The Big, Throbbing Porn-News Hustle

Over the past week, publications like the LA Times, New York Post and even our own Valleywag have parroted a report from the Adult Internet Market Research Company about how the recent federal taxpayer stimulus checks led to a spike in porn site membership. Predictable: it was an interesting piece of news dangled in front of the media in the lull leading up to the holiday weekend, when filler is traditionally needed. Unfortunately, it looks like the report was "total bullshit," at least judging by the reporting of Adult Video News columnist and porn-market scholar Tom Johansmeyer (pictured).

First off, AIMRCo's website has existed for less than a month, according to registration records. The phone number for "head research consultant" Kirk Mishkin appears to go to a personal cell phone. And the only two companies named as being affiliated with the company, LSGModels.com and MoreyStudio.com, "look like low-rent adult sites at best... they are not major adult internet powerhouses," Johansmeyer writes.

Then there's the lack of any disclosed methodology:

What is missing from the story is detail. AIMRCo says that "[u]sing a connected network of over 400 paysites and 2000 affiliates/traffic trading sites, we gather the data necessary to make informed market trend assessments." Yet, it does not indicate the size of the sample for this particular survey. It offers no description of the responding companies. For Fox's survey, there is no comment as to whether members would have joined anyway.

Johansmeyere also notes that industry publication Adult Video News used to compile an overall report on industry sales but has been able to get reliable statistics. How did AVN not know about AIMRCo, if it is a reputable, lonstanding organization? And if AIMRCo is an upstart, where did it get the stats that AVN couldn't?

It's shocking - shocking! - that anyone connected with the porn industry would artificially inflate the size of something just for some cheap attention. It's obscene, really.

[Migrant Blogger, Migrant Blogger]

(Photo via Migrant Blogger)