Here are the porn stars that broke the internet

Cape Town - Despite what critics think, online porn continues to demonstrate its popularity - even if it's behind closed doors.

According to online porn platform Pornhub, 43-year-old Lisa Ann was the most popular porn star of 2014, followed by Madison Ivy (25) and Asa Akira (29).

All three women are diminutive at under 1.6m but their online videos have proved to be popular with fans.

Ann has over 32 million views of her videos online and around 85 500 people who subscribe to her channel on the platform.

Ivy and Akira scored 25 million and 19 million views respectively, as Pornhub served 78.9 billion video views in 2014, resulting in 1 577 petabytes of bandwidth consumption.

Here are the top 10 porn stars on Pornhub from 2014:

Lisa Ann

Madison Ivy

Asa Akira

Christy Mack

Brandi Love

Alexis Texas

Tori Black

Kim Kardashian

Rachel Starr

Sasha Grey

Online porn is an internet success story and technologies such as streaming video, high speed broadband have facilitated the growth of the skin industry.

According to research by ConvenantEyes, there have been nearly one billion searches for porn - just since the start of 2015. At least 20% of mobile searches are for porn, the organisation found.

The tracker also revealed that 10% of porn consumers will pay for racy content online.

Online demand has created a $3bn porn market. Offline porn such as DVD sales continue to make up the bulk of porn revenue at $13bn in the US alone, but that number is likely to decline slowly as online revenue streams gain momentum.

Despite the popularity of porn content, societal norms show an aversion to the industry.

In the UK, a Czech teacher was sacked after pupils discovered a sexually explicit video that she had made.

Pornhub statistics for 2014 also showed that men and women differed significantly in their consumption and interest in porn.

Globally, women accounted for 23% of porn consumption with women in Brazil (29%), Argentina (28%) and Poland (27%) being the most active consumers.

For men, the top search terms were "teen", "milf" and "mature", but women preferred "lesbian", "gay (male)" and "teen".

While critics have long suggested that pornography leads to violence against women, Edward Donnerstein argued in his 1983 paper that a correlation was observed between violent porn and violent tendencies.

In the Journal of Communication, authors Mike Allen, Tara Emmers, Lisa Gebhardt and Mary A Giery concluded in 1995 that pornography is not linked to rape against women.

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