'Romantica’ VOD Service Aims for Women

A new, female-targeted adult network, promising more romantically based erotic content, plans to debut sometime next spring.

Privately held 2 Hearts Entertainment expects to unveil 2 Hearts TV as a video-on-demand service that will feature originally produced movies and series. It will attempt to draw female viewers turned off by traditional adult programming fare, according to company CEO Sandra Staggs and president Anne Aaronson.

The pair had been part of the executive team of InPulse TV, another adult service aimed at women, now being led by remaining partners Kimberly Wilson and Shirley Rohn-Saito. InPulse TV, initially expected to bow in the first quarter of this year as a video-on-demand service, has yet to launch.

Playgirl magazine is also launching an adult VOD service aimed at women.

2 Hearts TV will offer fare similar to such erotic, female-targeted shows as Showtime’s Red Shoe Diaries and Home Box Office’s Sex and the City. Staggs believes this type of content bridges the gap between the limitations of traditional television and the less-restrictive adult programming genre.

“There’s just not enough provocative programming for women,” Staggs said. “So we set out to create a unique perspective to what we believe is a new genre. We want to empower women about their sexuality.”

The service, which refers to its programming as “romantica” — a combination of romance and erotic programming — will offer several different edited versions of its content depending on operator sensibilities.

But Aaronson said 2 Hearts TV content should not be confused with traditional adult programming fare, which is often gratuitous and doesn’t feature the strong characters and story lines that women like to see.

“We’re approaching this from a mainstream sensibility,” Aaronson said. “[Viewers] want to be engaged with good characters and a story and they also want to see some of the sex.”

Staggs said the network will produce most of the original movies and series out of necessity, as there’s a lack of quality erotic programming targeting women.

“Nothing exists that would satisfy mainstream women,” Staggs said. “We want to show lovemaking in the context of the story.”

The service is hoping for a Valentine’s Day launch, but Staggs said early spring is probably more realistic. 2 Hearts TV will launch initially as a VOD service featuring about 20 hours of mostly movie programming a month.

As the network ramps up its library, Staggs said she hopes to eventually expand to a 24-hour linear network.

Staggs would not reveal the network’s rate card, but operators typically collect between 70% and 90% per adult PPV/VOD purchase.

“Because our production value is higher for our product and we’re expanding the audience for operators, we’re hoping that we do have some leverage with cable operators,” Aaronson said.

2 Hearts Entertainment has attracted several adult PPV veterans to its advisory and consulting board, including former Playboy Entertainment Inc. executives Jim English and Richard Bencivengo.

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.