Thursday, August 05, 2010

The economics of online porn

Gilbert Wondracek and some of his colleagues have written a very interesting paper on the economics of the online "adult industry". In conducting their research they even set up two of their own adult web sites so that they could gain a deeper understanding of how the industry operates. As they say, it is perhaps surprising that the sector hasn't been analysed much by economists, given that pornographic pages account for more than 12% of the total number of web pages with anuual revenues estimated to be between 1 and 97 billion USD. The paper distinguishes different types of players in the market, ranging from content providers, specialist search engines to redirector services and traffic brokers. It also examines security and cyber-crime issues.

Wondracek has also produced a podcast on the topic.