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How Big is the Online Smut Economy?

Time has an interesting piece on the internet sex industry.

Porn — perhaps because it, unlike prostitution, is often legal — is a much  bigger business online, though reliable numbers on the industry are hard to come  by, and misinformation abounds. (Both proponents and opponents of online porn  have reasons to exaggerate.) One factoid making its way around online, and even into the pages of Wikipedia, is that “the internet  pornography industry has larger revenues than Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay,  Yahoo, Apple and Netflix combined.” That’s just plain wrong. Several years back,  the Adult Video Network estimated the total revenues of the online adult  entertainment industry in the U.S. to be $2.8 billion; others in the industry  suggest this may be exaggerated. (By contrast, Microsoft’s revenues in its most recent quarter were $20.9 billion.)

While $2.8 billion is nothing to sneeze at, porn is hardly the golden goose  many assume it to be. CNBC suggested in a recent report that the porn industry “stands at a  precipice as it heads into 2012,” with “revenue from films … shrinking, due to  piracy and an abundance of free content on the Internet.”

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About Jen

Have been a jack of all trades. I'm a former philosopher who specialized in ethics and political philosophy. I'm a sex positive feminist.

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