Lend a Hand: World's Most Popular XXX Site Pornhub Turns 15

Pornhub logo - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.05.2022
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The site was founded by the founders of one of the largest players in the porn industry, Brazzers studio, as their own tube platform amid numerous shortlived sites with illegal content. A decade and a half later, Pornhub has irreversibly transformed the industry by making porn viewing and manufacturing more accessible.
Everyone knows what it is, many even have their favorites, but very few people admit it. The world's most popular XXX-site Pornhub celebrated its 15th anniversary on Tuesday.
Back in the old days of dial-up connection and even before that, viewers used to buy DVDs or subscriptions to watch their favorite content before the advent of "tube sites," websites where users post often-pirated porn content for others to enjoy.
Then, when in 2005, a group of PayPal workers established YouTube, a revolution took place that made it simple for non-techies to upload and share videos.
In general, it can be argued that the porn industry is one of the pioneers of our internet, given that according to various estimates, up to 37% of all websites in the world have pornographic content. Taking that into consideration, it was not long before the adult business adopted the same technology family-friendly YouTube used.
Pornhub was founded on May 24, 2007, signaling a revolution in how people watch — and create — porn. And the website still remains the king of the tubes after fifteen years.
According to Semrush data, it was the world's eighth most visited website in December 2021, placed between Reddit and Walmart — and the only pornographic site in the top 15 — with over a billion views in that month alone.
Still, the world's most renowned porn platform at times has a tense relationship with local legislation across the globe, as well as content performers and producers.
According to the Mashable report on the anniversary, Pornhub was not the first of its kind. As New York Magazine revealed in a 2011 deep dive into Pornhub and the rise of free porn, it was preceded by RedTube and YouPorn in 2006. Nonetheless, all these platforms had a significant impact on the industry since they allowed users to watch free porn on a large scale for the first time.
Prior to the revolution, major and not-so-big studios controlled pornography before the invention of the tube, as they produced and distributed porn on their own websites or via DVDs. Tubes were then chastised by these studio performers and producers for pirating content and violating copyright. Indeed, piracy existed long before tubes, but it took off with these sites, becoming a major sworn enemy of the industry.
Things reportedly got even worse after Apple began mass-producing its iPhone, also first released in 2007, which became another technology that helped usher in this new era. People now have not only screens that fit in their hands (leaving one hand free), but also cameras of high enough quality to see what is happening on the screen.
But the real change happened when content producers decided not to sue the numerous pirates, and to lead the movement instead. This is said to be the reason why Brazzers' founders developed Pornhub themselves.
Over the years of its existence, the platform has had many ups and even more serious downs, including several scandals, including the multiple consensus pornography incidents. The company has been criticized for its slow or inadequate response to some of these incidents, including hosting the high-profile Girls Do Porn channel, which was shut down in 2019 following a lawsuit and allegations of sex trafficking.
In December 2020, following a high-profile report about such content, Mastercard and Visa restricted their services to Pornhub, which in turn banned all non-verified content after the damning report was published. Since then, millions of clips have been removed as a result.
More to the platform's history, in 2015, the site made all the headlines by announcing the start of a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for the filming of the first-ever porn movie in Earth orbit. Despite the widespread media attention, the campaign failed to raise even a third of the amount claimed.
Given that the website still makes a lot of money from advertising and partnerships, some, according to the Mashable report, believe that the current porn market can be called an oligopoly, as it is divided among the big players without major changes.
Regardless, for the past 15 years, Pornhub has dominated the conversation about the adult industry in the internet era. And sure, no one can speak for the next 15, but the site is unlikely to disappear, as it is rooted on what one might call our basic instinct.
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