- OnlyFans, the subscription site popular with adult-content creators, has boomed during the pandemic.
- Transactions rose seven-fold to £1.7 billion ($2.4 billion) across 2020, and user numbers now exceed 120 million.
- Celebrities, musicians, and fitness professionals are joining the platform to monetize their social-media fanbase.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
OnlyFans, the subscription-based adult-entertainment site, boomed during the pandemic.
Revenue at the UK-based company grew by 553% in the year to November 2020, and users spent £1.7 billion ($2.36 billion) on the site, a seven-fold increase, the Financial Times reported.
The site allows creators to sell video clips, photos, and messages directly to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis, with OnlyFans taking a 20% cut. Customers pay between $5 and $50 per month.
User numbers grew from 20 million before the pandemic to more than 120 million over 12 months, as adult entertainers and their customers signed up during lockdowns to share X-rated content. Many creators used the platform to earn income after losing their jobs.
The company’s pre-tax profits hit £53 million ($74m), according to the FT.
CEO Tim Stokely, who started the UK-based company in 2016 with his father, told the FT he expected pre-tax profits to top £300 million ($417m) in the next financial year.
OnlyFans has upended the mainstream porn industry, where producers usually pay performers a flat-fee for reusable content, and has allowed creators to monetize their social-media followings. More than 300 creators earn over $1 million, Stokely told the FT.
The platform is best known for hosting adult content but celebrities, musicians, and fitness instructors are also creating accounts to monetize their online fanbase. Singer Cardi B joined the platform last August to share behind-the-scenes music-video footage. English Rugby star Chris Robshaw shares fitness tips.
Stokely did not comment on whether he would take the company public when asked by the FT.