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.