What is Pornhub?

Updated: Feb 23

Kanye West said he loves it. Actually, he even joined its first awards ceremony in 2018 as a creative director. So many people (not me) visit it since it was the 41st most visited website in Alexa Rank in October. In the porn industry, its popularity is equivalent to that of YouTube. We are talking about Pornhub.com. You've probably heard of it. So what is it? How did it become "that website"? How much money does it make? And is it causing any problems? Now, we are going to go deep about it, just like the actors on the website do (no pun intended). As you can easily tell, Pornhub.com is a Canadian pornographic video sharing website. Founded in 2007, it attracted 33.5 billion visitors in 2018. With 4.8 million videos uploaded that same year, the website offers more content than its competitors. While people from the US account for the majority of visitors, users in the UK, India, Japan and Canada are close behind. Luxembourg-based company MindGeek, which also owns YouPorn and RedTube, acquired the website in 2010. So how do porn websites like Pornhub make money? And, more broadly, how much does Mindgeek make? As you might have guessed, porn websites make most of their money through advertising and premium membership, which comes with a lot of perks. (For example, Pornhub offers 360° pornographic videos). Besides those conventional revenue streams, porn websites also strive to diversify their income and streamline their business through new technology. For example, Pornhub launched an online casino, Endorphia, in 2016 and started to apply AI technology to identify actors in its videos since late 2017. The Luxembourg Times reported that Mindgeek raked in US $460 million of revenue in 2015. Even with its success, of course, Pornhub gets criticized. As the porn industry keeps growing and becomes more accessible, more social pressures are being brought to bear on porn streaming websites. People criticize those websites for their loose control of the content. Porn websites these days tend to offer more provocative and more violent pornographic videos for more viewers. These violent videos are known to give distorted impressions of sex. Despite such criticism, Pornhub does not stop sprouting its seeds with a whopping 92 million daily average visits. Just like “Playboy” magazine was there in the past, Pornhub is there for people now.

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