The Real Mainstream Media

Everyone knows that the Internet is for porn, but just how big is the online erotic empire? Sebastian Anthony answers:

According to Google's DoubleClick Ad Planner, which tracks users across the web with a cookie, dozens of adult destinations populate the top 500 websites. Xvideos, the largest porn site on the web with 4.4 billion page views per month, is three times the size of CNN or ESPN, and twice the size of Reddit. LiveJasmin isn't much smaller. YouPorn, Tube8, and Pornhub -- they're all vast, vast sites that dwarf almost everything except the Googles and Facebooks of the internet.

While page views are a fine starting point, they only tell you that X porn site is more popular than Y non-porn site. Four billion page views sure sounds like a lot, but it's only when you factor in what those porn surfers are actually doing that the size and scale of adult websites truly comes into focus....

The main difference between porn and non-porn sites is the average duration of a visit: For a news site like Engadget or ExtremeTech, an average visit is usually between three and six minutes; enough time to read one or two stories. The average time spent on a porn site, however, is between 15 and 20 minutes.

Furthermore, "porn sites cope with astronomical amounts of data. The only sites that really come close in term of raw bandwidth are YouTube or Hulu, but even then YouPorn is something like six times larger than Hulu." YouPorn also "serves 4000 pages per second, equating to burst traffic in the region of 100 gigabytes per second, or 800Gbps. This is equivalent to transferring more than 10 dual-layer DVDs every second."

To put that 800Gbps figure into perspective, the internet only handles around half an exabyte of traffic every day, which equates to around 50Tbps -- in other words, a single porn site accounts for almost 2% of the internet's total traffic. There are dozens of porn sites on the scale of YouPorn....It's probably not unrealistic to say that porn makes up 30% of the total data transferred across the internet.

The next time you hear someone use a phrase like "the mainstream media," think back to those numbers and remind yourself what comprises the real Big Media. And if you're a porn user yourself, be thankful that no presidential campaign has decided to advertise there. Yet.

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  • John Tagliaferro||

    Xvideos, Tube8, and Pornhub are three of my most frequent destinations and I never spent a nickel at any of them. Frankly, I don't see why anybody does but there must be plenty who do.

  • Lord Humungus||

    You just read the articles?

  • John Tagliaferro||

    They have articles?

  • squarooticus||

    He fixes the cable?

  • squarooticus||

    Seriously. There's so much porn available for free on the internet that I don't understand why anyone ever pays money for it.

  • robc||

    My assumption is the non-free stuff must be more extreme (in some direction I cant imagine) than the free stuff.

    No clue how this is possible, but its about the only thing that makes sense.

  • tarran||

    I would expect it's less of a hassle to get at the good stuff if you are a paying customer of a site.

  • ||

    My assumption is the non-free stuff must be more extreme

    No, the non-free stuff is HD pic quality.

    Except now sites like orgasm and ztod (both with a .com after them) have some free HD content.

  • Soc Indv Sparky||

    If you pay you can watch the videos for more than 2 minutes. Although, why bother?

  • squarooticus||

    When I'm looking to rub one out, the faster the better. If it takes me more than 2 minutes, the video isn't worth watching. :-)

  • Soc Indv Sparky||

    That's what I'm sayin. And it's easy enough to switch videos with one hand if it happens to take a little longer.

  • Jerry||

    The average time spent on a porn site, however, is between 15 and 20 minutes.

    And 90% of that time is spent finding just that one special video...

  • JW||

    The Allison Brie sex tape?

  • Just Dropping By||

    If there is such a thing, then there truly is a merciful God.

  • Wilt Chamberlain||

    Am I the only person who watches the 45-60 minute videos anymore? Fortunately, some sites have free vids at that length, I've found xhamster is good for those.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    All three that I mentioned above have videos that last a lot longer than 2 min. As far as I can tell, you have to pay for HD, so I have not checked if it is true HD quality.

  • RBS||

    I'm not sure I want to see any porn in HD...

  • Loki||

    Maybe some people figure they're less likely to get computer viruses and spyware off of a pay site? IOW, maybe they figure pay sites are more "legit"?

  • squarooticus||

    I just assume all pay sites are law enforcement fronts trying to entrap you into looking at child porn. I'd never give a porn site anything more than an IP, and even then the total surveillance state we live in still makes me worry a bit.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Four billion page views sure sounds like a lot, but it's only when you factor in what those porn surfers are actually doing...

    Oh, I think we all know what people are doing while at those sites. Meticulously cataloging the depravity to take to their local clergyman or Congressional representative for action.

  • Doctor Whom||

    But then the clergyman or Congresscritter has to go through the bother of pretending not to have seen it before.

  • ||

    They frequent the members section...so to speak.

  • Apple||

    Who are these people who pay for porn? Whoever they are, I'm glad they exist.

  • Apple||

    Eh, supposed to be a response to JT above.

  • NotSure||

    Some of the sites I have seen (I got there purely by accident of course) provide the stuff for free and then want you to pay for the HD equivalent videos.

  • Soc Indv Sparky||

    I've never seen any HD porn but I would think that would be the last thing anyone would really want. I'm not sure I'm interested in seeing every last wart and pimple, kinda ruins the moment.

  • RBS||

    Just wait until they start making 3D porn.

  • Copernicus||

    Try crawling out of the basement and getting laid. It's very 3D.

  • Loki||

    That sounds like a lot of work.

  • ||

    Just wait until they start making 3D porn.

    I'm personally looking forward to the holodeck.

  • ||

  • ||

    I've never seen any HD porn but I would think that would be the last thing anyone would really want.

    Oh, HD porn is way better. Women with warts and pimples aren't generally featured there. Not willing personally to pay for HD upgrade, but some men are.

  • John Tagliaferro||

    Agreed.

  • ||

    And if you're a porn user yourself, be thankful that no presidential campaign has decided to advertise there. Yet.

    The day that happens, you will feel a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of boners suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Ron Paul's ad will say something about "hard currency."

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    OK, so *that* comment of mine was considered valid, no problem, but when I actually try to post something intelligent...

  • Loki||

    Remember where you're at.

  • ||

    Are you copy/pasting?

    Someone said yesterday, when you paste anything that contains punctuation it calls it invalid. They said to delete the punctuation after you paste and retype it in with your keyboard.

    As far as links I started using HTML formatting (or Chrome/Reasonable functionality) and haven't had a problem since.

    HTML Format

  • ||

    Reason.com is my porn site of choice.

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