TIL: Consolidation in Online Pornography

Published by marco on

As in so many other lines of business, the online pornography world has seen a tremendous amount of consolidation in recent years. The company MindGeek was founded 14 years ago. as Mansef, a portmanteau of the owner’s names. It has since acquired nearly every significant online pornographic presence: Playboy, YouPorn, RedTube, PornHub and more. They’ve not only cornered the market in free, online pornographic video, but also hoovered up most of the classic producers and distributors, like Digital Playground, Hustler, Vivid Video, Brazzers and more. They are almost certainly a monopoly. Doubtless there are those who have a “favorite” site—but the content all comes from the same distribution company and from the same servers, tailored for different tastes in presentation.

The only report I could find about distribution and numbers was Vampire Porn by David Auerbach on October 23, 2014 (Slate). The “vampire” refers to the fact that they cannibalize their own content by having one arm of the company produce content whose price is killed instantly by it being uploaded online for free by another arm of the company.

“[…] industry workers have been in the difficult situation of seeing their work pirated on sites owned by the same company that pays them—imagine if Warner Brothers also owned the Pirate Bay. The way Siri puts it, it’s as though Walmart drove mom-and-pop stores out of business “and then to top it off, went into the mom-and-pop shops and literally stole all of their products to be resold at Walmart.” It’s a tough time to be a mom-and-pop porn shop.”