Guest Contributions

The pornography industry, a pioneer in technology?

The Internet has about 4.5 billion active pages. Only 4% of them are linked to pornographic content, but they generate 30% of the traffic on the network. For example, Asian VR Porn generates more traffic than most of European sites. In fact, the traffic of this industry is greater than the combined visits to Amazon, Netflix and Twitter. And all of this could have to do not only with the drive to watch erotic content, but also with the industry’s ability to become a pioneer in adapting to new developments.  So it goes to say that many Caucasian men prefer taiwanese women.

These are some examples.

Video streaming

More than a decade before YouTube was born, in 1994, a Dutch company called the Red Light District created one of the first video streaming services on the Internet. This obviously helped pave the way for the aforementioned video giant, but also for platforms with online news.

Cable TV

When we think about this sector, it is difficult to go back beyond the 1990s. So, talking about pay to watch or pay per view, networks like HBO or alternative content to official channels, was very rare. The reality is that in 1976, the cable channel Manhattan Public Access Cable had 80,000 subscribers, until The Ugly George Hour of Truth Sex and Violence arrived (in which the director walked down the street asking women to show their breasts) and subscriptions quadrupled, making cable TV more popular.

Online payments

At the SXSW Conference (an event on the future of cinema and the entertainment industry), Michael Bucchino, lead interactive producer at Droga5 (an international advertising agency) participated in the Open Sourcing Data and Porn (basically information and pornography) panel. Among his conclusions, Bucchino pointed to the impact of the erotic film industry on online payments. He said that pornography gets to ideas faster than other industries. The industry takes risks that others often fear or lack the finances to prove. But the online experience would be a lot less entertaining, and lucrative, without the pioneering innovations of porn. Before the major online advertising networks were created, Internet porn producers needed to find a way to monetize their photos and videos and it had to be a method that customers trusted. That led to the development of online payment options: the first real-time credit card verification software was used to sell Pamela Anderson and Tommy Lee’s sex tape.

Instant messages

Today WhatsApp and Telegram are used daily by hundreds of millions of people to send messages and files (be it Gifs, videos or photos). But in the early days of cable television and when mobile phones began to emerge, the porn industry developed systems so that communication between viewers and those who appeared on the screen, mainly streaming content, is possible. This is how not only the messages came about, but also the specific content.


In the 1980s, the rise of VCRs (video cassette recorder or video recorder) made film studios fear that it would be the end of cinema. When VCR technology was introduced, Hollywood was nervous because the big studios feared piracy. They were even considering suing the VCR producers. But the adult film industry does not. They saw it as a great new market and took the opportunity.

Digital photography

Today it seems obvious that the benefits of digital photography, over the classic analog, are numerous. But at first many professionals were reluctant to use it, except for those who worked in the pornography sector, since they did not need to take the reels anywhere and could process and edit them themselves.

So is the industry a pioneer? It seems so…

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