The industry in numbers
The porn industry was traditionally regarded as recession-proof, but today it is in crisis. Incomes from pay websites and DVD sales are being hit by an upswell of so-called 'tube' sites. These are modelled on YouTube and offer content for free. There are reportedly some 1,000 tube sites in existence.
These make their money off ad sales, and the phenomenon has hit demand for DVDs. A study by market research group Xbiz found the initial order for a porn DVD has fallen from 6,000 a few years ago to between 2,000 and 1,500. Sales are estimated to be declining 20pc annually.
Another problem for the industry has been the upsurge in amateur content as exhibitionists go into the business themselves.
"We're dealing with the perfect storm: declining DVD sales, rampant piracy, free content and a weak economy," Steven Hirsch, founder of the world's largest porn company Vivid Entertainment told USA Today. "This is the worst I've seen in this industry in 25 years."