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Amid lockdown, Pornhub sees 11.6% hike in daily use

With the relentless spread of the Coronavirus pandemic globally (over 500,000 positive cases and more than 22,000 deaths recorded until now), governments around the world have issued lockdowns to curb the spread. This has resulted in well over 3 billion people remaining within the confines of their homes. Many employed are working from home, but there is also a huge population with limited means to keep themselves occupied. Not surprisingly, watching porn by many in isolation on their personal screens has emerged as a popular distraction. 

Pornhub, one of the biggest adult websites of the world, really wants people to stay home and is encouraging self-isolation and social distancing. To further propagate this and give an option to users to vent out their “quarantine frustration”, Pornhub has now made all the premium content on their website free globally. The results come as no surprise, with the adult website seeing a spike in its recent traffic. 

The global porn website initially opened the doors for free for its Italian, French and Spanish customers. The website traffic in these countries went up by 57 per cent, 38 per cent and 61 per cent, respectively. Once the site opened the doors for its premium content in mid-March, the traffic went up by 11.6 per cent. 

Corey Price, Vice President, Pornhub, said in a statement, “With nearly one billion people in lockdown across the world because of the Coronavirus pandemic, it is important that we lend a hand and provide them with an enjoyable way to pass the time. We hope by expanding our offer of free Pornhub Premium worldwide, people have an extra incentive to stay home and flatten the curve.” 

The adult website is a treasure trove of insights on porn consumption. In a new blog post, entitled Coronavirus Insights, the streaming site published details of how traffic has changed during the global pandemic that is Coronavirus. 

Pornhub has donated tens of thousands of surgical masks to emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics and fire inspectors in New York. The site has also pledged to donate €50,000 to various European organisations to purchase additional masks and medical equipment. 

A further donation of $25,000 will go to Sex Workers Outreach Project (SWOP), contributing directly to sex worker relief funds in the SWOP-USA network to meet immediate requests for support from sex workers impacted by COVID-19. 

Porn searches are up, in part, because a lot of people are at home with more time on their hands than usual. However, they may also be up because some people are using sex as a coping mechanism for dealing with their fear of disease and death. 

However, people aren’t just watching more porn right now, they are also watching more Coronavirus-themed porn. In the last 30 days, more than 9 million Coronavirus searches have appeared on Pornhub. There are also now more than 1,000 videos that pop up on the site when you search for “Coronavirus”. 

As per published reports, porn is a $97 billion industry spread across the world. 

The following are some of the key observations from different reports. 

  • Porn sites receive more regular traffic than Netflix, Amazon, & Twitter combined each month. (Source: HuffPost)
  • 35% of all internet downloads are porn-related. (Source:WebRoot)
  • At least 30% of all data transferred across the internet is porn-related. (Source:HuffPost)
  • Porn on a global scale is an estimated $97 billion industry, with about $12 billion coming from the U.S. alone. (Source:NBC News)
  • In 2018, more than 5,517,000,000 hours of porn were consumed on Pornhub. (Source: Pornhub Analytics)
  • Eleven pornography sites are among the world’s top 300 most popular Internet sites. The most popular site, at number 18, outranks eBay, MSN, and Netflix. (Source: SimilarWeb)
  • Pornhub also received over 33,500,000,000 site visits during 2018 alone.

These insights also show that countries like Germany, Switzerland and The Netherlands have also seen a sharp increase in views. While Switzerland and Netherlands saw an increase of 11.5 per cent and 14 per cent, respectively, Germany saw an overall increase of 5.8 per cent in traffic. All the three countries are known for a thriving sex work industry with red-light districts attracting people from around the world. This increase in traffic is significant, especially after the sex work industry has been shut to curb the spread of Coronavirus.


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