When exactly the porn industry was born is hard to tell. Available evidence shows that the creation of images of sex and genitalia for purposes of arousal started as far back as the 16th century. However, pornography only became a recognized business in the early 20th century.

When it comes to the financial muscle of the sector, most experts believe that it runs into billions of dollars. In fact, some have said that porn in the US generates more money than Amazon, Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Yahoo combined. So, it’s a big industry. But putting a number on the economic size of the industry isn’t so easy.

According to Shira Tarrant, a professor of women’s gender and sexuality studies at Cal State Long Beach, the reason it is so difficult to estimate the economic size of the porn industry is because;

  • Official records are hard to come by.
  • Most porn companies don’t even keep records. And when they do, they always hide them away from government and other authorities for fear of legal implications.
  • Most researchers and academics who study pornography don’t take the industry seriously. Rather, they see it as a side kind of thing.

In a mid 2015 article, nbcnews.com reported that porn was worth approximately 13.3 billion in 2014 and that the industry was on an up. Before that, Covenanteyes.com, another online news website, reported that the porn industry has been growing steadily over the years amid multiple challenges. The website claims that the industry was worth at least $10 billion in 2001 though it’s important to state that at that time, a Forbes report indicated that the industry was worth just $3.9 billion.

Five years later, in 2006, another Covenant report was released which estimated that the industry generated $13.33 in revenue in that year. So, you’d argue that between 2006 and 2014, the industry made no progress at all. But is this the case? Maybe, maybe not.

What we know for sure is that there are a lot more porn actors in the USA now than in 2006. There are also a lot more porn streaming websites and tubes. Surely, merchants wouldn’t waste their time getting adult merchant accounts from emerchantbroker.com and the rest and host all these new porn sites if the industry was stagnating.

A possible explanation might be what we have mentioned earlier that merchants in this industry have a habit of failing to keep records and where they do hide them from authorities. This way, you will never know how much they are making and how fast the industry as a whole is growing.