Why it matters: With millions of people now out of work due to the continued impact of stay-at-home orders related to Covid-19 and unemployment systems struggling to keep up with sudden demand, some are turning to the Internet’s seedier side as a source of emergency income.

CamSoda, a livestreaming video platform for adult content, saw a 37 percent increase in new model sign-ups last month (compared to the same period in 2019) according to company vice president Daryn Parker. A similar site, ManyVids, saw a 69 percent jump in new model sign-ups during the same time span.

Viewership has increased, too. CamSoda said the number of new viewers on its site has doubled thus far this year compared to early 2019. But even with more viewers, models aren’t necessarily making more money.

Mileena Kane, a popular cam model with CamSoda, said earnings are static as many new viewers aren’t tipping as much as they normally would. “I’m meeting a whole bunch of people more frequently than I normally would, but there’s not much more money,” Kane said.

Some of the issues that Kane and others are now facing may be tied to the sudden saturation of new talent on the platform, making it harder for existing models to stand out among the crowd.

According to The New York Times, some 16 million people applied for unemployment benefits over the last three weeks.

Masthead credit: Bildagentur Zoonar GmbH, Parilov