LOS ANGELES—One of the notable “firsts” at this year’s AVN Adult Entertainment Expo involved porn stars and video games.
Manuel Ferrara and Kayden Kross teamed with and Polaroid for a first-of-its-kind digital gaming lounge that brought major star power to the convention floor at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
The RubyVR Polaroid Lounge, located in the center of Artists Hall, featured the five-time AVN Male Performer of the Year Ferrara broadcasting live on Twitch.tv Jan. 18-21 for tens of thousands of fans.
Twitch is the world's leading video platform for gamers with more than 45 million enthusiasts gathering online every month to broadcast, watch and chat.
RubyVR has been sponsoring Ferrara’s Twitch broadcasts at his popular channel, , providing custom RubyVR headsets that are often shown during Ferrara’s gaming episodes. And Polaroid signed on for the AVN Show, creatiing a unique collaboration that came about as a result of the deal-making efforts by Ferrara’s partner, Kayden Kross, who is featured in RubyVR ads as an official spokesmodel. She greeted fans at the RubyVR Polaroid Lounge in Vegas between other appearances throughout the week.
Ferrara, the 18-year porn veteran with more than 1700 adult movie credits, accepted challenges from lucky fans and hung out with dozens of porn stars and industry friends on his Twitch stream every day live from the show floor.
“We had Rachel Starr, we had Karlee Grey, we had Abella Danger, of course Kayden Kross, Angela White, Brett Rossi, Jennifer White. We had so many girls come by, so it’s really fun,” Ferrara told AVN on Day 2 of the Expo. Many more girls were on the way.
“We haven’t really been playing games with them because it would take double the time, but we’ve been more doing a podcast-type thing where they introduce themselves and we talk about the [AVN Awards], what they’ve won, what they’re nominated for.
“And we talk about things that have nothing to do with porn for them, like if they play games and what games they like; if they watch anime or read comic books, all the things that this type of crowd likes to do also.”
Ferrara said on the first day of the AVN Show, Wednesday, Jan. 18, the ManuelFerraraTV channel cracked the Top 10 of streams for all of Europe.
“And today we almost doubled the numbers from yesterday. We went over 8,000 people today live at the same time—and for a long time,” he continued. “So it’s been really cool. It’s the first time that anyone Twitches from AVN.”
Ferrara said that thanks to the rapid growth of his Twitch following and the increasing support of his sponsors he’s planning to expand with a weekly show about anime and is also preparing to launch a podcast with Kayden Kross and his friend , a famous French gamer who joined Ferrara & Co. at his booth in Vegas.
“About 25 years ago there was a show on French radio that was very popular, where it was a radio host and there was a sexologist,” Ferrara explained. “So people would come on live and ask them questions about sex and we wanted to do something similar to that where people can come and ask us questions—like real questions about sex.”
Ferrara continued, “About a month ago Ben was doing a stream and he called me and said, ‘do you want to come on? I’m doing like a radio show.’ So we did this show and not only were there a lot of viewers that day but then we posted the video on Youtube. The video was three-and-a-half hours and we had over 200,000 viewers so it’s really, really cool to be able to do that.”
The Hall of Fame performer also has his sights set on doing an MMA-themed show, too, because of his love for mixed martial arts. Still a full-time performer and director, the busy stud has begun monetizing his Twitch feed and , which are growing in subscriptions by the week.
“Just because of my name and what I do for a living it brings people to my shows, but keeping them there and bringing them back is the real challenge,” Ferrara said.
Fans who visited his RubyVR Polaroid Gaming Lounge were eligible for giveaways such as Polaroid cameras and RubyVR headsets. Ferrara also held Twitter contests for a chance to win signed products—fans who tweeted his hashtags #Polaroid/RubyVR, #picsoritdidnthappen and #experienceRuby were eligible.
“We have the most fun booth and we’re not even trying—it just is,” Kayden Kross joked.
Ferrara already had a track record of leveraging his Twitch following prior to Vegas. In November, he drove charitable contributions to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital during a 24-hour gaming marathon that raised more than $6,300. His AVN Twitch broadcasts generated a reach of 1.4 million and a whopping 8.8 million impressions.
The only man in porn history to win the AVN Male Performer of the Year award five times enjoyed immediate success on Twitch, mixing his passion for gaming with down-to-earth banter during his broadcasts. As of this weekend, the native of Gagny, France, has amassed 50,000-plus followers on Twitch and more than 1.15 million views since his debut last summer.
Michael Donohue, executive vice president of sales & marketing for the Berkeley, Calif.-based RubyVR, said headed into the AVN Show, “RubyVR is proud to work with two very prominent personalities in the adult industry like Kayden Kross and Manuel Ferrara. Their focus on VR makes it a great partnership! And the Twitch marathon and the resulting charitable contribution is just one excellent example of what can be accomplished.”