CNBC Spotlights Porn's 'Most Powerful Players'


Gathering information from industry “insiders,” CNBC has listed “Porn’s Most Powerful Players” on

There are no big surprises on the list to those in adult, but the article did report a few not-so-common facts from its sources about the big names, along with slide show photos.

For example, the piece mentions that CCBill processes $1 billion transactions a year, ECN/IVD’s Frank Kay now owns Baci Lingerie, and’s San Francisco Armory headquarters was bought for $14.5 million.

Larry Flint TabooIn no particular order, the who’s who list includes Manwin’s Fabian Thylmann, Larry Flynt, LA Direct Model’s Derek Hay, CCBill’s Ron Cadwell, Steven Hirsch, attorney Marc Randazza, East Coast News/IVD’s Frank Koretsky, Doc Johnson’s Ron Braverman, CEO Peter Acworth, and gossip blogger Mike South.

CNBC pointed out that performers rarely have any power in the industry and it’s the big guns behind the scenes that pull the strings.

While some [power brokers]have familiar names, the majority prefer to keep a low profile. And more and more, the most powerful people in porn have no direct ties to onscreen sex.

For the most part the brief article did report correctly on the state of some of the major players, mentioning Thylmann’s arrest, Flynt’s acquisition of New Frontier, and Randazza’s shut down of file-locker site Oron.

It’s obvious that the list included the industry’s mainstream “marquee” names, and a number of adult’s elite were left out. But you know who you are.

Fabian-ThylmannFabian Thylmann

When it comes to video, there is no one more powerful in the porn world than Thylmann, who is managing partner of Manwin Group. He is simultaneously feared, hated and admired by many within the industry.

Notoriously press- and camera-shy, he controls the Brazzers and Reality Kings collection of websites as well as several adult “tube” sites (think YouTube for porn), Digital Playground and Playboy TV.

Manwin has been on a buying spree for years. His power position could be in jeopardy, though.

In December, Thylmann was arrested on suspicion of evading taxes – and Die Welt reported German officials seized several computers and documents at Manwin’s German offices.

Larry_FlyntLarry Flynt

The creator of Hustler and other adult publications (along with at least one video game magazine) is one of the most well-known people in porn.

And he seems to be making a power play these days. Last November, his company, LFP, acquired New Frontier Media, the once publicly traded owner of nine adult-themed pay-per-view networks in a surprise bid. (Manwin and Longkloof Limited, the company’s previous largest shareholder, were the original bidders.)

Some in the industry believe the New Frontier acquisition marked the beginning of a showdown between Manwin and Flynt (and his right hand man, LFP president Michael Klein).

Derek-HayDerek Hay

As co-founder of L.A. Direct Models, Hay is one of the industry’s biggest talent agents.

A one-time performer, he now focuses on the business side of things exclusively and reportedly runs a tight ship.

That’s something directors appreciate, as actresses show up on time and ready to work.His clients include some of the biggest names in the industry, including Allie Haze, Tori Black and Lexi Belle.

Ron-CadwellRon Cadwell

If a porn company wants to make money online, it almost always has to go through Ron Cadwell.

His company, CCBill, (where he is CEO) handles online billing for adult-themed websites, since many other billing companies shy away from the adult industry.

Today, the company processes more than $1 billion in transactions per year – and for the past 15 years, hiscompany has organized The Phoenix Forum, an annual spring conference for the adult online industry.

Steven-HirschSteven Hirsch

Hirsch, who is co-chairman and founder of Vivid Entertainment, is in many ways the voice of the industry.

Polished and well-spoken, he’s a go-to person for media outlets. He also has a sense of what viewers want, which includes celebrity sex tapes.

His company has launched some of the industry’s biggest stars and has expanded into different areas of the mainstream world, including its own line of vodka.

For the full list of Porn’s ‘Most Powerful Players’ visit



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