Ban or no ban, slump-proof porn industry is thriving | business | Hindustan Times
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Ban or no ban, slump-proof porn industry is thriving

business Updated: Aug 11, 2015 02:20 IST
M Rajendran
M Rajendran
Hindustan Times
Porn

It is an industry unlike any other — one that remains unaffected by political changes and financial crises, and whose business goes up on holidays.

Data is sketchy and tentative, and in certain cases the latest report came years ago. But by all accounts porn’s growth as an industry appears guaranteed.

According to a 2011 IMRB survey, one in five 3G-enabled mobile users wants adult content. UK-based research company Visiongain estimated the value of global pornography to be £46 billion by 2006. ‘’We are in 2015 and data traffic is going to triple since then.

A back-of-the-envelope calculation will show 35-40% of all data revenue of Indian operators as coming from pornography,’’ says NK Goyal, telecom analyst and founder of telecom analyst firm CMAI.

On mobile alone, 250 million people are expected to access adult content by 2017, including tablets. That will be 30% more than in 2013.

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In India porn sites on an average are watched for 8.22 minutes per session, which is 34 seconds less than the global average, according to a study by Pornhub, a pornographic video-sharing website. A session is the time spent without moving to the next clip or picture.

The Pornhub study also found that traffic on the Internet to watch pornography goes up on holidays and Saturdays. “With growing migration to cities, youth away from families, especially male are rootless and access to porn during holidays is common in cities with lack of entertainment alternatives,’’ says sociologist Dipankar Gupta.

According to research firm Wondracek et al’s analysis of the economy of online porn sites, nine out of 10 are “free” sites that host image or video galleries and make money by directing traffic to pay sites or even to one another.

TrafficJunky is exhibiting at ad:tech this year to convince the public why advertising on adult sites is cheap and effective. The average click through rate on an ad placed on these sites is 0.8%, compared to Facebook’s average of 0.4%, and their cost per thousand impressions prices start at a penny. TrafficJunky is an online network that advertises on the always-on platform of adult sites.

According to a working paper presented at Harvard Business School recently, the traditional way for porn websites to monetise their content is by charging prices to surfers. However, some sites are currently competing with a business model whereby surfers can obtain free porn if they help solve a few ‘CAPTCHAS’ — to create new, legitimate email accounts.

A CAPTCHA is a programme that protects websites against bots ( a software that runs automated tasks over the Internet) by generating and grading tests that humans can pass but current computer programmes cannot.

The free email accounts are often worth more to spammers than the bandwidth porn surfers consume downloading videos and images, and the porn site can monetiSe them by selling these email accounts to spammers.

The most popular payment methods are credit and debit cards. In addition, paments are also made by cheque, direct deposit, Western Union, or by cellphone.