Similar camming sites such as Chaturbate, Cam4and My Free boast 4.1 million, 3.7 million and 2 million unique monthly visitors, respectively.

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But since camming only requires a video camera, broadband service, and computer, there has now been a power reversal and it is the female webcam performers who propel the industry while at home.

Todd Blatt, who once produced pornographic movies in California and has several Ferraris to show for it, declared: "If you’re the middle guy who has been eating off this industry for 20 years, it’s a big change.

In private chat rooms, viewers pay by the minute for a private show.

However in free chat rooms payment is voluntary and is in the form of tips, thus providing the model with an income at a minimal cost for the multiple viewers of her chat room's video stream.

Since the early days of live Internet broadcasts by Ringley and Amanda, the phenomenon of camming has grown to become a multi-billion dollar industry which has an average of at least 12,500 cam models online at any given time and more than 240,000 viewers at any given time.

Camming websites typically fall into two main categories, dependent upon whether their video chat rooms are free or private.

The camera captured Ringley doing almost everything – brushing her teeth, doing her laundry, doing stripteases – and then she broadcast it live over the Internet.

However Amanda made an important early discovery that would influence the camming industry for decades to come – that a website's popularity could be greatly increased by enabling viewers to chat with a performer while online.

Kari Lerum of the University of Washington suggests that men are more open and vulnerable in cam rooms than in strip clubs, and can become very invested in relationships which only exist on the screen.