Porn Gone Wild

Porn Gone Wild
Cory Kincaid
MILPITAS, Calif. -- Porn has never been more popular, say recent reports, and some surprising statistics released by Nielsen/NetRatings this week estimate that 34 million porn sites were visited in August of this year. That translates into one in four Internet users in the U.S. making a regular habit of viewing porn online.

"It's an enormous business ... There's a lot of money to be made," Sean Kaldor, an analyst with Nielsen/NetRatings, told CNN.

According to CNN, while exact statistics are typically difficult to get from the online adult world as a whole, the figures that are attainable by mainstream research firms indicate strongly that adult is booming, "fueled by the relatively low costs of setting up shop, fickle consumers in constant search of new thrills, and the promise of quick profits."

Nielsen/NetRatings states that the average user is looking at 121 pages, going back six times, and spending an hour and seven minutes every month looking at adult-related material.

Kaldor also told CNN that the industry is showing signs of maturity and that online adult porn companies remain at the forefront as the most successful online business sector because of their use of emerging technologies, new payment systems, subscription models, password services, affiliate programs, ad revenue models, and chat and broadband capability. The money flow is unprecedented.

According to CNN, the council that advises Congress on technology issued a report in 2002 that predicts the online porn industry will grow to a $5-$7 billion business within the next five years.

Family Safe Media, an organization that serves as a watchdog group for families and children, states that Internet pornography statistics are changing so quickly they can barely keep a handle on the numbers.

However, through statistical analysis taken from Google, WordTracker, PBS, MSNBC, NRC, and Alexa Research, Family Safe Media states that online pornography was a $2.5 billion industry in 2003, with the entire adult entertainment industry as a whole ringing in at $57 billion worldwide and $12 billion in the U.S.

According to Family Safe Media, porn revenue is larger than the combined revenues of all the professional football, baseball and basketball franchises. U.S. porn revenue also exceeds the combined revenues of ABC, CBS, and NBC.

There are 372 million porn pages currently available on the web, and daily search engine requests for words related to porn are currently at 68 million and account for 25 percent of all search engine activity.

Additionally, according to Family Safe Media, 40 million adults in the U.S. visit porn sites on a regular basis, and 72 million worldwide. Out of those viewers, 72 percent are male and 28 percent are female.