7 episodes

When Financial Times reporter Patricia Nilsson started digging into the porn industry, she made a shocking discovery: Nobody knew who controlled the biggest porn company in the world. Now, Nilsson and her editor, Alex Barker, have figured out who the guy was, and much more. Their reporting reveals a shadowy power structure that includes billionaires, tech geniuses and the most powerful finance companies in the world.

Hot Money: Who Rules Porn‪?‬ Pushkin

    • Business
    • 4.6 • 59 Ratings

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

When Financial Times reporter Patricia Nilsson started digging into the porn industry, she made a shocking discovery: Nobody knew who controlled the biggest porn company in the world. Now, Nilsson and her editor, Alex Barker, have figured out who the guy was, and much more. Their reporting reveals a shadowy power structure that includes billionaires, tech geniuses and the most powerful finance companies in the world.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Requires subscription and macOS 11.4 or higher

    Episode 1: Porn Meets the Internet

    Episode 1: Porn Meets the Internet

    Stoya is a porn star who saw first-hand how a firehose of free porn online transformed the adult industry.

    She sends hosts Alex Barker and Patricia Nilsson a quest: Find out who is in charge, and get to the bottom of how the business of porn really works.

    If you’d like to keep up with the most recent news from this and other Pushkin podcasts be sure to sign up for our email list at Pushkin.fm.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 32 min
    Episode 2: The Darth Vader of Porn

    Episode 2: The Darth Vader of Porn

    A decade ago, a computer programmer named Fabian Thylmann began to build one of the biggest porn empires in the world.

    How did Fabian do it? He was good with money in a business that was starved of finance. He convinced Wall Street to bankroll his vision to take control of the industry.

    If you’d like to keep up with the most recent news from this and other Pushkin podcasts be sure to sign up for our email list at Pushkin.fm.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 32 min
    Episode 3: Mr. Goldman, Mr. Sex

    Episode 3: Mr. Goldman, Mr. Sex

    When Fabian Thylmann ran into trouble with the law, a former Goldman Sachs banker swooped in to buy his porn sites. But nobody knew who he was. He managed to keep his identity a secret for years --- until Patricia rumbled his game. 

    If you’d like to keep up with the most recent news from this and other Pushkin podcasts be sure to sign up for our email list at Pushkin.fm.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 32 min
    Episode 4: Playboy vs. Rusty and Edie

    Episode 4: Playboy vs. Rusty and Edie

    How is it legal for porn sites to host millions of videos uploaded by users? The answer is in the story of an Ohio family in the early 1990s.

    In this episode: a family IT business, an FBI raid and a court case that set the precedent for porn – and for tech giants like Facebook and Twitter. 

    If you’d like to keep up with the most recent news from this and other Pushkin podcasts be sure to sign up for our email list at Pushkin.fm.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 39 min
    Episode 5: The Billionaire Who Took Down Porn

    Episode 5: The Billionaire Who Took Down Porn

    A billionaire hedge fund manager reads a scathing column about a popular porn site. Hesends an angry text to the CEO of MasterCard. Almost overnight, the biggest porn company in the world changes dramatically.

    If you’d like to keep up with the most recent news from this and other Pushkin podcasts be sure to sign up for our email list at Pushkin.fm.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 38 min
    Episode 6: Knocking on the Door of a Porn Empire

    Episode 6: Knocking on the Door of a Porn Empire

    One of the biggest porn companies in the world was forced to radically change its practices. But another porn giant changed almost nothing.

    Patricia travels to the company's Prague headquarters to understand why. 

    If you’d like to keep up with the most recent news from this and other Pushkin podcasts be sure to sign up for our email list at Pushkin.fm.

    See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
59 Ratings

59 Ratings

M E 33 ,

Listened to ep1 and can’t wait to hear more

I heard a preview on the FT daily news briefing and I was intrigued and it wasn’t the sort of investigative journalism I expected from the FT and I think it’s great they are showing us how they are following the money and the issues with the industry . I’ve started episode 1 and can’t wait to listen to the rest

roxieroots ,

Well needed. As a survivor I am grateful

It’s the only industry that’s without rules from the biggest bosses to the “employees”. Everyone works with stage names and there’s zero background checks for anyone, not even SO registry. And with the big bosses it’s even worse. And we should realise that they created and marketed lots of now so called “normal fetishes” for clicks and money only. Capitalism plain and simple. It’s a minefield in every sense and no matter how much anyone shouts “sexwork is work” - they don’t know the reality of it. And the employees interviewed don’t want to tell you about that either because that would be a huge weight on one’s shoulder. So everyone is silent about it. Respect for this journalism!

hkpx ,

Amazing content

… but frankly bizarre theme tune

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