is just saturating with competition. It could be that many of these new smaller sites like Camsoda are offering better economics to the viewers, and therefore the paying component of the website audience might be slowly bleeding off to multiple other sites, leaving CB with fewer paying viewers.

All of this is just hypothesis. Does anyone have good facts to help build an argument for a specific case?

For the models: if you are seeing this trend, how are responding to it?
 

Natalie_Lavender

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My room size has generally stayed the same, but definitely have seen new members, that are spending. My first payout in October was almost triple compared to previous months, and I haven’t changed my schedule or show content. I’m not confident just yet that it’s going to remain the case on a continual basis. I love to be wrong, but trying to remain realistic and not count on it.
 
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My room size has generally stayed the same, but definitely have seen new members, that are spending. My first payout in October was almost triple compared to previous months, and I haven’t changed my schedule or show content. I’m not confident just yet that it’s going to remain the case on a continual basis. I love to be wrong, but trying to remain realistic and not count on it.
I am curious is most of your revenue from a few members who are high tippers, or do you see a pretty wide distribution of tips across 20+ viewers?

Most of the models I have heard about this trend from are foreign language speakers and they do not generally form deep friendship/conversation with the english-speaking audience. So they have to rely on large numbers of tippers who individually do not spend large amounts. If there is a big tipper for a single day, he may not come back for three weeks.
 
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Another possibility might be that the industry is just saturating with competition.
I've been saying this for a few years now. But not so much in the way that more sites are popping up and keeping up with the big ones, but moreso that being a cam model is becoming more and more popular and acceptable, and growing the pool of models to a HUGE amount.

Viewership is going up. Room sizes are staying stagnant or dropping. Individual average model's overall earnings are dropping. But the pool of models for new viewers to choose from is getting HUGE.
 

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Most of the models I have heard about this trend from are foreign language speakers and they do not generally form deep friendship/conversation with the english-speaking audience.
Also, once upon a time this was dominated by EE models, but as the popularity and acceptance of cam modeling grows, the more and more English speaking and US/CAN/UK/AUS models come along and dominate the first pages of cam sites. EE models will probably feel this impact the hardest.
 

Natalie_Lavender

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I am curious is most of your revenue from a few members who are high tippers, or do you see a pretty wide distribution of tips across 20+ viewers?

Most of the models I have heard about this trend from are foreign language speakers and they do not generally form deep friendship/conversation with the english-speaking audience. So they have to rely on large numbers of tippers who individually do not spend large amounts. If there is a big tipper for a single day, he may not come back for three weeks.
There hasn’t been just one big tipper come & disappear. It’s been a combination of steady tipping regulars, an increase of spending from a few existing regulars & a build up of new regulars, even some previous non-tipping regulars that have started tipping now. But I’m extremely social in my room. It’s not just about moaning, which is why my regulars are regulars.
 
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AmberCutie

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By the way, ever since this trend started years ago, people have been claiming that MFC was "dying". Meanwhile MFC is raking in tons of money and the top models continue to make more and more yearly. The distribution of spending is just changing, and unfortunately for non-top-models it's mainly going to the top % apparently.

the incremental new viewers that Chaturbate has been adding are freeloaders. Since CB is heavily revenue driven by advertising revenues that it does not share with the model, changing the marketing mix away from paying viewers and towards advertising revenue benefits CB but hurts the model.
Also yeah that. MFC models that don't understand how the current market is changing are quick to blame MFC for their lack of marketing and advertisement, but I'm so glad they don't do what CB does when it comes to that.

False hope.
 
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I've been saying this for a few years now. But not so much in the way that more sites are popping up and keeping up with the big ones, but moreso that being a cam model is becoming more and more popular and acceptable, and growing the pool of models to a HUGE amount.

Viewership is going up. Room sizes are staying stagnant or dropping. Individual average model's overall earnings are dropping. But the pool of models for new viewers to choose from is getting HUGE.
Good points. Are there any published statistics on the number of webcam models over time? If we saw that number growing faster than the viewer growth rate for CB, that would definitely make your point.
 
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There hasn’t been just one big tipper come & disappear. It’s been a combination of steady tipping regulars, an increase of spending from a few existing regulars & a build up of new regulars, even some previous non-tipping regulars that have started tipping now. But I’m extremely social in my room. It’s not just about moaning, which is why my regulars are regulars.
That was the point I was getting at. You are more of a relationship-builder, and social relationships will be harder to budge over time. The models who rely just on traffic and industry trends are much more likely to be penalized as those trends work against them.
 

AmberCutie

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Good points. Are there any published statistics on the number of webcam models over time? If we saw that number growing faster than the viewer growth rate for CB, that would definitely make your point.
I've only paid attention to MFC stuff over the years and I can say the amount of models online at any given time has nearly tripled in the last 9 years, and most of that has been in the last 4.

CB is newer compared to MFC (I feel like people forget that they are much newer than MFC, lol) , so it's hard to say if their situation is similar (especially my comments about the EE models because that changed drastically right around the time that CB was becoming it's own site vs. just being a white label for another) but I'm sure it's having similar effects.
 
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I would be very interested to see how the Eastern European cam studio system is being affected by the growing number of Western models who are entering the cam model industry. Though I'm sure that information is nearly impossible to gather because of the very nature of the cam studio system. I'd love for someone to pay me to do research on the affects, motivations, and profits of the cam studio system versus the independent cam model working out of her home. I doubt that would ever be a thing but a guy can dream.

Purely anecdotal evidence from my year or so of being a regular on Chaturbate has shown to me that the Western, English speaking models are consistently on the first couple of pages and are even promoted by the Chaturbate blog. That isn't to say that a couple of Eastern European models arn't pulling in huge numbers, but you tend to see many of them hanging around in the double or single digits of viewers. Once you get past the first few pages the viewer numbers drop off to nearly nothing.
 
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I would be very interested to see how the Eastern European cam studio system is being affected by the growing number of Western models who are entering the cam model industry. Though I'm sure that information is nearly impossible to gather because of the very nature of the cam studio system. I'd love for someone to pay me to do research on the affects, motivations, and profits of the cam studio system versus the independent cam model working out of her home. I doubt that would ever be a thing but a guy can dream.
Separate from viewer trends and competition issues, history is against the studio system. More and more Eastern European models will get fast Internet available at home and will simply leave the studio system.

The studios could justify their take if they actually did some real work to help the models out, but most of them appear to be slumlords so they really do not add much value.

Purely anecdotal evidence from my year or so of being a regular on Chaturbate has shown to me that the Western, English speaking models are consistently on the first couple of pages and are even promoted by the Chaturbate blog. That isn't to say that a couple of Eastern European models arn't pulling in huge numbers, but you tend to see many of them hanging around in the double or single digits of viewers. Once you get past the first few pages the viewer numbers drop off to nearly nothing.
Webcam modeling appears to be a winner-takes-all business. The income distribution is heavily slanted towards the top 100 models on most sites, and there is a vast ocean of models that cannot break above subsistence living.
 
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By the way, ever since this trend started years ago, people have been claiming that MFC was "dying". Meanwhile MFC is raking in tons of money and the top models continue to make more and more yearly. The distribution of spending is just changing, and unfortunately for non-top-models it's mainly going to the top % apparently.
For myself, I have zero issues with this since the models in the top of the ranks typically have the best rooms to visit are the most engaging with members and have a heavy interest in doing better. While, on the flipside, most of the models in the lower ranks I've seen just lay or sit there and do nothing. Even when I attempt to engage in conversation in the room, PM, or hell even small tip with note, it's almost as if they are afraid to engage in converstation or ignore me.

So, why would I stay in a room that's not appealing to me? I'd rather tip a model who's energetic and actively engaging her members.
 

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Here is my own experience on CB : I've been camming for about 3 months now, so I'm still newish, but things have started to pick up for me since the beginning of October. As opposed to Natalie, I'm not super strong on the conversation front with my room. I'll answer them if someone asks me something, but I'm a bit shy and introvert. I'm more doing a tease show. I guess it might look like a middle ground between shows from EE girls who can't speak English at all and 'chatting rooms'? I dunno. But it's going well for me now. (Especially since I got the Lush I should say.)
 
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@Smores similarweb list traffic is down by 15%, 15% from Italy. They recently had a hurricane with flash floods. People may be more focused on recovery then entertainment.

UK also down 19%. Switzerland 10% up. Not sure what's going on with UK. Some of this might also be seasonal trends.
 
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There hasn’t been just one big tipper come & disappear. It’s been a combination of steady tipping regulars, an increase of spending from a few existing regulars & a build up of new regulars, even some previous non-tipping regulars that have started tipping now. But I’m extremely social in my room. It’s not just about moaning, which is why my regulars are regulars.
And this is the best way to grow any room or online business, through true fans. But there is a lot of discussion out there that thousands of new members aren't magically showing up on cam sites and finding their way into rooms to spend tokens...the easy traffic. The same amount of members might be out there or are growing each year, but there is a lot more competition amongst cam sites, and especially as other streaming type sites (like Twitch) grow in popularity.
 
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And this is the best way to grow any room or online business, through true fans. But there is a lot of discussion out there that thousands of new members aren't magically showing up on cam sites and finding their way into rooms to spend tokens...the easy traffic. The same amount of members might be out there or are growing each year, but there is a lot more competition amongst cam sites, and especially as other streaming type sites (like Twitch) grow in popularity.
That Twitch would be viewed as competitive to CB kind of suggests that part of the need that webcam sites might be meeting is for basic human interaction, totally apart from anything sexual. I agree with that idea, and you can understand why sites like Twitch will really create competition for this, particularly given the amounts of money that are going into the non-sex-based streaming sites.
 

AmberCutie

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That Twitch would be viewed as competitive to CB kind of suggests that part of the need that webcam sites might be meeting is for basic human interaction, totally apart from anything sexual. I agree with that idea, and you can understand why sites like Twitch will really create competition for this, particularly given the amounts of money that are going into the non-sex-based streaming sites.
CB will never be able to compete with Twitch so long as they have such restrictive copyright rules on their streamers. CB streamers are downright scared of being banned by doing anything there. Let alone attempting to play a video game on cam. Meanwhile on Twitch streamers are allowed to do whateverthefuck they want and just the automatic recordings of their streams are muted if the play copyrighted music, etc.

MFC will always have the heads up on them in that sense. They're the only adult cam site that gives no shits about what we do until some sort of DMCA arrives then they act. which is the way it should be.

CB is so stuck on playing paranoid avoidance of copyright game they are stunting their growth as well as their streamers’ creativity.

MFC and their eventual nonnude version "camyou" will be miles ahead in that aspect in notime once MFC gets their non-flash shit in order.
 
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CB will never be able to compete with Twitch so long as they have such restrictive copyright rules on their streamers. CB streamers are downright scared of being banned by doing anything there. Let alone attempting to play a video game on cam. Meanwhile on Twitch streamers are allowed to do whateverthefuck they want and just the automatic recordings of their streams are muted if the play copyrighted music, etc.

MFC will always have the heads up on them in that sense. They're the only adult cam site that gives no shits about what we do until some sort of DMCA arrives then they act. which is the way it should be.

CB is so stuck on playing paranoid avoidance of copyright game they are stunting their growth as well as their streamers’ creativity.
Well relative to Twitch, all of these services have serious issues to think through. Amazon just bought Twitch for nearly $1B USD in August, and you can be sure there will be huge capital pouring in to improve and expand that service.

Twitch "donations" go nearly 100% to the performer. That alone will stress the economic model of webcam sites.

One question this raises is should every webcam model have a Twitch account and use that as a loss-leader to pull people into their adult account on CB or MFC? I guess we cannot rule out that eventually the PG-13 performance on Twitch might have a similar economic return to the adult account on CB or MFC.

What are the other streaming services in the US that are competitive to Twitch? I know there are quite a few of these things in China, where streaming has become huge.
 

AmberCutie

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Twitch "donations" go nearly 100% to the performer. That alone will stress the economic model of webcam sites.
There are no "twitch donations". There are paypal based 3rd party sites that act as middleman for donations.

Since adult based people have issue with paypal, not such a thing.
 

AmberCutie

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One question this raises is should every webcam model have a Twitch account and use that as a loss-leader to pull people into their adult account on CB or MFC? I guess we cannot rule out that eventually the PG-13 performance on Twitch might have a similar economic return to the adult account on CB or MFC.

What are the other streaming services in the US that are competitive to Twitch? I know there are quite a few of these things in China, where streaming has become huge.
Unless adult streamers are prepared to do completely non nude gaming and other entertaining streams, no. This is a farfetched idea.

Also, MFC is already on its way to offering a nonnude option with camyou, it's just on a backburner while they work out other more important things like getting away from flash dependency.
 
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There are no "twitch donations". There are paypal based 3rd party sites that act as middleman for donations.

Since adult based people have issue with paypal, not such a thing.
Well, there are Twitch donations in the form of bits. However, they take a cut of the money you spend on the bits in the same way that Chaturbate takes a cut when you buy tokens.
 
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AmberCutie

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Well, there are Twitch donations in the form of bits. However, they take a cut of the money you spend on the bits in the same way that Chaturbate takes a cut when you buy tokens.
Ah yes, there are bits like tokens. But "donations" on a twitch stream are different. Bits still are only a percentage just like tokens are on CB or MFC.
 
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Well, there are Twitch donations in the form of bits. However, they take a cut of the money you spend on the bits in the same way that Chaturbate takes a cut when you buy tokens.
Okay, I know very little about Twitch, so you might have to walk me through really basic things here. I am reading online that Twitch has a native subscription service, and they take 50% of the monthly subscriber fee. Are you saying that Twitch "Bits" can be used as ad-hoc donations during the stream? That takes 50% as well?

One of the OBS add-ins for donations on Twitch is Streamlabs. I am seeing that they have multiple funding sources, including cryptocurrencies.

I guess you could use a combination of the native Twitch Bits - for people who want to fund donations by credit cards through Twitch - and Streamlabs tied to crypto, just to have an additional tip source in which you get to keep the full tip. I know many people hate cryptocurrency. It's just an option.
 
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Twitch subscriptions are $5 a month and the amount the creator gets depends on a case by case basis. Generally speaking 50% is about the norm. In addition to that there are "Bits" which are similar to Chaturbate tokens in that you buy them from Twitch to give to creators and Twitch has a mark up they keep. Completely separate from anything Twitch itself does is Streamlabs which allows you to use third party ways of getting donations. I have a feeling that once Twitch figures out you are using their service to get donations for pornographic reasons they would shut your stream down.
 
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Twitch subscriptions are $5 a month and the amount the creator gets depends on a case by case basis. Generally speaking 50% is about the norm. In addition to that there are "Bits" which are similar to Chaturbate tokens in that you buy them from Twitch to give to creators and Twitch has a mark up they keep. Completely separate from anything Twitch itself does is Streamlabs which allows you to use third party ways of getting donations. I have a feeling that once Twitch figures out you are using their service to get donations for pornographic reasons they would shut your stream down.
So what if the approach is to do PG-13 broadcasts on Twitch, and you link your Twitch identity to Twitter? Twitter then links to the adult webcam service? CB allows that kind of indirection as a way to get from CB to a CB competitor. Is Twitch's terms of service much stricter?
 

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Twitch subscriptions are $5 a month and the amount the creator gets depends on a case by case basis.
It sounds like Smores friends wouldn't qualify as affiliate/partner to enable subscriptions. If his model friends are just using Twitch as a middleman for payments outside of their actual cam sites.
So what if the approach is to do PG-13 broadcasts on Twitch, and you link your Twitch identity to Twitter? Twitter then links to the adult webcam service? CB allows that kind of indirection as a way to get from CB to a CB competitor. Is Twitch's terms of service much stricter?
They'd probably be banned in a heartbeat for doing shows like that. While Twitch does have an IRL section (now broken down into categories like "music" and "cooking" and "just chatting") it is not meant to be used as anything sexy. There's been instances of female streamers being suspended before for merely showing too much cleavage.

Also, if the streamer advertises for their adult sites they're like to get banned for that. (Even if only linking to Twitter that links to the adult sites.)

Your plan is not a sound one. If your model friends want to make a living as adult models, tell them to avoid Twitch. Unless they want to go do fully clothed gaming or cooking (etc) streams as a separate endeavor..
 
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I have had a number of models comment to me lately that their revenue on Chaturbate is declining. Have others seen this trend as well, and what do you think the reasons are for it?

I wanted to see if this was a problem with traffic, so I did a quick comparison of CB and MFC in Google Trends. the graph showing searches on Google for "chaturbate" and "myfreecams" at least superficially suggests that CB continues to grow its traffic, while MFC is in a long term decline:


What are some possible causes for declining revenue in the face of rising viewer traffic?...
I'm of the opinion that the whole "free-2-play" aspect of how cam sites are being marketed is slowly starting to backfire in terms of revenue generation. There have been countless news reports of online games(who have adopted the free to play revenue model) that are dying(being shut down) every single day. The biggest backlash is coming from those members who feel like they are subsidizing the non-paying members ability to get the same enjoyment without having to pay a single dime. No, I am not comparing models to video games, I am comparing the revenue model...which is basically the same...the whole "Join for free with no requirement to pay anything" shtick. Basically, that is what happens on the cam sites in question...and the people who join without ever planning on tipping will always outnumber those who will pay. Add in the fact that the paying members are growing tired of getting the feeling that they are subsidizing the freeloaders, and you get what you have now...a decline in revenue.

Hopefully I am wrong, though. And things will rebound(in time) to the models of these sites benefit.
 
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I haven’t noticed a decline in either tokens or the affiliate program earnings, if anything October looks better than September across the board.
While I have never seen you broadcast, I cannot help but think you are probably also a relationship model rather than someone just performing to new users every time you turn on the cam. You also figured out affiliate marketing - which most models never do - and you drive your own traffic and revenue from Twitter. It always strikes me how many of the Eastern European models never figure out how important relationships and repeat customers are to business. They simply show up to work and get a new batch of customers every day, more or less. So they run very fragile operations and they more or less immediately feel changes in a site's traffic and viewer dynamics.

Several of the models I follow reacted to the CB trend they saw by opening parallel accounts at Camsoda. A quick search through Google trends suggests that CB gets more than seven times as much traffic as Camsoda. Yet those models quickly got the same or better revenue on Camsoda. This might reflect that Camsoda has a smaller number of models, so the model-per-viewer metric might not be so different between the two sites.

Sorting out all these variables is tricky.
 
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