Thursday, August 13, 2009

Porn's Great Depression

The Los Angeles Times reported this week that the pornography industry, centered in the suburban San Fernando Valley area of L.A., is in a financial tailspin.

The fees for female performers are sliding. Caroline Pierce told the paper that production companies are pressuring her to do two scenes for $1,200 instead of one scene for $800. Savannah Stern said her income has dropped so sharply that she's thinking of going into real estate development. Recently she was hired to walk around at a party for seven hours wearing nothing but a feather boa and was paid just $300. Where's the SEIU when you need them.

"Industry insiders estimate that since 2007, revenue for most adult production and distribution companies has declined 30% to 50%," the Times reported, "and the number of new films made has fallen sharply."

The culprit, if you haven't guessed, is the Internet. DVD sales have dropped like a stone now that people can get free porn online.

"Sites like Pornhub, YouPorn and RedTube attract more users than TMZ and the Huffington Post," the Times reports helpfully.

Vivid Entertainment co-chairman Bill Asher said his company's revenue is off an estimated 20% this year. "We always said that once the Internet took off, we'd be OK," he told the Times, and then he said what has to be the funniest thing a porn producer has ever said:

"It never crossed our minds that we'd be competing with people who just give it away for free."

Copyright 2009

Editor's note: You might be interested in the earlier posts, "Howard Stern and the big secret" and "105-year-old Internet porn."