The deal is done, gentlemen. The Sword brings you the exclusive news, which was whisper-rumored in the industry for a couple of months, that Sean Cody has officially become part of the MindGeek (formerly Manwin) porn empire. What will this mean for one of the most successful and respected gay porn operations in the business? Only time will tell.
News like this is bound to cause some “another one bites the dust” sentiment among porn fans, especially those who are familiar with the vastly different quality of the product being produced by Sean Cody vs. Men.com.
A person familiar with the deal who prefers to remain anonymous has confirmed for The Sword that Sean Cody himself has inked the deal to sell off the enterprise for an undisclosed sum to the company that owns the massive tube sites that have been pirating Sean Cody’s content for years, sites like Pornhub, YouPorn, and Redtube. And, if you look down at the bottom of Sean Cody’s homepage now in the new year, as Sword commenter John points out, you can see the contact info for the company has already changed to “MG Billing US Corp” in Wilmington, Delaware.
But what will become of Ye Olde Sectional!?! Will shooting in that ever-familiar San Diego home with the infinity pool shift to some generic locker room set Las Vegas?? Will they make beautiful Brandon bottom for Colby Jansen??!? Or worse, fuck Johnny Rapid!?!?!
As Slate discussed in this piece from October, MindGeek is a bit of a “cautionary tale” for media companies looking to become vertical monopolies covering all ends of the internet. And having acquired so many porn content producers, they’re now “putting industry members in the paradoxical position of working for the very company that profits from the piracy of their work.” Also, it makes the production of high-quality porn almost a disincentive, since the motivation is no longer there to create a singular, successful brand that makes money from subscribers. “The distributor doesn’t necessarily need to make content that generates adequate money for the content producers, as long as it generates money somehow,” Slate points out, like from advertising on tube sites.
So, how long is Sean Cody who’s now a multi-millionaire at 43 having starting his company in 2001 at the age of 30 and the team behind him that does all the casting and shooting of the site’s wildly successful content, planning to stick around? My guess is probably not long, though the brand’s reputation among porn connoisseurs could plummet fast if the core creative team leaves too quickly.
MindGeek, though, has been more in the business of quantity over quality (ahem, Men.com), but that’s not to say that the details of this deal don’t lock in Sean Cody’s production team for some specific amount of time.
I’m hoping to get a comment from the Sean Cody camp, or MindGeek, shortly. Stay tuned.