This blog was updated in 2021
Influential Entrepreneurs in Adult Entertainment
The worldwide adult industry is thriving and is undoubtedly a multi-billion dollar market. The first sector you’ll possibly think of is porn. Whilst there’s obviously a lot of money to be made in this huge corner of the market, there’s also a whole array of other categories that fall under the adult industry umbrella.
In every aspect of the trade, there are some fascinating individuals behind the scenes, who have shaped the industry into what we now know and love. Some continue to influence business today, others are no longer with us, but each of them made their mark. Let’s look at ten of the most influential entrepreneurs in adult entertainment to date …
So, who exactly are the Most Influential Entrepreneurs in Adult Entertainment?
1. Hugh Hefner
This man really needs no introduction! Adult magazine publisher and founder of the famous bunny brand that is Playboy. Now aged 90, Hefner lives in the Playboy mansion in LA and is still heavily involved in the Playboy brand. He is currently reported to be worth over $40 million.
2. Larry Flynt
A big entrepreneur in the adult industry. Larry has a list of ventures under his belt that include strip clubs and movies, but most notably he’s the founder and owner of Hustler magazine. Published for over 30 years, Hustler has a huge following, which has no doubt contributed to Larry’s reported net worth of worth over $400 million. Well, gold wheelchairs don’t come cheap.
3. Fabian Thylmann
Following on from Mr. Keezer comes the man who fronted Manwin, which is now Mindgeek. They own sites such as Youporn, Brazzers, and Pornhub. In fact, they own the majority of the top ten visited porn sites, and with reports of 16 billion hits per month across their network of sites, you can’t argue that they’re doing something right. Fabian sold Manwin in 2013, but his influence undeniably gave them solid foundations and put them firmly on the porn map.
4. Frank Koretsky
Owner of IVD (International Video Distributors), one of the biggest porn distributors in the industry to date. He’s also the owner of ECN (East Coast News), a huge adult product distribution company, as well as Baci Lingerie and OVO Lifestyle Toys. If you buy a product from an adult store, anywhere across the globe, there’s a great chance that Koretsky has helped to get it there.
5. Ron Cadwell
Perhaps not an obvious entry to the list, but still a hugely important one. Cadwell is the owner of CCBill, which was one of the first companies to allow debit/credit card payments to be made on many porn websites. CCBill processes over $1 billion in transactions per year, and if you’re making a purchase from an adult-themed website, you’re most likely using Ron Cadwell’s system.
6. Laszlo Czero
A web developer that was responsible for creating livejasmin.com, one of the world’s most visited websites. Laszlo has since started his own company and owns Oranum.com – a mainstream live streaming service. Although perhaps not directly linked with the adult industry currently, in January 2015 CNBC placed him in the top 10 biggest leaders of the adult entertainment industry. His work paved the way.
7. György Gattyán
Owner of Jasmin.com, formerly known as livejasmin.com, a sexy webcam site. It was launched in 2001 and is still one of the most popular porn sites on the web today. Now aged 46, György has been named on the Forbes list as the richest person in Hungary.
8. Jacqueline Gold
Jacqueline, now CEO of Ann Summers retail, was responsible for launching the very famous Ann Summers Party. She did this in 1981, just two years after joining her Dad’s company, which then consisted of only four stores. Ann Summers now boasts 140+ stores and over £140 million turnovers per year, and have been responsible in part for changing the perception of sex toys on the British high street.
9. Beate Uhse-Rotermund
A legend and a trailblazer, Beate was responsible for starting the world’s first Sex shop in 1962 in Germany. After spending over 15 years educating women on fertility, and selling condoms and books through mail order, a brick and mortar store was a natural progression. The company she founded continues to trade today and owns brands such as Pabo.com and Scala Playhouse. Beate sadly passed away in 2001.