Luxembourg-based Manwin is taking over operation of Playboy’s TV and online businesses on November 1, following an agreement that was signed this August.
Manwin will be an operating partner for certain Playboy-branded online and entertainment businesses under the label Playboy Plus Entertainment. This includes the UK and Benelux based Playboy and associated TV channels. They include the Adult Channel, Playboy Channel and Private Spice.
Under the terms of the agreement, Playboy will retain oversight of brand management. Additional terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
Scott Flanders, CEO of Playboy Enterprises (PEI), said in a statement: “This partnership is another major step in the evolution of Playboy from an operator of a range of media and licensing businesses to a brand management company. We began this process with the successful outsourcing of our publishing functions and later partnering to grow consumer-products licensing opportunities in Asia and Europe. In Manwin, we have found another strong and experienced partner, and believe that this agreement will benefit our customers, distributors and advertisers.”
Fabian Thylmann, managing partner of Manwin, said: “There is no doubt that Playboy Enterprises has created a brand that is the epitome of sexy, fun indulgence. Manwin will help this prestigious name capture both TV and the digital age in the spirit in which it was created. Manwin’s scale and expertise will catapult the brand in a way that will benefit all our partners, as well as Playboy fans.”
With websites such as Brazzers, YouPorn and Twistys, Manwin claims to be the owner of the largest network of adult websites in the world, with more than 50 million daily visitors. The company has developed various in-house technologies with respect to HD video streaming and website optimization, which enables it to compete on a matchless playing field. Based out of Europe, Manwin headquarters are in Luxembourg, with management offices in Hamburg, Montreal and Los Angeles.
Broadband TV Views. The move comes as no surprise as adult TV channels as well as adult PPV services are facing increasing competition from freely available adult material on the web. Playboy might be the best-known adult brand on the planet, but despite this claim to fame is not able to run a profitable operation with loses running up to $15 million (€10/6 million) on revenues of $55 million during 2010.
Last August, Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt has said that its VOD business dropped significantly in the second quarter of 2011. He told investors that instead of renting 3 Way Cheating Wives in HD for $9.98 (€6.97), his customers are getting their fix on the web for free.
It is a bit cynical that Manwin, whose online video sites such as YouPorn are the biggest threat to adult TV channels and on-demand services, now takes operational control of Playboy’s TV assets. However, it might be a smart move, as they proved to be good at developing such online service – although the business model behind it is not entirely clear as porn is so widely available for free on the net, and produced so widely for free by ‘amateurs’.