Die fabelhafte Karriere des Fabian Thylmann: The fabulous career of Fabian Thylmann

Sgt Schultz translates the following article on Fabian Thylmann which appeared in Stern, a German publication:

In the garden of the world’s biggest porn tycoon grow roses. Gloria Dei in France, Just Joey from England, Trosroos Maria Teresa from Belgium, especially red.

Its own facility they received: raked sand paths through the flower beds as through a small park, the roses grow there for his wife. He himself says Fabian Thylmann not be so romantic.

He’s a numbers man. Soberly analytic, rational. That brought the Computernerd far from Germany. The now 34-year-old computer programmer from Aachen has revamped one peripheral, but multibillion-dollar global market completely.

Those looking for instinctual discharge, lands at Thylmann Thylmann has a handful of the most lucrative of the Internet porn sites, and about Youporn Pornhub, Men.com, Webcams.com. To his kingdom, companies like Brazzers, Reality Kings and Digital Playground, which are among the most valuable in the industry.

Even with Playboy, the venerable gentleman’s brand of entertainment erection, the German has now calling the shots. Except for the magazine, he spearheaded all: the site, the TV channels, the radio station. Anyone looking for instinctual discharge, has the best chance to end up with one of Thylmanns do.

Although in the porn industry bizarre backgrounds are not uncommon, is liable to the meteoric rise Thylmanns something amazing, almost unreal. This is most evident when we visited him at home. From small apartment Aache ¬ ner of the early years, a 19,000 square meter site in the vicinity of Brussels has become. Traveling is no longer in the mid-size car, but in a private jet.

Nowhere else can the structural change in the industry as well as how to read ¬ Thylmann. The slightly plump businessman who with his baggy look and holey socks so not acting pornös. Alone the stigma of half illegals surrounding the pornography industry for decades, even Thylmann could never really barking.

On 4 December, the Belgian police arrested him at home: suspicion of tax evasion. The warrant comes from the Cologne public prosecutor, in December he will be extradited to Germany. On 21 December Thylmann is released on bail. The amounts at least to a low double-digit millions. “Sometimes it’s all hard to grasp,” he says a few weeks before his arrest, when he meditates on his ascent. He would not now be easier.

It started this career because he is 17 years old. Thylmann looking online what one looks just at that age on the Internet. Back in the mid-90s, Amazon is still a loss-making start-up that Google does not yet exist, the offer is on the Web manageable. Pornographic content is largely locked away behind pay walls. Free sex videos available that are longer than a few seconds, there is hardly any.

Anyone who feels that the open-access images galleries and who does not know how to help a bit, which still finds ways to fill watch. In more or less hidden chat rooms to meet like minded people and exchange files, links, and – more importantly – passwords for sex sites.

Thylmann they often only occur in those areas, where he met his first employer know. “They were very young people who had just started to sell things online.” Things to say porn. From the chats they know that programming can Thylmann, so one can use them. So they ask him if he wants to work for them. He says yes. It flatters him that his skills are appreciated.

The mother, of course, does not like what he is doing. Filth filth remains, even if the son making money. “I like programming but only,” he reassured her. “With the content I have to do nothing.” Finally, she puts up with it.

The school bores him, except in math and physics, he brings home bad grades. When teachers and students, he plotted with his direct style.

“Fabian never had many friends,” said a classmate who once sat next to him. Both go in Brussels International on the German school, their parents are expats. Years later, she meets a loner from the computer science AG again by chance, since she is his wife.

“My first computer I had at 14,” says Thylmann a 286 with 6-MB hard drive that he can still remember. At 15, he is the two programming languages ​​Pascal and Basic. People who have met him at the time describe him as shy and secretive. “Thylmann squatted in front of the computer and rarely said more than hello, if passed,” recalls one.

“I’m a geek,” says Thylmann himself for his understanding of the business is the fundamental. First and foremost it is for him is one of binary numbers, none of bare thighs.

Thylmann could not have picked a better time for his first steps. To the extent to which the Internet will prevail as a mass medium, and the demand for pornography – and accordingly the offer. After the 70s, the “Golden Age of Porn”, the industry will begin a second boom, almost every day new sites popping up.

The contents come mainly from the offline world. Magazines are scanned and grobpixelig high loaded, but especially the advent of DVD does the rest: be 1995 in the U.S. almost 6000 hardcore titles published.

Ten years later, there are more than 130,000. And all that is bare now, somehow, sometime in the net. The Internet provides a welcome opportunity for the secondary use, one that takes out the purchase and consumption of pornography from sleazy sex shops and video stores.

To pay sites around, a new economic niche: the so-called affiliates. These are website operators that will attract surfers to paid sites. Ensure the decoys from their business partners get put free galleries. Now a surfer clicks on the image, it will be forwarded to the pay offer. Latest money there when he leaves, the affiliate gets a commission.

For those with a little knowledge of HTML gold rush. End of the 90s there are approximately 5,000 affiliates, each of them has an average of two to three websites that link to hundreds and hundreds of galleries. Thylmann makes his first fortune.

Because in order to know how many users who link where, the traffic can be measured. And here comes into play Thylmann. Statistical tools for a couple of websites are the beginning, it follows Porntrack a counting software, which he sells to several vendors. Thylmann makes monthly sales 60,000 to 70,000 German marks, because it is no 20th

His ambitions as a student, however, keep in check. He writes for a business computer science, but when he speaks of his studies, he uses the word in quotation marks with fingers. A seminar certificate is all that comes out.

He programmed prefer. On Porntrack follows SexTracker. Together with a partner, he makes an office in Phoenix, Arizona, at, in America attracts the big money. But Thylmann quarreled with his partner, “who was an asshole.” That is for him to sample. In 2000, he throws back.

He works alone again, “everything”, the money he has invested largely squandered or missing. “It also falls flat on its face,” he says. Three years later, it’s all forgotten.

Thylmann has two new partners formed a new company, Too Much Media. Together they write a program which enables to manage the business between suppliers and affiliate, simple and transparent for both sides – a novelty.

The software captured the industry by storm, it is the industry standard. The most expensive version costs 5000 dollars a month. Thylmann is rich again. And again, he throws back, “because I have pissed my partner.” In 2006, he can pay off and joins forces with Tobias Huch.

The erotic entrepreneurs and young liberal from Mainz is a notorious cross-head for the “right to pornography” sometimes even pre Federal Constitutional Court draws.

One year after its inception, the joint company is bankrupt. “He was mad at me,” says Thylmann, “I was mad at him, and he sued me.” Thrice civilly, criminally once. For fraud and Insolvenzverschleppung. Two “really tiring” years to draw the processes before, both out of court. “Thylmann comprehended it not well done,” Huch says today.

The next project is buying a German Thylmann checkout page “for a small millions”. On Privatamateure.com Home Videos are or those who look after. And again, the entrepreneur is the right one. Book, produced by the simplest means films are becoming a major trend. Amateur porn shoot in front webcam and chat with users – an innovative leap to which the industry has long glossy no answer.

Thylmann extended Privatamateu re.com a webcam section – out within one year of the purchase price, he again ¬. It follows Mydirtyhobby.com, a second amateur site, they too will be a success. Then he decides to enter the United States. It’s 2008, and it comes to a market that is in a deep identity crisis.

For not only the videos set to the established business. The much bigger problem is the flood free porn movies that run over the Internet.

Following the example of Youtube go hundreds of sites online with XXX. Many show licensed films, old material, the operators of production companies have purchased. Upload files anonymously but because each can be found there also massive raw materials stolen from mobile devices and DVDs.

The studios are largely powerless against the development. The owner of the so-called short-circuited or Tubesites Tubes are mostly unknown. But once a page is turned off by Court decision, the next day to make a new one – same with piracy. Lange was “Porn” an empty promise, were lured by the user. The Tubes sort it out.

DVD sales are plunging, studios go bankrupt Paysites lose customers. At the fairs, really shrill self-portrayal of the porn carnival, meets an insecure, helpless industry. Still on the Adult Expo 2012 in Las Vegas says Michael Klein, chief of the “Hustler” Larry Flynt Publications Group: “We have not even close a business model.”

But this is true only for the offliners. For while the lament, the next generation of entrepreneurs porn enters the picture: Onliner as Thylmann. Once again, he arrives just in time.

Because they have no choice, the first producers arrange grudgingly with Tubesites and turn there advertising their pay deals. You slowly realize that there are still people who pay despite the mass of free porn money for higher resolutions, newer content and longer films. They are found only difficult ¬ Riger than before. And for that it needs just the tubes.

The money stream flowing into the porn industry is still enormous. About $ 14 billion annually. It is distributed only different. One of the new winner is Mansef, a holding company of Pay and Tubesites in Montreal. When the three founders her conglomerate in autumn 2009 for sale set, proposes to Thylmann. The holding company is actually a size too big for him, “but that was exactly what I wanted in America.”

He is looking for a bank, and does not finally gets to a New York investment firm that does not want to read their names in the media.

Founded by former Goldman bankers, it invests in companies with ¬ precarious financial situation.

“We’ve looked at what was going Thylmann have tested for three months and have you come to ¬ Result: It works,” says one partner. “The fact that it came to porn, has not deterred us. Chances of the business model were larger than any reputational risk.”

With financing in your pocket Thylmann flies to Montreal in December 2009 to negotiate with the Mansef-owners. It provides the least. “Thylmann what the cheapest fuck,” says one who was present at that time. But no one can pay quickly – one third in advance, one third distributed over a year, for the rest of circuit.

And for Mansef-founder, time is money. They are worn out by process of copyright infringement and money laundering, they want out. One of them is Father, do not want the stress of another Muslim is married, wants – and his fiancee are to understand him that his livelihood is not very pleasing to God. In March 2010 Mansef goes to Thylmann.

“That was the moment when I thought the first time that it can be something big,” he says. It’s the start of a buying spree, as she has not yet seen the industry.

Its lenders provide him with a full war chest ¬: By 2016 ¬ he gets 362 million dollars in installments, $200 million of which he has already. Enough for a small empire.

Thylmann renames Mansef in Manwin and sets off. What ends up on the market, in its portfolio, the dry years have made many entrepreneurs willing to sell.

Today, two and a half years later, he has the most respected names of the sex industry. And its sites are large enough to allow ethnological studies.

300 million people call every month 16 billion times Thylmanns on site. The access rates are so high that they allow reliable statements about the sexual preferences of individual countries.

Canadians are about to lesbians, German on mature women, big breasts like them all. The data also reveal how liberal societies: Indians remain on average about seven minutes Thylmanns pages, two minutes ¬ less than Americans. Its excitation curve is much flatter because a durchsexualisiertes environment it has become accustomed to hard facts.

And if at the beginning of Ramadan abstinence is announced, the Traffic from Islamic countries breaks on the first day by 70 percent. Less orthodox countries like Indonesia are already after two weeks at a normal level. In Egypt, however, the xeren orthodo ¬ ¬ groove zerzahlen rise much more slowly and explode if fasting really.

The amount of data is an enormous competitive advantage.

“We can see in abnormal short time what works.” Which videos are hits that draw banners – for Manwin is research a matter of seconds. “If Thylmann one can,” says one who is not particularly weighed him otherwise, “then analyze data streams.”

Even Google is now impressed. Interested to know the other side of its core business better, the Group of California exchanged regularly with the Canadians about search engine optimization, online advertising and conversion rates.

Thylmann has – perhaps sooner and more comprehensively than any other in the industry – to understand that size is everything when the business success depends on the range.

“About one thousandth visitor draws on paid content,” calculates Thylmann.

As long as you reach enough customers, no matter what around here. Manwin achieved a mean hundreds of millions in sales that come one half of ad-supported tubes, the other by mobile devices.

“He has made smart,” says a well-known competitor from Germany. “He bought a lot of traffic and pulled up behind pay deals.”

In Thylmanns house the scripts for the films are written, cast the actors, the cut scenes, and edited and added since the beginning of 2012 also produced: with Digital Channel ground he bought in January, one of the biggest studios in the world.

Shooting is primarily in the U.S. and Eastern Europe – and of course that in a big way: The aim is for all of its brands to enough material have stockpiled to the case of HIV and syphilis infection to survive even a half year production stop can. He lacks not much more. For the content, which can not often Manwin itself takes the company back to a number of parties – including pornographic corporations need suppliers.

Meanwhile, the niches are returned from serving tastes. The speed with which Manwin grows slows down. Two, three acquisitions, there will be this year. “We have to digest,” says Thylmann. A sentence to which they have been waiting a long time in Montreal. The expansion took much energy.

Thylmann itself remains restless. Holiday he finds “tough”, and the quarter eat the top firms in Montreal, when celebrating everything around him, he sits at the table, taciturn, brooding, our thoughts are with the company. Of his staff, he expects prompt responses to emails, ever.

“Even when they have just fallen asleep when my email arrived, after eight hours, there are no excuses.” Himself rich usually five hours of sleep, then he’s back in front of the screen, at home, in the office, in the office, on the road. Or rather, was.

The arrest has come to an end this bustling. For the first time in his life Fabian Thylmann is offline. Maybe even a long while. Prosecutor can not because of a few hundred thousand euros execute an arrest warrant.

That the Aachen tax investigators have submitted the case to the experts for business offenses in Cologne suggests also point to a larger dimension.

Rumors have always existed. Thylmann is not only the most successful man in the scene, but also the most hated. With its drive towards efficiency he, the outsider, duped many competitors, some ruined.

After each acquisition, the suspicion was him ¬ towards greater: Why create the thing we did not create? Conspiracy theories making the rounds: fraud, money laundering, mafia, tax evasion.

In the archives of the industry forum Gofuckyourself.com can read about how the accused for years as “Nathan” the sore finger taps to counter the hatred ¬ attacks his competitors. Time objectively, sometimes sarcastic, sometimes bawdy – logs a futile defense. Or a big lie.

Thylmanns company structure is what experts call complicated. Or opaque, depending on your view. Manwin is a network of companies and Subfirmen, and the highest profits emerge where the taxes are lowest: in Luxembourg, Ireland, Cyprus.

He has come up with this structure by the accountants Grant Thornton tinker, tax-optimized, which he admits.

In fact, such rampant social forms for IT companies are common. Since the majority of its goodwill is virtual or consists of trademark rights, they can easily be outsourced. Apple is about is so successful that the company abroad in 2011 led away just 1.9 percent tax on its profit.

The question that must now deal with the Cologne Regional Court: Was Thylmanns kingdom really only legally tax-optimized – or more than that?

In September, was the “Welt am Sonntag” encountered inconsistencies in Mydirty ¬ hobby.com. Although the official operator of the site is a sub ¬ Thylmanns company in Cyprus, interpret many indications that actually Manwin Germany was responsible for the page.

Is that right, the gains would be taxed in this country. After all that can be heard in the context of the investigator, based on exactly this accusation Thylmanns arrest.

“It has neither head nor tail” defended himself Thylmann whenever he was asked about. “Accusations, nothing more”, incited from Grant Thornton. “We do not worry about us,” said the donor.

Thylmann now officially suspected of tax evasion, Grant Thornton is silent, and the investors want to comment.

What enforce the Porn Tycoon at least as likely as a criminal prosecution, is fear for his reputation. Although it may be a strange sentiment for a Sexunternehmer but Thylmann loves his reputation.

As a young nerd in school he did not care what other people thought about him, with his business partners, he left no doubts scorched earth. Since no one knew him, as did not matter. But that has changed, now it is exposed, and he does not like. “It’s my name,” he commented on the hostility against him.

And there are moments when he loses patience with the society that uses its services, billions of times, and yet despised him then. Then a train enters Surly on his face, then he works with his hands at head level, and who with his colleagues has, knows that caution is called for, that he is on the verge of being fuchsig.

What Thylmann demands at such times and not get is acceptance. And that will not change anything. No matter how the story ends: whether he has actually evaded taxes and, if so, whether intentionally or because he is too careless, grown too fast – Thylmann and tax evasion are subject ¬ belong together now like Siamese twins.

In mid-November, the final phone call before his arrest, he was talking about double standards. Bigoted it is that no one at Apple say something, but it would be subject to tax. And that he had no intention of changing anything. “The structure is not the problem.”

Thylmann has in his career, many things right. At the decisive point for his mistake.

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