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You know it’s a recession when porn sales are down September 14, 2009

Posted by jeremyliew in porn, recession.
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The Economist notes that the pornography industry is going through hard times:

Most of the industry consists of small private production companies whose numbers are secret, but Mark Kernes, an editor at Adult Video News, a trade magazine, estimates that the American industry had some $6 billion in revenues in 2007, before the recession, mostly in DVD sales and rentals and some in internet subscriptions. Diane Duke, the director of the Free Speech Coalition, the adult industry’s trade group, thinks that revenues have fallen 30-50% during the past year. “One producer told me his revenue was down 80%,” she says.

It’s not just the recession though. Pornography is going through the same structural shifts that are putting music, video print and other content companies under pressure:

Piracy is the main problem. And the internet, with its copious free clips, is an increasingly viable alternative to the paid stuff. Pornography in general has become “like potato chips, everywhere and cheap, to be consumed and tossed,” says Ms Hartley. It’s not the same as in the golden age when she joined. “The industry will shrink and stay shrunken,” she reckons.

Not to mention the threat of user generated content…

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Comments»

1. Undertone Extending Reach; Bloomberg Terminals For Out-Of-Home; NY Times Says Malware Was Not From Ad Network - September 15, 2009

[…] On the Lightspeed Venture blog, Jeremy Liew notes though that porn is actually suffering according to The Economist due to factors such as Internet piracy and the "free" model. Read it. […]

2. spanky - September 15, 2009

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out what happened to the adult industry. The alexa 100 is dominated by adult-based “youtubes.” UGC isn’t just a threat; it won…

3. Emmanuel Moll - September 20, 2009

Great website, adding you to my RSS !!

4. michael - October 1, 2009

I`m tired of these porn kings making tons of money off of something that has no substance, and porn has no substance. All it is, is a “get your rocks off ” mentality, while a most of the “actors” regret doing porn films later in life. And no, it doesn`t tajke any special talent to have sex in front of a camera, just alot of guts.

5. Gerald Buckley - October 13, 2009

Isn’t it interesting Mr. Liew, to see Playboy putting Marge Simpson on their cover? Playboy! Their new CEO is dealing with a troubled intersection of marginalization of what they sell, attracting incremental (paying) demographic, and the one two punch of a print medium and advertising industry in free fall (with paper and postage increases year after year). The only bright spot in their numbers seems to be online traffic holding its own with slight growth. Not the empire it used to be that’s for sure.

6. izdelava spletnih strani - November 22, 2009

But i thought it was the opposite. When the recesion start, porn stuff sells better.

7. vinskaklet - November 24, 2009

Yup. I was reading that in recession make-up and especially red lipstick sells better. I wonder why?

8. johnthan - December 4, 2010

All it is, is a “get your rocks off ” mentality, while a most of the “actors” regret doing porn films later in life.I`m tired of these porn kings making tons of money off of something that has no substance, and porn has no substance.

9. World of Bonecraft « Herc the Merc – A World of Warcraft Blog - January 25, 2011

[…] trailer park cousin, Cousin Porn, had its share of financial problems.  The failing economy had hurt their industry (all that waxing and implanting costs money you know), and they found themselves being forced to […]


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