Thursday, September 29, 2011

Pornonomics: the Economics of Porn

In 2010 the world's highest grossing film was Toy Story 3, which was made in the United States; a browse through the rest of the top grossing films shows massive American dominance of world cinema. There are various cultural and linguistic reasons for this. For example the very fact that so many of us foreigners have grown up watching American films may reinforce their advantage because of our familiarity with and fondness for American cultures. An American film may seem a safe bet, an Estonian film a risk.

But how about pornography? If much pornographic material is visual in images and video, and the emphasis is on immediate sexual content instead of narrative, might not non-American porn producers compete successfully against the Americans?

I presume technological costs could be kept relatively low anywhere. But labour costs might be lower in poorer developing countries than in high-income United States. So this got me thinking that perhaps there is an economic opportunity for pornography producers in low-income countries. Possible barriers could include:
- Poor internet access. World Bank statistics list countries by the percentage of internet users. In Bangladesh, for example, only 0.4% of the population are internet users, while 58.7% of Jamaicans are. So we might expect more pornography production from countries with reliable broadband.

- Cultural barriers. Sexually conservative countries might have high personal costs for actors, which could inhibit filming.

- Legal barriers.

- Racial preferences of consumers. Pornography consumers may prefer particular racial groups, excluding actors from some countries.
These aside, I see no real reason why non-Anglophone pornography producers in developing countries might not compete and even out-compete those in the wealthy countries. So will the California of tomorrow be somewhere in Africa or Latin America? (Is it already?)

A side point about Pornonomics relates to this blog, The Harvest. Blogspot gives me the option to track the statistics of blog-readers, and quite a few of them clearly arrived here on a quest for filth! Apparently 17 page-views came from people searching for 'teen sex porn' - probably ending up on my criticism of British TV show The Joy of Teen Sex. The second most popular post on the blog is this one questioning the idea that 'brutal rape porn' is necessarily sexist, while the post Just how kinky is Pakistan? (which concludes that it seems little kinkier than anywhere else, based on pornographic search terms that internet users were seeking via Google) was also popular.

So I'm guessing that simply writing blog posts with words like 'sex' and 'porn' and 'teen' will boost the number of people visiting. Must be very frustrated once they arrive here, though.

4 comments:

  1. http://www.expressindia.com/news/fullstory.php?newsid=53572

    Porn though can come from anywhere including guerilla separatists in the jungles of north-east India. :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Amazing. I had heard that drug production is often used in war zones to pay for the high costs of fighting. Interesting to see pornography used for the same goal, especially since Wikipedia says this NLFT wants to establish 'the kingdom of God and Christ in Tripura'!

    ReplyDelete
  3. http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Investing/CompanyFocus/PornStocksWorthUmWatching.aspx

    There are though 3 nyse companies dealing in adult entertainment.

    ReplyDelete

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