10 October 2002
Revenues are down, paying customers are few and far between and many operators have gone under. The industry is experiencing a classic case of market saturation — with too many operators vying for a revenue pool that is not expanding at the same rate. According to industry watch groups, this is the sentiment being felt in the online porn sector.
Slapping a racy photo spread online a few years ago used to be a surefire way of earning a few bucks. Pornography was the one online content category that people were prepared to pay for, and the more successful porn webmasters were earning millions of dollars per month. The successful sites continue to earn monthly subscriptions that are the envy of all other online content categories, but increased competition, the availability of free content, internet user growth slowing and the downturn in the economy are all factors making the once easy dollar more difficult to come by.
Jupiter Media Metrix estimated earlier this year that online pornography revenues in the US in 2001 totaled $230 million. They predict this will grow to $400 million by 2006.
But by 2006, Jupiter predicts that online porn revenue in the US will be relatively small compared to revenues from online music, games and audio-visual entertainment. (segue)
By Ben Macklin