XBiz Hollywood Conference Wraps Up

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. - Representatives from affiliate programs, billing companies, hosting companies and many more turned out to spend two days in Tinseltown at XBiz Hollywood.


The event kicked off Wednesday with the "Legal Smarts" panel, where attorneys discussed major issues affecting the adult industry, as well as Internet-specific topics. Most cautioned that while change is on the horizon, since this is an election year, the Bush administration could make a final push regarding 2257 compliance.


Other seminars touched on topics such as content profits, marketing, the future of the adult industry and tapping into foreign markets.


Panelists for the event ran the gamut, ranging from performers such as Nina Hartley to attorneys Jeffrey Douglas, J.D. Obenberger and Clyde DeWitt to industry veterans like Ali Joone, Michael Klein, Ron Cadwell and Scott Rabinowitz.


Among the special events was the speed networking session held Wednesday. With a sign-up sheet that exceeded the maximum 60 spots, the event sponsored by Adult Who's Who was a hit. In two-minute sessions, each attendee met 30 other movers and shakers in an effort to make contacts and maybe strike a few business deals.


Also well attended were the keynote speeches by Brad Shaw from Shaw Investments and Marc Bell, CEO of Penthouse Media Group Inc.


Shaw traced his history in the industry, starting with when he was "failing miserably" in college and took a class on how to build a website, and continuing to cover his current work, operating an affiliate program, a content store and a webmaster message board.


"I'm a guy who likes to do a lot of things," he said. "I basically thought I would throw a bunch of stuff up against the wall and see what sticks."


Bell, who said he acquired one of the largest adult magazines "by accident," also discussed his industry past and future plans. His most recent big splash in the industry was his $500 million purchase of Various, the parent company of AdultFriendFinder. He said Penthouse will use the purchase to leverage itself as one of the largest adult companies to ever go public. The company plans to take the brand public in the second quarter of 2008.


"I expect us to be four times the size of Playboy by the time we go public," Bell said.

XBiz Hollywood concluded with the award ceremony Thursday evening at The Highlands nightclub and a farewell luncheon Friday afternoon.