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Porn Bailout: Larry Flynt, Joe Francis Seeking Government Money

Porn Bailout

Huffington Post   Danny Shea First Posted: 02/07/09 05:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:00 PM ET

An article in next month's Atlantic asks, "Is porn recession proof?" According to porn magnate Larry Flynt and "Girls Gone Wild" king Joe Francis, the answer is no.

TMZ reports that the pornographer pair is heading to Washington to ask for a $5 billion porn bailout:

"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind," Flynt says. "It's time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America."


Francis sees his industry like the big three automakers, only BIGGER: "Congress seems willing to help shore up our nation's most important businesses; we feel we deserve the same consideration."

In the Atlantic article, Tom Johansmeyer reports that AdultVest, a hedge fund run by Francis Koenig that invests in porn-related assets, was up 50% in 2008 (a number that Joe Wiesenthal at ClusterStock says ought to be taken with a grain of salt). Johansmeyer goes on to discuss the recession effect on the porn industry:

Relatively small, fragmented, and unaccustomed to outside investment, the U.S. porn industry (which generated roughly $12 billion in 2007) is some­what buffered from today's credit crunch, but it has its own problems. Video sales have been falling by 15 percent a year since 2005, and online content doesn't deliver the returns it used to, now that Web sites such as RedTube and PornHub basically give it away. Struggling companies need investors to help right their operations, and those that are thriving in a brutal market need funding for growth.


Enter Koenig and AdultVest. He sees the porn downturn as temporary and believes that technological improvements will trigger a turnaround. One example: iPorn, a start-up in AdultVest's portfolio that is developing an application to deliver porn to the Apple iPod. "The industry's not going anywhere," Koenig says. "You've got 6 billion people on the planet," he laughs, "and they're all horny."

Watch Francis discuss the bailout for the porn industry with TMZ:

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