Under the terms of the deal, Manwin will manage only Wicked’s paysites. The agreement took effect Dec. 1.
“This is a long term partnership we are happy to invest in,” Manwin Managing Partner Fabian Thylmann said. “Wicked Pictures has some incredible content and is undisputedly an industry leader. Allowing Manwin control over online management will only take their pay websites to the next level.”
Wicked Pictures’ new online product manager is Tony Bastone. He can be reached via email at [email protected].
Wicked had used third parties in the past to manage its websites, but most recently its web operations were done in-house.
“Manwin has a proven track record when it comes to managing highly trafficked pay websites,” Steve Orenstein, Wicked Pictures president, said. “We wouldn’t trust anyone else with a brand we have worked so hard to establish.”
Orenstein told AVN that he decided to go with Manwin because it would take the Wicked sites to the next level.
“At the core, we’re a movie studio,” he said. “We’ve never been that big player in the internet space—I don’t think that’s a secret. We’ve always been focused on keeping our brand at a high level and a good experience for our consumers and members for our movies and sites. I don’t think we’ve done enough on our own to bring our web presence to its fullest possible potential.”
Orenstein said that the deal took shape over the summer at The AVN Show.
“We had been approached by a few other online players but I didn’t hear anything that was getting me interested or motivated—something that would be a win-win,” he said. “Our CTO Avi Bitton had been having conversations with people at Manwin for the better part of a year. And through this it became ‘Hey, wouldn’t this be great,’ in the course of other dealings and conversations. That was just before The AVN Show in the summer. So basically at that show was the first time I spoke to Manwin myself and met the players in the company. That was the start of our serious conversations and we spent the next few months working out the details. We came to a mutual agreement where we both think this is great.”
Future plans for Wicked.com include a complete redesign, a new look and improved functionality. Orenstein also believes that Wicked’s content gives Manwin something they hadn’t had in its online portfolio.
“We have the type of site and the type of content that doesn’t exist in their library that they could offer their traffic,” Orenstein said. “I can’t think of a player on the web that’s bigger and more efficient than these guys and they believe we are the strongest brand delivering content for couples on the market. The more I spoke to them directly the more I realized what a top level this company operates at. Their traffic numbers are huge and even if we get a small fraction of that, it will be big. Our content is different than what they have so we think there’s a lot of potential for growth.
“Another thing that paved the way for this deal was their willingness to work with us and other studios towards controlling piracy and to work towards implementing Vobile’s MediaWise software available through APAP."