Nearly 50% of adults in the UK watched porn during lockdown, according to new research.

The study, which was carried out by Ofcom, found that in September last year, 49% of UK adults used adult sites, which amounts to approximately 26 million people.

Pornhub, which had 16 million visitors, was the most popular site used, according to the data.

This means it had a larger audience share than mainstream channels like Sky One, ITV4 and BBC News.

For younger people, figures were even higher, with a third of young women and three-quarters of men visiting PornHub during the same period.



Porn button on a keyboard
Pornhub was the most popular site used, according to the data

The information was collected as part of Ofcom’s annual internet consumption report.

Along with porn sites, the regulator also recorded a rise in the use of sites such as OnlyFans, which has user-created content, usually of an adult nature.

Discussing the trend, Ofcom said the financial impact of the pandemic has led more and more people to sign up to the site.

A spokesperson said: “It has been reported that economic factors caused by the lockdowns may have led people to turn to sites such as OnlyFans to generate an income, in the context of rising unemployment or furlough, and financial uncertainty for many in the UK.”



Model in black underwear
There was also a big rise in the use of sites such as OnlyFans

In the year to November 2020, OnlyFans, which takes a 20% cut of creators’ earnings, recorded sales of £1.7 billion, up 615% on the previous 12 months.

The number of creators on the site also rose during this time from 348,000 to 1.6 million, according to recent Companies House filings.

Meanwhile, the number of subscribers increased from 13 million to 82 million people in 187 different countries.

This ties in with Ofcom’s further findings that we are spending ever-increasing amounts of time online.

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The study found that the average Brit adult spent over three-and-a-half hours online each day last year, which is an hour longer than those in Germany and France, and 30 minutes more than the average adult in Spain.

Yih-Choung Teh, Ofcom’s director of strategy and research, said: “In an unprecedented year, we’ve seen a real acceleration in our migration to online services – which, for many people, have provided a lifeline in lockdown.

“This research is critical to keep pace with these changes in technology, economics and behaviour, as we prepare to take on new responsibilities for regulating online safety.”





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