Exec Seat: Adam Hasner
Having an “uncle in the business” has been a surefire way for job-seekers to break into the industry of their dreams for decades. Especially when times are tough. So when Adam Hasner was offered a summer job at Uncle Keith Gordon’s Bizarre Video in New York in 1998, the doors swung wide open ushering in what’s continued as a purebred lineage of adult executives.
Hasner’s entry-level job in the warehouse that ultimately led to sales manager set the stage for what is now a career that spans a number of major adult distribution outlets and production companies including Pure Play Media, Vantage Distribution, DreamZone Entertainment, Evolution Distribution, Manville and more.
The executive says he’s fortunate that he was introduced to the industry through his family and gives major props to Gordon who gave him his start and “taught him everything he knows about the business.” But he also thanks Marty Turkel and Larry Fields — both of whom were “able to share unique experiences and knowledge” that he maintains have impacted his career in a positive way.
So much so that after Bizarre’s 2004 merger with Jill Kelly Productions, he was tapped to relocate to Los Angeles and manage the new operation. But after what he calls “a series of events,” he was then called back to the Big Apple where he began working for Pleasure Productions, where at the elbow of Michael and Frank K., Hasner grew into a seasoned pro.
His tenure at Pleasure gave Hasner the needed insight and street smarts to venture out on his own and in 2007. He chose to launch Evolution Distribution as the central collection for a growing library of content. “Because of my familiarity with Pleasure Productions and our associated studios, I was asked to lead the launch,” he recalls.
Today Hasner is the vice president of Vantage Distribution, Evolution Distribution, Pure Play Media and DreamZone Entertainment, a monumental multi-executive position that sees him in command of all sales and operations for each of the companies.
He explains that the relationships between the varied, but related operations are based mostly on the traditional studio/distributor connection, with some of the content being produced by the parent operation internally. Pure Play, Vantage and Evolution distribute a variety of studios. DreamZone and Manville are studios that produce content in-house to satisfy market demands.
How he juggles all of the responsibilities of each company boils down to his core business philosophy that centers on persistence, understanding the big picture, and a positive attitude. “Without those, it’d be impossible to remain relevant,” Hasner says.
And what’s equally important in Hasner’s wheelhouse is serving the customer. “Our customers are my number one priority, always have and always will be. My staff and I are dedicated to our customers’ success, and we will always do what’s right by them.’
His philosophy has apparently paid off. In 2009 Hasner took the reins of Vantage and over the course of several years has expanded it to a 15-studio distributor. His adult background and keen business sense played out again with DreamZone, also growing that business into what is today a multi-genre studio.
Another milestone for Hasner came in 2011 when portions of distribution giant Pure Play Media were assumed by Hasner’s organization. In just two short years, he was asked to oversee sales and operations for the multi-title distributor. Hasner says that was just the beginning and Pure Play continues to grow, expecting it to be a top source for the industry’s major niche-studios for years to come.
But the power of a leading company like Pure Play’s brand isn’t enough to stay competitive in an ever-shrinking and competitive DVD market. Hasner says as a distributor, his primary role is to represent all the studios under his watch and that means staying ahead of the continually changing business demands and making sure his studios are properly represented.
If Hasner’s newest production company, Airerose is any example, the honcho is right on course. The new studio’s first gonzo feature, “Big Ass Crush” is set for a May release and Hasner expects it to make industry headlines, demonstrating what he’s put forth as a new standard. Hasner said of its launch at that time, “Airerose Entertainment is on a mission to bring our customers high-quality gonzo with the most wanted girls in the industry.”
The executive notes that the new studio will present a variety of the industry’s biggest stars and directors including Anikka Albrite, Maddy O’Reilly, Chanel Preston, Phoenix Marie, Dani Daniels, Bonnie Rotten and more. Two feature films will street from Airerose each month.
The amalgam of adult enterprises has also embraced technology under Hasner’s stewardship. But he maintains that as a distributor, a conscious effort was undertaken to make all their available titles easily found on their various websites, including PurePlayMedia.com, VantageDist.com and EvolutionDist.com. He reveals that his company is also developing ButtBucks.com, a pay-site affiliate program for its various content and studios.
A lot on his plate for sure, but Hasner’s juggernaut shows no end of stopping.
Over the last few years most adult industry executives would agree that managing — and making profitable — one production or distribution company has been a major challenge what with shrinking DVD sales, content piracy and legal issues regarding production. So what Hasner has faced — and accomplished — can only be described as awe-inspiring.
And despite his personal successes and undeniable innate abilities, he makes a point of thanking his parents, whom he calls his heroes; and the adult business captains from Pleasure whom he learns from daily, along with the others who have given him the opportunity and smarts to rise to the top of his game.
And that game is still open for growth. Hasner says his doors are open to newcomers and talented production companies, but cautions that like all the studios he represents, he needs partners to understand their audience and be able to produce content that is constantly fresh and relevant. A philosophy that rings true with his own mantra to ultimately keep the customer satisfied.