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Pornhub, a business like any other?

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Pornhub is the leader in online pornographic content. Launched in 2007, the platform is owned by the multinational company MindGeek and displays a record-breaking advertising business model. Owner of many pornographic sites, the company is legally domiciled in Luxembourg. Its cumulative audiences are more than one billion visitors a year…

Pornhub, a business still expanding

Porhub, the world leader in the industry, recorded audience records with more than 3,128,000,000 visits worldwide in August 2020 (1). Thus, the United States is the first spectators, with about 22% of computer traffic. France, on the other hand, is in 4th place with a total of 5.10% of computer traffic. Thus, MindGeek has launched the largest pornography industry ever established.

The period of COVID-19 allowed PornHub to record highs. Indeed, the platform recorded an increase of about 38% in France in mid-March 2020 (3). This increase is mainly due to the “Free Pornhub Premium” offer allowing users to access the entire website. A true marketing strategy, Pornhub has made it possible to stand out from the competition thanks to this offer. Indeed, the platform has many competing sites such as or The latter are very visited especially in France.

Like any industry, the world of pornography needs investors and innovations to continue to grow. France remains the most timid country in this sector while the global market is estimated at $30 billion. Nevertheless, the movement began to democratize and Marc Dorcel was the first to enter SexTech. He launched the first French incubator dedicated to innovation with the aim of increasing the adult product experience. Every year, he accompanies start-ups working on innovative projects in this sector.

The Marc Dorcel Group invented the “high-end X” and has won more than 350 international awards (2). The aim: “To make the pleasures of sex noble and accessible to as many people as possible”.

PornHub online advertising audience traffic
Pornhub offers many advertising opportunities, in view of are audience.

A particular business model

Pornhub is the tenth most visited site in the world! Pornographic content continues to sell… It attracts advertisers to broadcast their advertising content. Hundreds of millions of users will be targeted by the ads, bringing great visibility to brands. In addition, the cost is relatively lower than on a consumer site. However, despite this large audience and these much lower costs, brands are not very comfortable with advertising in a pornographic context.

Indeed, the Unilever group is one of the scenarios. For example, he used advertising space on the platform to promote the sale of their men’s toiletries. However, after the controversy over the dissemination of child pornography, the brand removed all of its publications from the platform.

The platform also faces economic constraints. Thus, MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Paypal refuse pornographic transactions because they are said to be “high risk”. Indeed, the management fees for banks are too high, in particular because of the backpedaling due most often to a consumer shame.

In addition, the industry must then find alternatives for carrying out financial transactions of users. Thus, there are intermediaries such as Verotel or CC Bill. These high-risk online billing services ensure transaction security.

We note that in France and around the world, banks but also brands are still chilling about their association with this sector. Thus, despite a business that works, the image of pornography still has a huge impact on the sector, preventing optimal development.


  1. Similar Web: Traffic Overview
  1. Dorcel: Our group
  1. Pornhub Insights, France Regional Coronavirus Traffic, article of April 19, 2020

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