Aug 11 - Tough times in the porn industry

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 8 years ago '05        #1
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Nasty Nate 21 heat pts21
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Aug 11 - Tough times in the pr0n industry
 

 
The business, centered in the San Fernando Valley, is being undercut by a growing abundance of free content on the Internet.
By Ben Fritz
August 10, 2009
On a recent Saturday night, Savannah Stern earned $300 to hang out for seven hours at a party in Santa Monica wearing nothing but a feather boa.

The veteran of more than 350 hard-core pr0nography productions took the job to earn extra cash and to network. But the word at the 35th anniversary party for Hustler magazine was not heartening, especially among the roughly 75 other women working there.


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"At least five girls I haven't seen in a while came up to me and said, 'Savannah, are you working?' " said Stern, who started in the industry four years ago and, like most adult performers, uses a stage name. "I had to say, 'No, not really,' and they all said, 'Yeah, I'm not either.' "

The adult entertainment business, centered in the San Fernando Valley, has weathered several recessions since it took off with the advent of home video in the 1980s. But this time the industry is not dealing with just a weakened economy. A growing abundance of free content on the Internet is undercutting consumers' willingness to pay for pr0n, and with it the ability of many workers to earn a living in the business.

For Stern, 23, the rapid decline of job opportunities in the pr0n business over the last year has been dramatic. She has gone from working four or five days a week to one and now has employers pressuring her to do male-female s3x scenes for $700, a 30% discount from the $1,000 fee that used to be the industry standard.

Less than two years ago, Stern earned close to $150,000 annually, sometimes turned down work and drove a Mercedes-Benz CLK 350. Now she's aggressively reaching out for jobs and making closer to $50,000 a year.

As for that Mercedes? She's replacing it with a used Chevy Trailblazer -- from her parents.

"The opportunities in this industry really are disappearing," Stern said. "It's extremely stressful."

Industry insiders estimate that since 2007, revenue for most adult production and distribution companies has declined 30% to 50% and the number of new films made has fallen sharply.

"We've gone through recessions before, but we've never been hit from every side like this," said Mark Spiegler, head of the Spiegler Girls talent agency, who has worked in pr0n since 1995.

"It's the free stuff that's k!lling us, and that's not going away," said Dion Jurasso, owner of pr0n production company Combat Zone, which has seen its business fall about 50% in the last three years.

pr0n is hardly the only segment of the media industry struggling with these issues. But its problems appear to be more severe. Whereas online piracy has forced big changes in the music industry and is starting to affect movies and television, it has upended adult entertainment.

At least five of the 100 top websites in the U.S. are portals for free pr0nography, referred to in the industry as "tube sites," according to Internet traffic ranking service Alexa .com. Some of their content is amateur work uploaded by users and some is acquired from cheap back catalogs, but much of it is pirated.

Sites like pr0nhub, Youpr0n and RedTube attract more users than TMZ and the Huffington Post. The pr0n sites are even bigger than Pirate Bay, the top portal for illegal downloads of movies, TV shows and music.

Frustratingly for pr0n producers and distributors in the Valley, none of these sites appears to be making much money. Suzann Knudsen, a marketing director for pr0noTube, said the site's parent, Adult Entertainment Broadcast Network, uses it to attract customers for paid video on demand.

"pr0noTube isn't a piggy bank," she said. "Its true value is in traffic."

The adult entertainment business, which was previously in the vanguard of home video, satellite and cable television and digital distribution, now finds itself leading the rest of the entertainment industry in losses from them.

"The death of the DVD business has been more accelerated in the adult business than mainstream," said Bill Asher, co-chairman of adult industry giant Vivid Entertainment, who estimates that his company's revenue is down more than 20% this year.

"We always said that once the Internet took off, we'd be OK," he added. "It never crossed our minds that we'd be competing with people who just give it away for free."

There are plenty of other signs of the pr0n industry's pain. Attendance at the Adult Entertainment Expo, an annual trade show in Las Vegas that's open some days to the public, was down 20% this year. Pay-per-view programming, a key revenue source for the industry, has fallen about 50% from its peak three or four years ago, according to a person familiar with the cable and satellite TV business.

Reliable revenue and employment figures for the adult industry don't exist, since no analysts or economists track it. Adult Video News estimated in 2006 that it was worth $13 billion, but Paul Fishbein, editor of the trade publication, said the number was "an educated guess."

"Almost all of the companies in our industry are privately held, and they keep the cards close to their chests," said Diane Duke, executive director of the Free Speech Coalition, an industry trade group.

The effects of the downturn have been felt most severely by the thousands of people who work in the adult entertainment business.

Kelly Labanco doesn't need industry estimates to know what's happening. The makeup artist, who has worked in pr0n for five years, is landing half as many jobs as she did a year ago and has seen her pay drop from a high of $250 an hour to less than $100.

"A lot of companies say they don't even need makeup artists now and the girls can do it themselves," said Labanco, who has returned to her previous job doing freelance music publicity to pay the bills.

Even the industry's biggest events aren't worth what they used to be for working people like Labanco. Last year, she and a friend did makeup for a week at the Adult Entertainment Expo and earned $8,000. This year: $1,200.

Caroline Pierce, an adult film performer who lives in Las Vegas but flies to Los Angeles for work, said many companies have pressured her to do more scenes for less money.

"Instead of paying you $800 to do one, they'll pay you $1,200 for both," she explained.

As economic pressures increase, many performers have also changed their minds about what they are willing do on-screen. Previously, women earned hefty bonuses for unusual s3x scenes. That's often no longer the case.

"A few years ago the girls we got were OK, but not stellar models, and we were sometimes paying $2,500," said pr0n director Matt Morningwood, referring to a website he shoots for that features one woman and multiple male partners.

"Nowadays some of the top-tier models will do that scene for us and you're looking at maybe $1,800. I'm happy for the production, but I feel bad for exploiting the girls' situation."

The only growth market most executives see is mobile devices, since they let consumers watch pr0n anywhere and in relative privacy.

Major companies that serve as a gateway to content on cellphones in the U.S. such as Verizon don't allow explicit adult content. But like cable and satellite companies in the 1990s, they may change their minds when they see the potential profit.

"Anyone betting against pr0n being a meaningful driver of traffic and revenue on mobile networks would be making a bad choice based on history," said Charles Golvin, an analyst at Forrester Research.

Adult performers with big followings probably will continue to prosper, since they often work under a guaranteed contract and have loyal fans who buy all their work. Business managers for Belladonna and Tera Patrick, two of the industry's biggest stars, said their clients were using their celebrity to make money in other ways, like dancing in exotic clubs and licensing their name to s3x toys and lingerie.

"The economy has forced us to look in other directions such as tangible goods," said Evan Seinfeld, who co-manages Patrick, his wife, and runs her production company, Teravision.

But for the "middle class" of the industry, those opportunities don't exist.

"It seems at this point that if you haven't established a well-known name, it's really hard to keep working," performer Alexa Jordan said.

Savannah Stern is adjusting to that reality. She's shooting scenes for her own subscription website and planning a tour of exotic dance clubs to earn money from her name while she can. After that, she hopes to go to college for an interior design degree and work in her family's real estate development and contracting business.

"I wish I would have never gotten into it," Stern said of her career in pr0n. "When you get used to a certain lifestyle, it's really hard to cut back and realize this may not be forever."

ben.fritz@latimes.com


[pic - click to view]

 Tough times in the pr0n industry - Los Angeles Times

92 comments for "Aug 11 - Tough times in the porn industry"

 08-11-2009, 10:35 AM         #2
blackflaem 
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Didnt know it was that serious hahah.
 08-11-2009, 10:41 AM         #3
Sub 0 
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boxden stays suppling the goods, fukk paying for pr0n
 8 years ago '09        #4
Spiffy 34 heat pts34
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Man good old San Fe Valley, pr0n capital of the world. I always wondered if my neighbors were pr0n stars cuz they make it out to be 1 out of 5 poeple in the Valley do pr0n.
 8 years ago '07        #5
genobee 21 heat pts21
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$2,488 | Props total: 395 395
never paid for pr0n in my life and never plan too!!

i got some sites and a harddrive thats put in mad work so am good!!
 8 years ago '08        #6
shush456 
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Damn thats messed up bx is take c*m (food) out her mouth and other pr0nstars across the world>>> oh well get a real job like me ....
 8 years ago '04        #7
King Kusanagi 36 heat pts36
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Didnt know it was that serious hahah.
I did, Just ask the n*gga's in the jukebox
 8 years ago '04        #8
CentsCuZ 19 heat pts19
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$11,002 | Props total: 771 771
I guess these pr0n stars are going to have to start doing "scenes" with their fans, with no camera(s) present.
 08-11-2009, 11:24 AM         #9
Apostrophe 
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23 years old, thats why she isnt working. Girls usually only have a few years in them then people wanna see something new,plus they're usually used up and busted by that age, in that industry, plus b**ches in pr0n always lie about their age, shes prolly over 25.
 08-11-2009, 12:16 PM         #10
Scorp 
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don't moan about it, think of a way to beat it.

dumb f**ks are lazy
 8 years ago '05        #11
trb_5 
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i just googled her..there is no way in hell that ugly b**ch is 23...if she is then god damn she has a lot of mileage in her facial region
 8 years ago '04        #12
9th ward Bally 1 heat pts
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 8 years ago '05        #13
Sheeed 1 heat pts
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yea man before u had to sign up on message boards to get s**t for free and people probably didn't feel like doing all that....now you can just go to spankwire,xvideos,tnaflix, empflix, pr0nhub, eskimotube etc....pull down your pants and get it cracking smh so I can see why cats ain't paying lol
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 08-11-2009, 01:07 PM         #14
Scorp 
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 trb_5 said:
i just googled her..there is no way in hell that ugly b**ch is 23...if she is then god damn she has a lot of mileage in her facial region
that's what im saying...the article don't make sense...calls her a verteran of 350 movies but then says she has been in the biz for only 4 years...350 movies in 4 years! her pus*y must be touching the floor
 8 years ago '07        #15
Damagegadget 492 heat pts492
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$35,446 | Props total: 16198 16198
good this crazy ace pr0n star chic be talkin crooked cause she makes people "pay" for her pus*y on her twitter always tryin to act like she is some superstar...pr0nstar does not = stardom. That isht is not gold especially after havin like 50 twelve inch pipes in ya...kcuf outta heyah. I prolly still make her swallow it yeeeaa..lol. pus*y sells itself you are a no talent havin exstripper bein cumbucket
 08-11-2009, 02:24 PM         #16
cfalcon22 
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yeah, i'm glad because they were charging too much for them damn movies in the first place. The internet is great!!!
 8 years ago '09        #17
Spiffy 34 heat pts34
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Originally Posted by Young savior
if she is doing that then its got to be one d*ck in her mouth at a time then the other one at least 6 inches away in her hand or sum10

but on sum real s**t my two n*ggas was hitting this one chick and i was f**king her friend and she was riding one and sucking the other and the dude that she was sucking bust one in her mouth and she said b4 hand nobody could nut in her mouth and when he did she pulled back and pushed his d*ck down and he nutted in the other n*gga face and this n*gga just started screaming and s**t and threw the chick off him


funniest s**t i ever read on BX




 08-11-2009, 02:27 PM         #18
bornleader 
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read the article downloading pr0n from the jukebox...Oh my..LOL
 08-11-2009, 02:44 PM         #19
ElMarroAfamado 
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ill be glad to give maria ozawa some work
 8 years ago '04        #20
GoldynChyld421 
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Maybe they should get real jobs

Just a thought...

I don't wanna hear any crying from somebody who f**ks for a living, boo f**king hoo!
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