While the music industry today, for example, gets a license fee for every music snippet played on YouTube, the porn industry started to upload their trailers to the tube sites paying them a commission for every sale generated on their pay-sites. The response to the challenge of sites with user generated content has been very different in the mainstream and in the porn industry. I’ve never heard of the music industry starting to upload their own content on The Pirate Bay and asking them for a commission afterwards for the generated direct sales on iTunes. The music industry took the case to court while the porn industry surrendered. As a result of this, a lot of big pornographic movie studios then got acquired by the owners of the tube sites who killed their business in the first place. For example MindGeek, a Canadian based company, acquired the pornographic movie studios Babes.com, Brazzers, Digital Playground, Reality Kings, Twistys, and Men.com. Mindgeek also operates Pornhub, RedTube, Thumbzilla, Tube8, and YouPorn.
Maybe this happened because the porn industry knew that they would not have a lobby supporting them in public while going down the legal path to defend their intellectual property rights over their content in court.
Anyhow, now the porn industry is in a vicious circle where the only traffic source are tube sites and content creators depend on that traffic to earn money, so they give away their content for free. So, prices are dropping, conversion rates are dropping, budgets are dropping, numbers of over all productions are dropping. Models and producers find fewer jobs for less money.
As a side note, the path that the music industry took was also not the best one. They now have other nightmares that they face: iTunes, Spotify and others are now their gatekeepers, dictating the rules of the game. But this is not an article about the music industry…
The wind of change
“Porn is free.” This short phrase describes the situation of the porn industry the best. Thanks to the massive popularity of the tube sites, this is exactly what consumers think. And there are many. I know, nobody is watching porn, but “nobody” is somehow translating in 2.76B monthly visits on Xvideos, 2.64B monthly visits on Pornhub, and 1.28B monthly visits on xHamster. And these are just the Top 3.
Porn is not free. It takes money to produce it. It’s not only the actors who have to be paid, there’s a whole team behind them — make-up artists, camera crew members and so on; not to mention the locations and the expensive equipment. The industry still generates 100B a year, but it’s in decline.