SA’s porn industry on the rise ...

2011-06-18 15:18

R300 million - that’s what South Africa’s porn industry is currently raking in.

Retailers in the adult business say although the DVD and film side of the industry is still quite small compared to its US and European counterparts, indications are that locals are showing more interest in SA ­productions.

The country produces only five locally made porn films a year, but industry insiders say the adult business in the country is worth in the region of R300?million a year.

According to Wikipedia, the US’ porn-film industry, with an estimated 200 production companies employing as many as 1?500 performers, makes up to 11?000 films and is worth an ­estimated turnover of $13?billion (R88.3?billion) a year.

“The DVD production is only one aspect of the entire adult industry,” says Joe Theron, boss of JT ­Wholesalers, one of the largest adult-DVD and magazine ­distribution companies in the country.

“The biggest aspect of the business is the toys and other material such as libido boosters and lubricants. But the DVD side of the business is ­growing,” says Theron.

Although there are no figures readily available, the release last year of South Africa’s first all-black porn DVD, Mapona Volume I, seems to have given the industry a new breed of consumer.

Recently, Liquid City Productions released Soweto Sex Files, which was shot in the sprawling urban area and features an all-black cast speaking isiZulu and “tsotsitaal”.

The film’s release follows the opening of Fantazies, Soweto’s first adult store in April.

Theron says that since Mapona’s release last year, there has been a notable increase in the number of black people visiting adult shops to buy DVDs and other adult products.

“It’s been a trend all over the world.

In many countries, ­pornography was outlawed and people had to rely on material from other countries.

“Then, when the laws were relaxed, people began to ­explore in their own countries because consumers like something they can identify with,” says Theron, whose company distributes Soweto Sex Files and Mapona Volume I.

Arthur Calamaras, the director of adult retail chain Adult World, which is South Africa’s biggest distributor of porn DVDs and adult material, says movies featuring South Africans are flying off the shelves.

This augurs well for the growth of the local industry, he says.

“It’s still a very small ­market,” says Calamaras, “but it’s growing. While the music industry is shrinking, the porn and adult industries are ­growing.

“There has been a boom of adult stores in the country in the last couple of years.

“We’ve had more than 20 ­requests for franchises all over the country in the last six months.”

Calamaras says that although the sale of DVDs, particularly those made locally, has been growing, magazine sales have been dwindling.

“The black DVD market is very, very popular. They make up for 50% of what we sell,” says Calamaras.


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