Vivid’s Bill Asher: “Porn Index” points to economic recovery?

from www.chicagotribune.com – It’s more straightforward than GDP and leaves less to the imagination than housing starts, but sales of online pornography rarely get factored into a standard analysis of the economy.

Too bad, because Bill Asher, co-chief executive of Vivid Entertainment LLC, is noticing positive news about consumer spending trends.

The Dartmouth-trained Asher, who runs one of the most prominent U.S. porn companies, has seen his sales turn around over the past two or three months after a year-long decline, he said.

“The average Joe is our customer, and he wasn’t buying subscriptions or movies on TV,” Asher said. “In the last couple of months, they’re starting to spend again. They think their job is safe.”

A subscription to his Vivid.com Web site runs about $30 a month, and despite routine pirating of his movies by free sites, customers are trickling back. “It’s going along with the stock market and the economy,” he said. “People have a more positive attitude toward spending money.”

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