MindGeek – The Virtual Monopoly of Internet Porn

MindGeek bills itself as the virtual monopoly of internet pornography. The company is arguably the world’s biggest porn library with nearly 7,000 years of porn translating to about 11 petabytes of data.

MindGeek’s tube sites ranks top alongside Netflix, Google, and YouTube in terms of bandwidth consumption. MindGeek has undoubtedly cemented its leadership position in the $97 billion dollars industry thanks to its high profile acquisition over the years.

The Rise Of A Titan

The company was registered 16 years ago in Luxembourg as Mansef, although it is currently headquartered in Montreal, Canada with offices across the globe.

MindGeek has had an exciting journey to the top having survived the 2008 crash that saw industry titans crumble, and a rude raid by the Secret Service in 2009 that resulted to seizure of company assets worth $6.4 million alongside countless allegations of copyright infringement. After purchasing the original Mansef and Interhub, tech entrepreneur, Fabian Thylmann changed the company’s name to Manwin and eventually to MindGeek.

The Death Of Paid Porn

After the 2008 porn industry crash, Thylmann sought out financing from Colbeck Capital to purchase porn tube sites at ridiculously discounted prices. By then it was reported that porn studios had cut down production by nearly 75% with DVD sales dipping by 50%. Piracy was rampant, free amateur porn was taking over the internet -in short porn was no longer profitable.

Every major player wanted to cut their losses and leave porn to die a slow painful death. In the midst of all this, MindGeek saw an opportunity to rule over the once vibrant industry after the dust had settled. This was pretty ambitious for the company considering not everyone at the moment saw the viability of their plan.

The New Sheriff In Town

Barely a decade down the line and MindGeek is the biggest name in porn. The company now owns hundreds of free tube sites including dozens of premium sites that wreck in millions in revenue.

After the 2008 depression, MindGeek embarked on a spirited acquisition spree –purchasing every big name that wanted out.

The Monopoly

According to the acclaimed adult industry blogger, Mike South, MindGeek now owns eight out of ten top porn aggregators. The only other non-MindGeek’s sites that made it to this coveted list are the notorious Xhamster and Xvideos. One of MindGeek’s notable subsidiaries is industry giant PornHub. It is reported that PornHub is visited by an average of 120 million people daily. Let’s say you loathe PornHub, what other viable options do you have? Well there’s Brazzers, YouPorn, Xtube, RedTube, Extreme Tube, PornMD, PornIQ, Peeperz, Gay Tube, Babes.com, Men.com, Sextube, Reality Kings, Digital Playground, Mofos, Playboytv Webcams.com, and Wicked Pictures among several others.

What you might not know is that each of the sites mentioned above and dozens others belong to MindGeek. So next time you close a Brazzers’ tab to log into PornHub, you’ll still be within the expansive MindGeek’s umbrella.

MindGeek’s Revenue

MindGeek operates offices in the U.S., Ireland, London, Germany, Greece, and Hungary. The company employs over 1,000 permanent staff according to information on its official website.

With millions of daily visitors thronging its diverse tube sites daily, the company reportedly makes millions in ad sales annually. Thylmann through Manwin turned a $362 million investment from Colbeck Capital to a ginormous cash cow generating nearly half a billion dollars annually in revenue.

The Monetization Strategy

Considering most of MindGeeks tube sites are free, the company generates most of its income from ad sales. This explains why MindGeeks was never bothered by influx of free porn on the internet in the first place.

While big companies felt that porn was no longer profitable after the 2008 crash, Thylmann saw an opportunity to create one of the world’s largest collections of free porn then monetize the traffic.

One challenge with free amateur porn is that it lagged in both video and content quality. This however, created demand for high definition films for paying consumers, and production studios rose to the occasion.

Now two divides exist in the industry -free tube sites, and premium sites that charged a subscription fee for access to high quality videos.

Despite having a reputation as the world’s leading free pornsite, thanks to PornHub, MindGeek was not going to pass the opportunity to make money from paying clients.

The company acquired several Premium sites and even created a PornHub Premium service. MindGeek’s free tubes like other sites offering free porn are crawling in ads, while its premium subsidiaries are distinctively free of these annoying popups.

In 2015, MindGeek signed a distribution agreement with Pulse Distribution to boost its revenues from ads and subscription fee. Through the deal, the company acquired ExtremeTube, SpanWire, and Keezmovies.

Data-Driven User Experience

Another unconventional source of MindGeek’s revenue is data mining. The company reportedly collects its users’ data and selling it to 3rd party advertisers. With millions of daily traffic, MindGeeks through its subsidiaries is in a position to mine personal data from its visitors with ease.

This explains the awkward scenario where at one point you are browsing through the fiery entries in the sex toys market then next thing you know, dozens of ads on the same magically crowd your browser.

Allegations of Piracy     

MindGeeks has occasionally come under wild criticism over its alleged reluctance to regulate stolen content on its tubes. Most of MindGeeks’ platforms allow users to upload content to the tubes.

A good number of the content is stolen materials from hardworking performers who never benefit from their work. Performers and production companies alike have launched numerous complaints about the same but MindGeeks appears to have done little to appease these major players in the game.

It is reported that even after pulling down stolen content after being reported by the rightful owners, the materials end up being published on the company’s other sites which makes it futile for performers to keep tracking.

Performers are seemingly frustrated by MindGeeks’ monopoly; most of them fear being blacklisted from an industry titan that controls nearly 100 sites.

MindGeek allegedly profits from pirated content which explains their reluctance to take a stance.


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