Depending on exactly where you are in the world, you’re just on either side of the two-month mark as it pertains to the quarantine with COVID-19. If you’re here in the United States of America, you’re seeing a lot of cities and states stick their toe in the water as it pertains to reopening. I understand their desire, and it appears our collective efforts to minimize contact has really helped lower the first estimates of a death toll, but the curve has not started to continually go down anywhere.
It seems dangerous to reopen at this time and there are several instances from the last great pandemic, the Spanish Flu of 1918, that shows when you reopen or get together too early, bad things happen. For those who think crowded beaches are safe, do a little research about a parade in Philadelphia that spread the Spanish Flu. Just because you can open, doesn’t mean you should open and just because you can go out, doesn’t mean you should go out. Admit it, you’re loving this excuse to keep your hair growing out.
At the beginning of this pandemic, I wrote about how I thought it was obvious the online porn industry was going to explode and PornHub, which tracks and shares their analytics, especially when things are going well (despite pretending terms like “teen” and “incest” don’t exist in their searches) has been continually providing almost real-time data.
In an attempt to lure more viewers, the site took down its paywall for premium content – whatever that means – when COVID-19 first hit parts of Europe hard. When it went worldwide, so did their promotion. In the early days of their promotion, when many mainstream media outlets picked up what they thought was probably a funny story, the average PornHub traffic jumped by 20% to 30% depending upon which country you were talking about.
I followed up a few weeks later with the good news that those numbers seem to have dropped to the 9% to 12% level in most countries – still a huge jump in traffic considering you’re talking about one of the Top Three porn sites in the world and one of the Top Ten most popular websites in the world. That’s right, PornHub consistently gets more traffic than Amazon, Pinterest, Reddit and LinkedIn.
Unfortunately, as we’ve all settled in for the long haul on this, the numbers have rebounded. History has always shown spikes in porn use on the weekend – which plays to the idea when people are home and have nothing to do they’ll turn to online porn – and that trend also continues worldwide.
While the US topped out at around 25% above average in late March, it had dropped to 9%-12% a few weeks later. It’s come back though and in the last 10 days of April, the average weekday bump in traffic is around 14% and weekend traffic is 18%.
In Canada, the story is a little different. There was not as dramatic a drop off the highs (about 20%) so there has been no rebound. Through April, Canada has consistently shown a weekday bump in traffic of 11% and weekend traffic of 14%.
The UK is the opposite of Canada in that it fluctuates greatly from weekdays (now at about 12%) and weekends (now at 22%-23%). Those trends mirror most of Europe, which PornHub reports at about 14% on weekends and 20%-21% on weekdays.
The worst figures are probably out of Spain, which as far as I can tell, has the one-day surge record of 61% on March 17. These days, weekday or weekend doesn’t seem to matter as they are regularly 25%-30%. Unsurprisingly, their neighbor Portugal is in a similar boat.
If you’re looking for a country with good news, Australia is dipping well below 10% on weekdays and has never gone over 18% on any day during the quarantine. France, which spiked into the 30s, has now settled to less than half of that, even on weekends.
I haven’t seen any statistics of what other websites are looking like, although I’m guessing that things like Facebook and Instagram are seeing much more traffic than usual. I’m not sure if that would count if it goes through an app, though. They don’t consult me on these things.
Unfortunately, the latest comprehensive website stats I can find are dated March 1. I’ve made a record of these and when new statistics come out for all of March and forward, I’ll try to make sure to bring them to you. If PornHub has seen this surge, we’ll be able to judge how the other porn sites in the top 25 websites have gone up or down.
And for those wondering the big deal, some figures can be extrapolated. For instance, we know that roughly 1-in-3 men between 18 and 30 believe they have an issue with porn. So, if 10% more men in that age group are looking at porn, it seems to me that one-third would now be at risk for an issue whereas they might not have before. Yes, somewhat unscientific, but you can’t tell me that extended use of porn over weeks and now months won’t result in higher numbers of addicts than before.
I’ll keep everyone updated on what’s happening as more statistics come in. Cross your fingers for good news. We can certainly use some these days.