Temporary Suspension of Shoots
Government directives to shutdown non-essential businesses indefinitely to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 have disrupted routines across several sectors including the ‘mighty adult industry.’
The Free Speech Coalition, a representative of the porn industry in the U.S. and Canada, in its own initiative to flatten the curve called for immediate halt of operations in the adult industry on March 15. For the first time since 2018, adult production companies have rescheduled filming for fear of on-set transmission and to abide by the government calls for social distancing. The temporary suspension of sets took a direct hit on performers’ finances given a majority of them are independent contractors, not subject to compensation in case of such unprecedented closures.
Mainstream Studios Feeling The Pain
Production studios are equally feeling the heat since they have been forced to reschedule their major releases following cancellation of filming. This means that they’ll be dipping into their savings to pay for rent and salaries for their permanent staff. It is even worse for companies that were struggling before the pandemic.
With no revenue from new films, these companies still need to meet their recurrent expenditures regardless.
Increased Traffic to Adult Sites
While production studios struggle to keep their heads above the waters, popular upload sites are having a field day.
As it turns out, people are self-isolating with porn according to recent data published by world’s leading free porn site, Pornhub. The company’s worldwide traffic spiked by nearly 12% on March 17th and it’s been an upward trend ever since. Porn is becoming a popular distraction for self-quarantining folks and those working from home.
Pornhub: A Hero
For instance, as the world stood in solidarity with Italy on March when the European nation was announcing record high new cases and deaths from the virus, Pornhub offered Italians a free subscription to its premium services, perhaps to encourage them to stay at home. The timing coincided with Italy’s nation-wide lockdown, a brilliant move that saw an upsurge of the site’s traffic by 57% on March 12.
The company extended the offer to the nations of Spain and France days later which saw the traffics rise by 38% and 61% in the respective countries. Pornhub’s “stay home and help flatten the curve” movement has been a huge success telling from these recent data.
Despite being banned in India, the site’s viewership in the country spiked by 95% in the beginning of April, barely a week after the country announced a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of the virus. India boosts one of the world’s biggest populations explaining why a complete lockdown was a viable move by the government. With little outdoor activities across the world, it is understandable that people are choosing porn for recreation.
With this rate of consumption, it is just a matter of time before upload sites too run out of content.
Rise of New Trends
Players in the industry are actively exploring alternative streams of income now that studios have been shut indefinitely. Performers for instance, are capitalizing on their massive social media following to market and sell homemade films directly to consumers.
The same internet that threatened to bring down the adult industry back in the day is coming back to save the day. There is a massive rise of premium social networks where performers can sell their content directly to consumers cutting down middlemen in the traditional distribution setup.
Through the platforms, adult actors/actresses are throwing thrilling live performances to paying audiences from the comfort of their homes. Camming, as it is popularly called is not exactly a new trend in the industry as many may mistakenly belief. It is one of the positive trends that came with the internet although it was much popular among amateur performers.
As of March, professional pornstars took up camming now that they had to fend for themselves following halt in productions. FanCentro, one of the leading premium social networks reported a rise in new account registration of 83% as of April.
These platforms allow consumers to interact directly with performers in their private chat rooms. For a small subscription fee, fans can enjoy live shows from their favorite performers. The platforms charges a small commission for facilitating the show then remitting the rest of the $$$ to the performers.
Camming is proving to be a lucrative source of revenue for performers as reported by MelRose Michaels, brand ambassador for FanCentro. Michaels estimates that performers are making between $500 and $3,000 monthly from selling short saucy clips on the platform.
Some performers are said to be earning more than they usually take home from studio shoots now that middle men have been eliminated from the process. Performers are also flocking IsMyGirl and OnlyFans among dozens of other premium social networks.
Popular voices within the industry are urging performers to make the switch and survive for the time being before normalcy resumes. Some production studios are even marketing the homemade materials on behalf of their actors and actresses.
These platforms are making it easy to join the adult industry as a performer since all you need is a steady internet connection and a good camera, even a phone can do.
Humans are known to fetishize almost anything. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, searches for coronavirus-themed porn reportedly skyrocketed.
To porn experts, this new trend was long overdue considering holiday-themed porn has been a traditional category in the industry for the longest time now.
The ‘coronavirus porn’ searches trickled in from as early as January giving some companies enough time before the industry’s shutdown to honor viewers’ ‘requests.’ Enthusiasts can now stream the themed films from popular tubes and catch new releases by cammers almost each day.
That’s right, cohabiting performers are treating their paying audiences to new themed releases for as long as the requests keep coming in.
However, some quarters within the industry are concerned that this new category might promote stereotyping and racism against Asians.
It is no doubt that the porn industry is adapting appropriately to the new coronavirus-induced normal. The industry is likely to survive the inconveniences of the virus if people continue to consume this much porn throughout the pandemic.
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