The rise of video sharing sites and resulting flop of physical porn sales has led to a change in how porn stars work and deliver their, er, material, to the masses, with an estimated 5,000 people, most of whom we'd assume to be ladies called Sindy, working on live porn webcam streams in the UK.

The data comes via the Authority For Television On Demand, a rather niche UK body charged with monitoring online streaming video activity. The main thrust of its work is to ensure that pornographic material is hidden behind those staggeringly ineffective and entirely useless age restriction barrier pages, a rule it can only enforce on sites based in the UK. so it isn't likely to stop the global porn tsunami based around ripping, sharing and uploading everything.

The result of the modern online porn distribution free-for-all is porn workers going freelance and doing it all on webcam instead. Tom Dennis, from the Adult Industry Trade Association, says: "It's live and cannot be pirated. It means that performers can directly get paid from their online performances," with the result that some of the estimated 5,000 UK webcam entertainers are able to make it their main income stream.

So there's something to talk to them about next time you're whiling away a dull evening watching them gyrate over a keyboard. [BBC]

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