How much Pornhub spends on servers?

Porn industry is all fun and games until you really start calculating the money. This is a huge niche with a complex and vast business model, with its own guidelines and rules.

Let’s start with clarifying the area we are going to dive into. We will count the annual PornHub expenses for video streaming and storage, based on the numbers we got from 2019 technical reports.

As far as we know from the PornHub 2019 report, the year was pretty successful for the business.

  • 42 Billion page visits
  • 115 million users/day
  • 6.83 million videos uploaded
  • 6,597 Petabytes of data transferred = 6.5 Exabytes

(Picture from Pornhub 2019 review)

Now let’s break this immerse figure into the human language – that’s Huge!

For your better understanding, we calculated the Google Photos infrastructure costs , and it turned out that Google had stored ~2 Exabytes of photos since it started to operate years ago. 

Considering that PornHub transferred 3.5 times more data in porn just in one year than Google Photos whole data storage.


Just to give you a view from another perspective, we can compare those Pornhub data transfer 6,597 PB per year to Twitch 15,072 PB of data transfer per year. Luckily porn is not as popular as computer games. Or at least average watching time of computer games is higher 🙂

And you might wonder – “How much does it all cost?” 

Price per GB transferred in 2019 for big players equals $0.0009. 

Now we can calculate expenses for all Pornhub video data transferred in 2019.  

6,597PB per year / 365 days = 18,073 Terabytes/day

18,073 Terabytes/day x 1024 = 18,506,752 Gigabytes/day. 

And then we multiply that by $0.0009 * 18,506,752 Gigabytes/day = $16,656 per day.

Or $16,656 * 30 days = $499,6K per month or $6 mln per year.

But that’s not the end. In order to provide such huge amounts of data to be transferred, PornHub definitely needs additional servers to run, transcoding servers to convert videos, and store all those videos on hard drives. 

I believe that all extra infrastructure might eat the same budget as video streaming costs, so we can add another $6 mln/year.

In comparison to PornHub’s annual revenue 2019, which is ~$220 mil, the $12mil/year infrastructure costs does not seem huge, that’s only 5.4% of the total revenue. 

 

My team Trembit builds custom audio/video streaming solutions (not related to porn industry), let me know if you need help sz@trembit.com. 

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