The Internet is for Porn: Broadway Musicals and a $100B Industry

eToro

After my last post on Bar Refaeli, I noticed a jump in visits, it seems people like to click on pictures of women in Bikini’s more than geek talk, lead me to think how big is the porn industry. It reminded me of the best Broadway show I’ve ever seen called Avenue Q, its a puppet-based musical comedy. I couldn’t stop laughing. The most memorable song is called “The Internet is for Porn“, in which a woman sings of the greatness of the internet, while a monster constantly shouts “For porn!”. It really is a must-see Broadway show, featuring fun songs like  “If You Were Gay” and  “Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist”.

Is porn still such a big part of the Internet? A study by Extremetech estimates that 30% of Internet traffic can be attributed to pornography:

“According to Google’s DoubleClick Ad Planner, which tracks users across the web with a cookie, dozens of adult destinations populate the top 500 websites. Xvideos, the largest porn site on the web with 4.4 billion page views per month, is three times the size of CNN or ESPN, and twice the size of Reddit. LiveJasmin isn’t much smaller. YouPorn, Tube8, and Pornhub — they’re all vast, vast sites that dwarf almost everything except the Googles and Facebooks of the Internet…a single porn site accounts for almost 2% of the Internet’s total traffic. There are dozens of porn sites on the scale of YouPorn, and hundreds that are the size of ExtremeTech or your favorite news site. It’s probably not unrealistic to say that porn makes up 30% of the total data transferred across the Internet.”

Why is porn is such a driving force, leading the tech industry’s progress much like it lead the VHS revolution? Why isn’t isn’t any one of the 28 genres listed on IMDB as disruptive ? Maybe the producers of pornography tend to adopt newer, more efficient forms of distribution because there is very little context in porn. For example, if you used to buy porn magazines and later discovered video, there would no longer be a reason to buy magazines; video killed the magazine star. In contrast, printed papers are still a big part of news reading,which video has been unable to fully replace. Why? Because people are used to reading the news in a specific way, such as that “seeing” the news on TV is complementary, while new distribution methods in porn become alternative methods and not complementary.

Internet porn has a very fast adoption rate, by both producers and consumers. It has little to no product/brand loyalty towards the context, it can claim 40%-70% of the online population as potential users (depending on whether women watch porn or not) and the shift towards new products is very fast. The only factor left to compete on is user satisfaction.  It seems user satisfaction in porn is more technical than anything else, its not about the quality or context of the content (for most) but about an efficient way to deliver it, and maybe that’s why technical advances are so efficient in porn.

There are more amazing stats on porn: its a $100B industry, the top 3 Porn grossing countries are China, South Korea and Japan, and “every second $3,075.64 is being spent on pornography. Every second 28,258 internet users are viewing pornography. In that same second 372 internet users are typing adult search terms into search engines. “

I’ll end with a great geek joke from the comments on extremetech :

Work as an intern at a porn company = awesome.
Work as an intern at a porn web company = SQL database maintenance, SQL database maintenance everywhere.

About Yoni Assia

Founder and CEO of Etoro.com

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