Originally written by roast on Stripper Web 09/01/11
Given how aggressively studios advertise to get cam models to work for them - it may help to have one thread on SW on how to sign up for "mega sites" directly. Mega sites tend to have high traffic, high model turnover and low payout percentages for the model... which makes it attractive to 'recruiters' to create a business taking a percentage of earnings as a 'studio'. Please note that by mega sites I am referring to: livejasmin, myfreecams, flirt4free, adultwork, camcontacts, ifriends, imlive, streamate, webcams, cams, and naked.
To be clear - studios can be physical locations that are like a webcam calling center. This is not what is being referred to here.
This thread is about online "agencies" and virtual "representatives" that recruit cam models and take a percentage of their earnings in order to sign you up for a mega site. Usually these percentages are staggering and you the model will end up earning 15-30% per minute instead of 30-70% per minute. They thrive on cam girls not knowing how to sign up for sites directly.
Search around on adult online business forums (blackhatworld, ynot, gfy, etc) - studio owners talk and teach other about how to keep camgirls uninformed, how to deal with models not logging in or filling out applications, how to hide their real earnings from them, and how to coerce cammodels into staying with them. Do these tactics sound familiar?.
Signing up for the site directly means you: won't be obligated to work a set schedule, you will earn a higher percentage per minute, you won't be forced or expected to work exclusively with one company, you won't get emails or tweets harassing you to work more, you control what sites you appear on, you can freely close and open accounts on sites, and more. Basically you will work independently and earn a higher payout percentage than if you join a studio.
Special issue: If you live in a country where you *have* to sign up through a studio in order to stream (find out first! but largely it can mean anywhere but the US, UK, Western Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand)we can try to help you find a studio that has a competitive payout percentage.
How do I know I am signing up with a studio and not the site directly?
Most BIG TRAFFIC cam websites do not post job ads. If you see job ads calling for webcam models on sexyjobs, backpage, adultjobs, in classifieds, cityvibe, craigslist, on twitter, on stripperweb even... then it is almost always a studio. A multi-million dollar company does not need to troll boards for one possible signup.
Other signs you're dealing with a webcam studio:
1. Unsolicited offer: If you get an email or tweet out of the blue to join a mega website - they are probably a studio.
2. Personal attention: If you are getting a lot of personal attention by email, phone, IMs, DMs, texts, etc. Big sites tend to hide their real office numbers bc theyre already extremely busy. The owner of Streamate.com doesnt want to just sit and chat with you.... but a studio does.
3. Key words: Look for words like - recruiter, promotions, studio, agency, representative, training, in their emails and on their website. Also studios seem to love TYPING IN CAPSLOCKS and using exclamation points!!!!!
4. Aggressiveness: you have to sign up NOW NOW. incessant emails asking why your application is not completed. Some studios are so desperate for completed signups theyll require teamviewer as a part of their application process.
5. Payout percentages: if you're able to actually get them to answer how much your payout percentage and PPM fees will be (and in detail, with real figures, not only 'up to 10,000 a week!' or 'up to 80%!'). Your earnings should never be only described as 'up to' if you contact customer service. If the payout is under 30% - it is probably a studio (exception is: Cams.com is 29%). Some studios only charge 3-5% on top of the website's fees but MOST charge way more than that. If you dont trust what youre being told and want to know a site's payout percentages and PPM fee structures, ask here.
6. Lack of straight answers, no real contract, get impatient if you ask too many questions: you get the runaround when you ask direct questions and they only respond with hype, personal stories, testimonies, pressure, and no real numbers. They may get defensive if you call them a studio and will try to use euphemisms like promo company. broadcasters or modeling agency. Also if they refuse to tell you what sites you appear on (and instead say something like "you'll get amazing traffic from our HUGE network"... their HUGE network btw are usually just white labels for the same site).
7. They email you from a free domain: ie, gmail, aol, live, hotmail, etc.
8. "Submit your pics to be considered": most mega sites are indiscriminate and only care if you're over 18 (except MFC and naked.com only take non-TS women). There is no real consideration process - the only 'consideration' they need is the ability to fulfill 2257 age verification requirements. This is a tactic to prey on the insecure, collect pictures, and to also make the company appear exclusive.
9. Auditions: . This is gross but common practice for many studios and promo agencies. No "mega" cam site asks for an audition. Ever. Ever. Ever. Hell, no legitimate indie site does either.
10. Domain whois / registry data: Do they have a godaddy or cheapdomains account? Was the site only registered within the past year or so? Can you see the full name of the person who registered the domain? They are probably a studio. For ex- this is the registry info for a big site, here is the registry info for a studio. Be aware that this is not foolproof, but it can confirm suspicions.
11. Cyprus?: This is kind of a joke - but I was once contacted (unsolicited) by a studio and I asked them if they knew what 'cyprus' means. They did not know. I asked this because a bunch of mega sites have business stations in Cyprus. A real representative for a megasite would know Cyprus is a country where they have addresses registered. Well, they also would not be trolling camgirls on Yahoo...
12. They'll say you don't *have* to get naked or do xxx: this is how they lure non-sexworkers in with the promise of "easy and fast money". Studios will not wait for you to build your non-nude brand independent of them. Doing non-nude or fetish requires heavy marketing, customer grooming, and patience - studios are allergic to all three of those things. Camming is, by & large, an adult entertainment job.
13. Paypal: Paypal is not an adult-friendly service. If a "modeling agency" is offering to pay you for your work through paypal they're a studio. Paypal regularly freezes accounts they suspect of adult transactions... "Freeze" means you won't get your money.
14. We're female-run: this is a luring tactic to get you to sign up faster. if it is actually true (rare): a studio is still a studio.
15. Job ad boards: try not to apply for webcam jobs by responding to job ads on any of the following sites or sites similar to them: craigslist, backpage, gumtree, adultjobs, freepostsites, monster, acting job listings, stripperweb(!), etc... the majority are cam virtual studios for major sites.
1. I want to be a cam model, what do I need to apply on my own?
In order to apply to be a cam model on all sites - you will need to have a copy of your scanned ID. It'd be best to have copies of your ID in color and in multiple formats (jpg, pdf, etc). You will also need a picture of you holding the ID to your face (with your hand visible), so take a few of these pictures and save it to your hard drive to make signing up for multiple sites easier.
Most sites require you to print out their age verification form, contract, and/or tax forms. You will need to have access to a printer and scanner to be able to upload these documents yourself. If these forms are not available on their website and/or they fail to send it to you after you submit an inquiry - be sure to contact customer service directly. By that I mean you're pulling the email address from the site and emailing someone whose email address is hosted on the same domain.
Keep in mind most sites give multiple payment options - so if you do not have a bank account or do not want to get sent checks - there are ways around this.
You also do not have to only work for one site. A studio almost lured me in by saying that they can put me on many sites without getting me in "trouble" for breaking exclusivity. It is bullshit. Sign up for as many mega sites as you want. Close and open your account on as many sites as you want.
2. How do I get the application from sites to apply directly?
Scroll to the bottom of the site. Look at the text at the footer of the site. You'll see "become a model" "sign up as a host" "model signup" or "models wanted". Click those and you'll be directed to their sign up process.
If you cannot find it on their site - go to their contact page and request it. Or ask here.
Their goal is to make money off of your money, so they aren't handsoffish.
One thing that I see a lot of studios say is "you cannot hide your face on webcam", uh, yes you can if you sign up on your own. It is a studio rule, it is rarely a mega-website rule (please note that a face pic is required on Cams.com). If you sign up for sites directly you can zoom the cam on your pinky toe if you want.
4. What if I sign up for a studio for a few weeks because they have daily pay... I just need to pay a few bills! Then I can sign up for the site directly, right?
Studios have contracts that prevent models from just leaving them. Some enforce time periods after you leave them before you can sign up for the site on your own. 6months-a year is the standard. Also there are pay services that have a far better track record here and dont impose time limits on when you can leave.
5. This studio is offering to block countries and states. I can't risk being exposed. I don't want to be a professional model or anything, I just need money.
That is totally understandable. But all megasites listed above offer to block regions. This is not a special studio service. Studios can't block regions on your behalf, only the site you're appearing on can.
6. Won't they promote me?
Most studio promo is lazy, nonexistent, or both. I mean scheduling tweets, tweeting, harassing you on twitter, posting on dating sites, spamming people. Remember - they have you on MEGA sites with pre-existing paying traffic (and a lot of it). They don't need to do much of anything to get you customers. If they do promote you, the vast majority of what they do is via free social media sites that you can just do on your own.
7. I am having a hard time signing up for a site and have so many questions... isn't a studio easier because they'll help you?
Please remember that most megasites take 50-70% of your earnings. ask them all the questions you want.