CNN Asks ‘Does Sex Still Sell?’

NEW YORK — In an article published yesterday, CNN covered last month’s Exxxotica Expo and approached adult industry professionals and performers with questions about the state of the business.

XBIZ President Alec Helmy summed up the general consensus among those interviewed by saying “piracy, free online content and legal challenges have all adversely affected the industry.”

Experts from every sector discussed recent changes brought on by the economy. Dan Adams, editorial director at Magna Publishing, said his company has had to re-examine budgets and restructure, but remained optimistic as the pronounced largest publisher of adult magazines in the country.

Magna purchased Club magazine and also publishes Genesis, Swank and Gallery.

Vivid Entertainment, whose stars appeared at the Exxxotica Expo consumer event in New Jersey, reported declining DVD sales but strong Internet sales.

"The recession has hurt business, including DVD sales, but the Internet has offset any hit to profits," Vivid co-owner Marci Hirsch said in the report.”

Adams said free Internet tube sites have cut into Magna’s profits, however veteran performer Seka blamed the overpopulation of Internet performers for a recent 5 percent drop in her website’s revenue.

"We didn't have the same type of competition that exists today," she said. "Everyone looks the same now."

Nevertheless, Adam & Eve reported it did “surprisingly good” in 2008.

"We were all collectively holding our breath," Adam & Eve spokesperson Katy Zvolerin said. "While DVD sales were down, toys or novelties sales were holding strong."

The article also noted that the Exxxotica Expo drew as many attendees as it did the year prior — 18,000 consumers willing to pay $50 for “the largest adult consumer show in the country.”