<i>N.Y. Times</i> Reports Signs of Downturn in Adult Industry

Today’s New York Times reported signs that “pornography’s robust growth since it came out from behind the counter in the 1970s is slowing.”

Analyzing statistics from a number of sources including AVN’s Paul Fishbein, the Times speculated that the perceived downturn “may be just the latest example of how the Internet is shaking up well-established industries.”

According to the Times report, the industry’s overall growth slowed in 2006 to 2.4 percent, with annual revenues estimated at $12-13 billion. Media research analysts projected a drop in cable and pay-per-view sales over the next 10 years. The article cited cell phone porn as the fastest-growing market for adult content outside the U.S., with domestic revenues hampered by a lack of cooperation from cell phone companies.

Vivid’s Steven Hirsch disputed the idea that the adult industry is in economic decline, citing increased demand in the VOD and internet sectors. “Right now, DVD is going down faster than video-on-demand is ramping up,” Hirsch told the Times. “It is just a lag in technologies.”

Demand for the MILF genre is “the one area of huge growth,” Fishbein told the Times. “The flashpoint for this in our culture was the teen movie American Pie, where there is a famous sequence involving one of the kids and his friend’s mother.” Sex-toy sales to women also rose in 2006, Fishbein said.

“The porn industry is still growing,” Jerry Ropelato of TopTenReviews.com said, “but just not at the growth rates they experienced in the past.”

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