Pornhub Reports an Increase in Traffic as More People Self-Quarantine

The adult site believes this spike is from users working from home

a computer with a bunch of hands coming out of it holding money bags, clocks, tools, paper
Pornhub reported a spike in viewers outside of its normal popular times. Getty Images

Key insights:

As the workforce starts to work remotely, employees quickly realize that working from home can have its fair share of distractions. 

We are creatures of habit, and the workweek—let alone going to the office—is full of rituals. But when routines get flipped, you might find yourself doing certain things during the day that you’d otherwise do outside of work hours. For some, that means watching porn.

Approximately 120 million people visit Pornhub on a daily basis, according to the company. And in a blog post on Friday, the adult site showed that “as the coronavirus spread around the world, Pornhub’s traffic did grow.” The company continued, “perhaps more interesting, we found that people were choosing to visit Pornhub at different times.”

For example, on Wednesday, Pornhub’s worldwide traffic was 5.7% higher than usual. Digging into the data more, the site found that “at 2 a.m., traffic was 11% higher than usual, but dipped 9% below average at 8 a.m.”

Apparently, 8 a.m. is usually one of the most popular times to visit Pornhub. The site attributes this change to “people who did not need to commute to work the next day stayed up later and slept in longer than they normally would.” 

Throughout the day, the site noted, traffic was 11% above average at 1 p.m., then dipped 6% at 4 p.m., with another increase of 8% at 7 p.m.

Pornhub also said that searches containing “coronavirus” first appeared on Jan. 25 and have continued to grow. “In the past 30 days, our statisticians recorded more than 6.8 million searches containing either ‘corona’ or ‘Covid,'” the company wrote. “Searches peaked on March 5 at 1.5 million.”

Of course, adult content isn’t the only thing people are watching while at home. Gaming and streaming also occupy our time. In Italy, a nation that has shut down every business except grocery stores and pharmacies, the data tells an interesting story. Bloomberg reported that “the amount of data passing through Telecom Italia S.p.A.’s national network has surged by more than two-thirds in the past two weeks,” in large part because of online gaming.

Telecom Italia CEO Luigi Gubitosi told analysts on Wednesday, “We reported an increase of more than 70% of internet traffic over our landline network, with a big contribution from online gaming such as Fortnite.” 

And, of course, Italians have also been visiting Pornhub. “Italy’s traffic changed over the last few weeks, growing by 9% on March 9, 11% on March 10 and 13.8% on March 11,” the company wrote.

The company also said it will donate its Modelhub March revenue “to help Italy overcome the emergency.”

They continued, “To keep you company at home during these weeks, you’ll be able to access Pornhub Premium for free for the whole month, with no need for a credit card.”

@joshsternberg Josh Sternberg is the former media and tech editor at Adweek.