Chocolate or vanilla? Cats or dogs? Cam network or independent video-chat? These ages-old either/or debates have plagued humanity since the since the dawn of time.
Just kidding — but in the world of cammming, the latter is a legitimate question. Do you plug into a larger network, or do you manage your own shows via an independent video-chat service like Skype?
The advantages of a large network are obvious. The main one is, of course, traffic. Big cam networks have a lot of traffic, which means there are a lot of potential customers and clients waiting for you. You don’t have to find them on your own.
Networks also will handle a lot of your business needs, including payouts, model releases, and other paperwork. They’ll also keep track of compliance: Networks give you rules in the form of dos and don’ts that are designed to keep you from breaking laws or crossing your own boundaries. And networks are specifically intended for adult entertainment. You aren’t going to find yourself randomly locked out of your account because you allegedly violated some vague and subjective term of service that bans erotic entertainment on a vanilla platform.
Networks also provide some form of community and support. Most networks offer coaching or mentoring services, providing an experienced contact person you can ask questions of and request help from if you have a problem. Networks also have your back in instances of harassment or pushy customers, often banning people who cross lines with models. And honestly, there’s something comforting about getting on cam and knowing there are other models working too. Camming has many advantages, but working solo sometimes can feel isolating and discouraging. A network provides some form of workplace camaraderie.
But networks are also competitive — very competitive. Clients have many choices, and you always have to be on your game. There’s also a lot of downtime, which can be challenging to manage. Some networks don’t pay out as frequently as many models would like, and the system for rate determination can be confusing initially.
Indie video-chat spaces have a some disadvantages, particularly for new models who may not have fully developed their following and/or public profile yet. In addition to the very real possibility of account suspension, payment is complicated. Though most video-chat services have the capacity to charge for calls, their rates are set, and there’s no way to bill for additional services. Further, most video-chat platforms do not have the capacity to charge per minute of private time spent with a fan. Models have to set times, schedule shows, and secure payments in advance via a separate process.
It can be difficult to entice a fan to spend more money if he has to stop a show to pay again just when you’re getting to the good part. Plus, what if you have another fan scheduled right away and can’t spend more time with a client who wants more of your attention right then? There’s also the issue of chargebacks: Some fans might pay for the chat with a credit card and then ask the credit card company for a refund.
For some models, these extra hoops might not be worth the perks, and there are some pretty significant perks to working outside a network.
Because they’re not monitored in the same way cam networks are, you often can get away with a lot more on a private video-chat platform. There’s no nanny making sure you’re behaving yourself on cam. Especially for models working with clients who have more “unusual” tastes, this can be a great benefit. Models also can charge whatever rate they want for their video-chat shows without the carrier fee all networks take, which means a model can make more money while still charging a client less than they would pay on a network.
Video-chat services like Skype also help break down the very real and present stigma of erotic performance online. A client might feel nervous about their credit card bill and browser history when it comes to a network, but hopping on Skype and depositing funds directly into a bank account are ordinary occurrences in 2016.
In the end, the only person who can pick your best platform is you. Many models nowadays actually work on both types of platforms, casting their net wide and looking to meet the greatest number of clients’ needs. Rather than selecting one or the other, this is a great strategy too.
Whatever you choose, just remember to stay savvy. Protect yourself, and camming can be a personally rewarding and financially profitable part-time job or career.