Thank you for continuing this incredible ride with me!
Grooby started in 1996 as a pet project, and each and every day I look forward to coming to work (it’s helped that most days my office is 50 ft from my bedroom) and seeing what the morning’s emails have brought and what I have inline for the day. The content of the overnight communications often dictates the direction of the day, but opening those morning emails always brings something new – sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes exhilarating and other times frustrating but never the same.
I appreciate how incredibly fortunate I am to have a job that I love doing – but with that role comes responsibilities. Responsibility for the 15 full time staff, and 15 producers working with us. Responsibilities to try and make sure we get as much work and income to as many models as I can (with over 1500 shoots across our networks in 2017). I have responsibilities to the members to provide them with what they are paying for, responsibilities to the individual sites to make sure they’re able to keep running and fulfil their remit and responsibilities to the company, to make sure that we can keep it running, keep turning a profit, keep reinvesting in new ideas and projects and keep the ride going.
2017 has been a bit of a rocky ride. At the start of the year, website sales were down for everyone and we saw sales dip on previous years. We decided to take a long look at how we do things and have made some changes to the sites, both in technical areas (faster servers, 4k video) but in content by trying our ‘Cumshot Specials’ and increasing the scene quality – and that along with a myriad of other tweaks have brought sales much closer to what we were expecting. We had a very successful transition from ‘Shemale Yum’ to ‘Grooby Girls’ and more recently, ‘Shemale.XXX’ to ‘Tgirls.XXX’ and a few smaller domains – it was a lot of hard work, but worth it. We launched GroobyVR.com which seems to be doing okay and we’ve a good base to continue to grow this side of the business and our GroobyDVD.com has launched recently – instead of paying up to 65% to outside VOD companies, 100% of the spend comes back to us, so we can reinvest in new productions. Other highlights, were our best Transgender Erotica Awards to date, running the editorial content for Transformation magazine which I think our designer Dev and Kristel have done an amazing job on
2018 is looking to be a challenging year. The adult industry has legal issues to deal with in the UK and the US, with a UK law coming in April which everyone must prove they are over 18 before getting access to sexual material – and the US bringing in some new billing laws, I’ll be staying on top of these, don’t worry! We also have the repeal of net neutrality and it appears some big providers in the US have already started traffic shaping and we’re going to have to work with that to ensure our speeds don’t suffer. I believe we’re going to see even less companies producing trans content then previous years (there was a small spike in 2017 as a handful of mainstream companies seeing the ‘trans trend’ in the media, tried to make content but if you look, that’s mainly dropped off) and I think we’re going to see a lot of models getting disillusioned over trade/self-produced content.
My (and Grooby’s) road map for 2018, includes working more with independent producers both by creating a forum at TSChatter.com which is for models, producers, affiliates and other business only to discuss, promote, network and work out issues away from the public as well as finally launch T.Porn properly, allowing models to sell their content which the maximised their sales on elsewhere, directly to us. We are also producing better communication tools between the models, the company and the producers to ensure that models know exactly what to do, what to expect and what their expectations are, when they come to work with us. On a production front, we’re going to have two ‘partner-type’ websites starting this month – but then start looking at expanding into different niches, under the Trans umbrella. Different niches, and fetishes, or styles – which I’m excited about.
I’d like to end this letter where I began. With a thank you for being with us, in whatever capacity. I do appreciate that you do have choices and I do my utmost to try and do the ‘right thing’ both ethically, morally and as a business person in running this company. Those criteria don’t always match exactly but I do try and mitigate them where I can.
I wish you all the most health, luck, well being and respect for 2018.