WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.—In one of the biggest acquisitions of the year in adult entertainment, VS Media, the parent company of live cams heavyweight, Flirt4Free, on Thursday announced it has bought Gay.com and Gay.net from Here Media.
The deal, which was finalized for an undisclosed sum, marks the beginning of a new era for the 20-year-old VS Media, which has built a worldwide community of millions of webcam chat users that includes a vibrant and engaged gay customer base.
Since 1997, Gay.com has been a personals, chat, and news resource for the gay community online. It transitioned to Here Media in 2009, focusing primarily on dating and news by providing sourced content from Here’s other properties such as Out Magazine, The Advocate, and Pride.com.
“We’ve been looking for an opportunity such as this for quite some time now,” Gregory Clayman, president and owner of VS Media, told AVN. “We’re very much dedicated to the gay marketplace and we felt this was a perfect fit for the company.”
As the leading provider of gay webcams online, VS Media has forged affiliate relationships with many of the top gay studios, news outlets, blogs and retail products.
Clayman said VS Media has penetrated the gay market so much in recent years that it now accounts for approximately 50 percent of the company’s business.
“It really came down to opportunity knocks and it’s not always perfect timing, but I think you have to look at the opportunity that presents itself with a URL such as Gay.com,” Clayman continued. “With our commitment to the gay market and the accolades from consumers and trade shows alike, it was really more of a natural fit and it was something that we really didn’t have to contemplate too much given our position already within the gay marketplace.”
The intention is to turn Gay.com into a mainstream, lifestyle site with user-generated content and interactivity. Beyond their experience in adult video chat, VS Media will be branching out into the mainstream space to service a much larger online community.
With its wealth of resources, the technology, and a commitment to the gay community, VS Media said it is uniquely positioned to take the domain to new heights.
“Our goal is to provide all the news that we think will be fitting for the portal, such as everything from lifestyle to finance, to automobiles, to fashion, to stock feeds—anything that we think will be a value to the customers of the portal, which includes user-generated content,” Clayman said. “But we want to do it in such a classy way where we can align of ourselves with the likes of Grindr and other major portals such as that.”
He added, “This site will take a lot of time and effort to live up to its name, but we fully intend to maintain the integrity and the community spirit that Gay.com has built up over the years.”
In order to achieve that vision and run a new operation while also fortifying its standing in the live-cam space, the owner said plans call for expanding the team with a strategic business unit.
“We’re going to hire a separate business unit to manage the day-to-day operations of ,” Clayman said. “We already have part of the specialized group but we plan to hire more people that are just dedicated to the success of , so therefore we can keep things separate if we’d like and we can integrate where it’s appropriate. We want to make sure that we provide the top quality that people have come to expect from us and not to try to be the jack of all trades and master of none.
“It’s one thing to acquire the domain, it’s another thing to materialize it into something fantastic. And our goal is to materialize it into something fantastic and phenomenal. That’s where we envision it going.”
He indicated the new venture is part of a larger plan “to extend our brand as a technology and media company.”
Clayman said would be undergoing a makeover during the next three months once the new team is fully in place.
“What is up there now is not permanent. We’re going to do a complete revamp,” he said.
Representatives from VS Media will be attending the Qwebec Expo in Montreal today through Sunday and the European trade shows in September. To contact them, email [email protected].