FEED Issue 15

21 ADULT CONTENT The Business of Porn

In an industry glutted with free content, adult video companies are fighting back with direct monetisation, elearning, VR and smart sex toys SEX AND STREAMING

Words by Ann-Marie Corvin

THE TUBE SITE: XHAMSTER XHamster’s aim, when it launched in 2007, was to become the ‘Facebook of porn’ according to its VP Alex Hawkins. Today the Cyprus-based adult entertainment company and social network has almost 25 million daily users, generating over 46 million unique sessions per day. Most content that runs on the platform is now consumed via mobile (64%) while desktop accounts for around a quarter of all views (25%) with 10% accessing the site via tablet devices. The site’s 10 million strong social networking community and its amateur (as opposed to studio- produced) content still remain key pillars of its business, setting it apart from direct competitors like XVideos and industry- dominating megasite Pornhub. Any tech investment the company makes therefore, tends to focus around

s it has with most entertainment businesses, the internet has forced the adult content industry to transition from what was an

exclusively paid-for business model to a free one. It has had to come to terms with the fact that tube sites – adult entertainment sites which allow users access to a huge variety of content for free, much of which has been user made, or stolen – have become the means through which most consumers access porn.

To sustain their business, legacy companies have had to lean in, adopt new technologies and adapt new business models. In this report FEED speaks to the boss of one large tube site and two legacy adult content companies to explore how they are negotiating a new audience that now sees free adult content as a given.


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