LOS ANGELES — XBIZ is pleased to announce Steven Hirsch will be its first ever Icon Keynote Speaker at XBIZ 2016, the adult industry’s premier trade events series, set for Jan. 12-15 in West Hollywood.
Hirsch is the founder and co-chairman of Vivid Entertainment Group, which is widely regarded as the most well known adult video brand in the world.
The pioneering executive will deliver the first keynote address of his storied career on Friday morning, Jan. 15, at the conference that will once again take over the entire property of the Andaz Hotel for an unparalleled series of events tailored to examine the future of the rapidly evolving adult industry.
Hirsch’s remarks will lead into the FSC Awards luncheon and also set the stage for the 2016 XBIZ Awards Show that will return to the spectacular J.W. Marriott at L.A. Live, the new home for the adult industry’s biggest night.
“I’m excited and honored to be asked to give the first Icon Keynote,” Hirsch said. “XBIZ has become such an important part of our industry and I’m looking forward to being part of it.
“I want to talk about some of the challenges that face our industry — both externally and internally. How does our industry survive the next 30 years? What will be the future income sources? Some will survive some won’t. What will make the difference?”
Hirsch founded Vivid in 1984, turning it into a leading source for high-quality erotic films while creating unprecedented brand awareness through innovative marketing strategies and forward-thinking licensing programs.
Under Hirsch’s leadership, Vivid became the first adult studio to heavily market a “contract girl” who worked exclusively for one company. Vivid’s first contract girl was Ginger Lynn, who starred in the studio’s first movie in December 1984, “Ginger.” As the concept gained traction, the studio’s exclusive performers became universally known as the “Vivid Girls,” a title that became synonymous with the crème de la crème of female stars all the way through the late 2000s.
More than 70 women have attained Vivid Girl status since Ginger Lynn, including several of the biggest stars in the history of adult entertainment. Some of the former Vivid Girls are Jenna Jameson, Tera Patrick, Christy Canyon, Julia Ann, Janine Lindemulder, Sunny Leone, Taylor Hayes, Briana Banks, Savanna Samson and Kayden Kross.
Hirsch bolstered his marketing by being the first to showcase his Vivid Girls and movies in a mainstream light. Vivid’s film boxes going back to the mid-80s became the most polished, progressively designed covers in the business.
Vivid’s ascent to international prominence also came with some watershed moments for the adult industry, such as when the studio placed a billboard featuring Christy Canyon on Sunset Boulevard in West Hollywood — in 1996.
Vivid also placed its logo on light boxes at Burbank Airport and later ran a billboard in Times Square, positioning its brand in ways adult entertainment studios had previously not deemed possible.
But Hirsch’s remarkable foresight was not limited to shrewd marketing tactics; he also moved his company forward with technical innovations. Vivid was among the first studios to produce DVDs, the first to use multiple angles on DVDs and one of the first to issue a movie on Blu-ray.
They also stayed ahead of the adult studio curve on the Internet as one of the first major brands to generate revenue through their online presence.
“Steven Hirsch has demonstrated incredible vision, extraordinary business savvy and fearless creative flair for more than three decades while leading his company to the pinnacle of fame,” said Alec Helmy, founder and president of XBIZ. “In doing so he not only raised the bar for the entire industry, he has also inspired countless company executives to achieve greater heights with their own careers."
Vivid’s brand portfolio remains one of the deepest and most diverse in the adult entertainment landscape. Vivid products range from condoms to vodka to apparel to erotic novels; and the studio’s movies are consumed on DVD, VOD and on Vivid TV worldwide.
Vivid’s TV channels and/or VOD offerings enjoy nearly 100 percent distribution on North American cable and satellite homes and have expanded to Europe, Asia and Latin America.
In 2013, Vivid licensed its powerful brand for gentlemen's clubs that now feature the Vivid name on locations in Charlotte, Miami, Los Angeles, New York and Houston.
Meanwhile, the studio’s Vivid-Celeb imprint has cemented the term “celebrity sex tape” in the pop culture lexicon, helping to launch the Kardashian phenomenon in the process.
The pioneering brand also touches the mainstream with Vivid Radio — Vivid’s 24/7 radio channel that is available online and on the SiriusXM app and channel 791.
The most recent XBIZ events series in January drew a record number of attendees from international markets for the most comprehensive lineup of business insights, networking and deal-making opportunities.
To stay tuned to XBIZ 2016 show news, visit XBIZShow.com.