Given my extensive experience advising adult models, newbies to the porn business are constantly asking me about the numbers. No, not bust sizes or penis lengths, but the financial numbers — people want to know how much money pornstars typically make.
ATTENTION: Due to the massive amount of curiosity out there, I’m going to reveal in this post exactly how much money is being made by pornstars, and how exactly they make it. Later in the post, I’ll be sharing an adult industry income secret that will BLOW YOU AWAY.
Okay, so maybe you’ve heard that being a pornstar is one of the best things since erotic cave paintings. Maybe you think you might even want to become one? I mean, it comes with fame, sex, and lots of money, right? Well, it certainly comes with fame (wait until you start getting recognized by those food sample people at Costco…you’ll love it), and it does come with quite a bit of sex. The money part, however, is a bit complicated. Let me explain.
How Much Do Pornstars Get Paid Per Scene?
Back in the good old days of porn, circa 1990, pornstars did pretty darn well. The advent of VHS and VCRs meant that people could watch all their naughty skin flicks at home on their television sets, instead of at some seedy adult theater (yeah, that’s how the old folks used to get their freakjerk on, believe it or not).
This meant huge demand for adult movies, and they quickly started selling like hotcakes. There was plenty of money pouring into the adult video business, and pornstars were definitely getting their share of it. The pay per scene was pretty darn nice, and there was plenty of work, so times were good for performers. Making well over $2,000 for a standard boy/girl scene was common, even for performers new to the biz. Established performers could make $50,000 per scene, or more.
During the VHS era, pornstars would regularly get paid in the many thousands of dollars for every scene they did. Big name stars could command truly ridiculous rates in the tens of thousands per scene.
Things got even better for the porn business as we entered the 21st century, due primarily to the rise of the internet. People could now buy access to ridiculously large amounts of adult content whenever they wanted, right on their computer. It turned out that insistent boners significantly lowered reluctance to whip out the credit card for most guys. Impulse purchases fueled a massive porn-buying orgy the world had not yet seen.
While the VHS side of the adult video business suffered a bit as online porn became more popular, pornstars were still pulling in sweet amounts of money from their scene shoots. And, thanks to the internet, production was going through the roof.
Then came the porn tubes — and, all of a sudden, full-length adult video scenes were available to everyone on sites like PornHub and XVideos…for free. This is the point where the anal lube just about hit the fan for the porn biz. The adult DVD video business just about died, and internet porn sites started dropping like flies, left and right.
As you can imagine, people weren’t keen on spending money buying access to porn that was readily available for free on porn tubes. Pay per scene rates dropped dramatically and the porn production business entered a severe depression that almost ended video naughtiness forever.
After porn tube sites became dominant, the typical rate paid to pornstars for scenes fell dramatically. Many performers found themselves earning just a few hundred dollars per scene.
But, like a heavily plot-armored Game of Thrones character, the porn industry would ultimately come back from the brink of death and re-emerge virtually unscathed. Yes, the professional porn production guys were still hurting, but independent adult video producers and amateur porn actresses began to thrive in the tube-dominated porn landscape. And the primary way they did will surprise you — they uploaded their videos onto tube sites themselves.
By using a strategy of posting their own, self-produced video content to sites like PornHub and XVideos, many amateur pornstars were able to build their brands and amass huge fan followings. Since many tube viewers seem to prefer the more amateurish content anyway, and given that video camera quality had gotten fairly excellent, this homemade smut got fabulously popular. These new pornstars were getting millions of views, and becoming more well-known than most national politicians.
And, believe it or not, the money got EVEN BETTER for pornstars than it was in the good old days. This is because both PornHub and XVideos have revenue sharing programs where content producers can actually get paid off their views. The more views they get on their videos, the more ads get displayed, and the more money they and the tube sites make.
As of 2019, there are currently tube pornstars making over $75,000 PER MONTH just on their video views. I shit you not, compadres. This has actually become a huge industry that many people are completely unaware of. And keep in mind that tube money is only part of the revenues these content producers bring in. There’s also a huge additional revenue source available to pornstars who’ve built massive fan followings online — and it’s called webcamming.
How Pornstars Make The REAL Money
Now that professional porn shoots don’t pay anywhere near as much as they used to, most porn performers simply use those scenes to build a name for themselves. Either that, or they use the tube site strategy I mentioned above (many employ both). The goal is to get famous and build a strong fandom. Once they do that, they can monetize that fan base on cam sites — where the real money is made in the adult industry.
A lot of people don’t realize that webcam models can make staggering incomes that simply blow the mind. A few years ago, it was revealed that cam girls on MyFreeCams, a popular cam site, were regularly making tens of thousands of dollars per month. More than a few of the top cam models there very likely became millionaires just off the revenues they made on the site.
The reason being a cam girl or webcam model can be so lucrative is that, due to the interactive nature of camming, cam site members and cam models can grow very close to each other and develop extremely strong bonds that usually result in a lot of “tipping.” Members buy “tokens” on cam sites and then tip those tokens to the models of their choice. Some of these tips are absolutely massive (there have been single tips made worth over $25,000 to the model).
Tipping on cam sites can generate a fantastic amount of money for the typical pornstar. Girls who’ve done porn scenes are considered “high value” by most cam site members, and they tip accordingly.
Webcam models who have lots of devoted “regulars” make the most money, and one way to attract a lot of devoted regulars is to be a pornstar. Pornstars who cam enjoy a huge advantage due to their fame, which usually leads to massive room counts in their public chat areas and lots of “whale tippers” competing for their attention. A porn actress can often make multiple thousands of dollars her first month camming, almost effortlessly.
So, pornstars get paid any number of ways, it’s not simply a per-scene type of deal anymore. These days, it has really become necessary for most porn performers to think outside the box about how to make the big money. It’s still very doable (in fact, as I’ve said, it’s WAY MORE lucrative now), but it’s become a different game.
During the depression days of the porn tube rise era, many porn queens used “feature dancing” (basically stripping at select clubs) to bring in serious money, which was a way to leverage their adult industry fame. Escorting was also a major way to bring home the bacon, and all they needed to do was make a little bacon with strangers in exchange.
However, due to the rise of webcamming, these methods are no longer necessary for most pornstars. Getting paid the big bucks now only requires a little bit of entrepreneurial spirit and the application of the camming strategy I briefly mentioned above.
By the way, if you happen to be interested in getting started with a webcam model career, be sure to check out my Uber Cam Star Webcam Modeling Course for a comprehensive guide that contains the best, most proven tactics.
How Much Money Do Pornstars Make on Snapchat?
Before I end this report on how much money pornstars make, I would be remiss if I did not mention the Snapchat element to the modern porn actress income formula. While tube money and webcam modeling money can be awesome, selling access to a premium Snapchat account can also bring in some major, major moolah for a porn actress.
Snapchat, of course, is the super popular sexting app, and it has become pretty much a mainstay of adult content marketing. Cam girls, pornstars, and adult models of all kinds regularly use it to put out amateur content that their fans gleefully eat up. Being that the content is consumed on cell phones, there’s a certain intimate quality to it that really aids the bonding process, making for an even more devoted fan following.
Even though Snapchat does NOT allow nudity or explicit content, the social media platform is nevertheless used by adult models to sell exactly that. They do it by offering subscriptions to their “premium” Snapchat accounts, where they post all of their raunchiest material.
Subscription rates for premium Snapchat can vary greatly, depending on the model’s popularity and name recognition, but usually fall between $10 and $40 per month. This can add up quickly, make no mistake, because subscriber numbers can easily blow up into the hundreds, or even thousands. With that many people paying subscription fees, month after month, we’re talking about sweet, sweet money flows.
Premium Snapchat has become one of the best ways for pornstars and cam girls to monetize their fans. It’s an easy way to produce and distribute explicit content quickly, with little production effort or cost.
Pornstars again have the advantage with premium Snapchat, due to their fame and recognition. In fact, any pornstar who DOES NOT offer premium subscriptions to their naughty Snapchat account should probably have their heads examined. It’s a fairly effortless way to bring in thousands and thousands of dollars every month — and all the performer has to do is share her private sex life with her fans.
The kind of money an established pornstar can make selling premium Snapchat access will totally floor you. Almost all of the top selling premium accounts on Fancentro, a major subscription management platform, belong to major porn actresses. Asa Akira, Riley Reid, Sophie Dee, Lana Rhoades and many other huge names in porn regularly top the list.
Most of these girls have well over a thousand subscribers each, and at an average subscription rate of $20 per month…well, just do the math and prepare to crap your pants. Don’t be under the impression that only porn performers can make bank on Snapchat, though…I have a course that reveals how just about any adult model can make it rain benjies on the saucy sexting app. Check that out here.
Pornstars Make Mega Money in 2019
So, I hope this clears up some of the confusion that’s out there about how much pornstars make these days. Yes, there was a time when the porn tubes looked to be strangling the life out of the professional porn production world, and many porn stars were forced to become strippers and escorts to earn enough money to make ends meet.
With the advent of smartphones, excellent consumer-level video cameras, and high-quality webcam streams, the situation has gotten remarkably better for porn actors and actresses. Incomes for established names continue to explode, and there seems to be no impediment to further growth in the coming years.
It’s clear that the future of porn will be more amateur than professional, though, so pornstars will need to get comfortable producing more of their own content, building a social media fanbase, and learning to play the webcam modeling game more consistently. As long as they do these things, the amount of money porn performers can make is truly limitless.