The growth and evolution of the Internet have transformed the way people do business, and one of the oldest professions in the world is no exception. In this digital age, where online chat rooms are prevalent, cam performers can market anything from a simple conversation to explicit sexual acts.
And, unlike conventional prostitution or pornography, no laws are regulating this type of sex-related work. Online camming is a very easy market to enter. All it takes is a working computer, a good webcam, access to a stable internet connection, and, most importantly, a webcam hosting website.
Working hours are very flexible, the work environment is obviously safe, and the salary can be rewarding, depending on the hosting site, the number of clients, and the performer’s hard work. Most of the performers are women, but because of its work hours flexibility, work environment, and the monetary reward, males, and transgender performers are starting to enter this industry. Some sites have tipping systems that operate in public chat rooms.
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With tipping systems, the payment is voluntary, and the performer is tipped for performing both sexual and non-sexual acts they are doing in front of the subscribers. It makes shows profitable for performers and can cost viewers less money. With private chat rooms, performers are getting paid by the minute for private shows.
Customers can make specific requests like sexual or non-sexual acts they need to perform. Not like public chat rooms, performances in this industry tend to be pretty pornographic. With both private and public shows, performances can be interactive. Customers and performers can comfortably communicate with each other using a two-way camera, speech, and keyboards.
The silence of the camera
But while customers and producers are very busy experimenting with the Internet world’s new capabilities, both campaigners and the government remain very silent. It is pretty odd, given that most government has increasingly taken a heavy approach when it comes to regulating this industry.
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For instance, some countries banned certain acts from being uploaded and depicted by pornography producers. Japan has been known for this. Some even restrict minors to access pornographic materials from the Internet. But some laws focus more on recordings instead of live streaming.
Because of this, they usually turn a blind eye to platforms like web camming. It creates a paradox: performing pornographic acts using webcams, carries no immediate consequences, but if the same deed is recorded and uploaded, performers can be liable to fine.
Another vocal group that remained quiet on this topic is the hardcore and radical feminists. Since the emergence of feminist movements, women involved in sex work has been portrayed by feminists as a victim that needs to be rescued, and today, web performers are challenging this strained image.
A good profit
While giving women platforms to conduct sex work in a safe environment, it also generates an excellent corporate profit despite the fact that free cams websites are all over the Internet. Hosting websites retain more or less 50% of the performer’s earnings, for providing payment services and chat rooms, as well as the existing customer base.
The estimated profits for cam hosting websites will reach between $1 billion to $4 billion in 2016 alone. Today, the estimated profit will run between $10 billion to $15 billion by the end of the year. The owners of these hosting websites are not the only one that is profiting.
Every transaction thatpasses through the banking system. According to experts, the system charges between 6% and 16% for providing payment platforms – more than 1% to 3% they usually charge. The greater risk of fraud justifies it because webcam sessions are typically done with credit card transactions.
But more or less 0.03% of all transactions generated from this industry have resulted in chargebacks. Instead of shady traffickers or corrupt pornographers, the webcam industry is driven by a different force – mainstream corporations.
With no easily identifiable victims or an honest and fair financial operation, the web camming industry has confounded anti-sex work campaigners and lawmakers alike. For the moment, at the very least, business-minded men, women, and transgender people are free to participate in legal forms of sex works, which participants have the power to define.