The Economist Addresses ‘Hard Times’ in Porn Industry

Sep 10, 2009 2:00 PM PST
LONDON — World news and business magazine The Economist addresses the financial state of the adult entertainment industry — and Porn Valley specifically — in an article in its latest issue, which states that the “big industry in northern Los Angeles is among the worst hit by the recession.”

Among those quoted in the piece is veteran performer and renowned “sexpert” Nina Hartley who draws from her own decreased workload (from a scene per week to a scene per month) that the business of porn is struggling.

For once, the oft-cited estimation of the dollar amount of revenue adult entertainment brings in — $12 billion at its height a couple years ago — has shrunk to $6 billion according to an editor from Adult Video News, a 50 percent decrease in just two years.

Free Speech Coalition Executive Director Diane Duke estimates that revenues have dropped 30- to 50-percent in the past year, with one producer telling Duke that his business took an 80 percent hit.

The piece even addresses performers scene rates and the drop in production. “For the 1,200 active performers in the Valley this means less action and more hardship,” the article states. “A young woman without Ms. Hartley’s name-recognition might have charged $1,000 for a straight scene before the crisis, but gets $800 or less now.”

It isn’t until the last paragraph in the piece that The Economist addresses the industry’s biggest threat: piracy and free porn on the Internet.

Porn is “like potato chips, everywhere and cheap, to be consumed and tossed,” Hartley said. “The industry will shrink and stay shrunken.”

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