When webcam models create their live Internet broadcasts, they perform the activity known as camming.
A third-party hosting website which transmits multiple webcam models' video-streams is known as a camming site.
Enabled with this new revenue stream for strippers, the strip club industry went through a period of extreme growth during the 1980s.
And in the early 20th century sociologist Paul Cressey noted that within the hundreds of taxi-dance halls of America, "the traffic in romance and in feminine society" would become available when taxi dancers would offer their companionship and "the illusion of romance" for ten cents a dance.
Much of the success of camming owes to its ability to move beyond the borders of erotic video performance, and into the everyday social lives of camming customers, or fans as they are known.
Webcam performers are often highly entrepreneurial, and use mainstream social networking sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Skype, and Tumblr to build and maintain relationships with their customers.
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.Princeton University sociologist and author of The Purchase of Intimacy, Viviana Zelizer, states of camming: "They’re defining a new kind of intimacy.It’s not traditional sex work, not a relationship, but something in between." Within Cam Girlz, a documentary film about the industry, the male fans often say that they come to camming sites as a way to fulfill emotional needs.Camming revenue has been severely cutting into the profits of the pornographic movie business, which has also been eroded for a number of years due to piracy and the distribution of free sexual content upon the Internet.Additionally, the pornographic film industry used to be male-dominated except for the performers.However this is not the first time that conversational interaction had become a boon for the erotic entertainment industry.The Mitchell Brothers O'Farrell Theatre strip club is credited with the invention of the lap dance when during 1977 their new stage, New York Live, pioneered customer-contact shows with strippers that came off the stage and sat in the laps of customers for tips.Within public chat rooms the audience can see tips and viewer comments as scrolling text which appears next to the real-time video stream.Camgirls will frequently read and respond to the scrolling viewer comments.Tips are electronic tokens that viewers can buy from a camming website, and then give to the models during live performances.The tokens can also be used to buy videos or souvenirs of the model.