OnlyFans growth was “OFF THE CHARTS” during 2020, thanks to the global COVID pandemic – here’s everything you need to know about the NSFW social network platform
What is OnlyFans? It’s basically like Instagram, with a focus on NSFW content. It also sits behind a paywall, so in order to view an account on OnlyFans, you have to pay a monthly fee to the owner of the channel.
Currently, OnlyFans has over 90 million registered users – most of them of the NSFW kind. Launched in 2016, and founded by Tim Stokely, OnlyFans didn’t make much of an impact during its first few years.
It wasn’t until the owner of MyFreeCams, Leonid Radvinsky, got involved that things started to grow. Radvinsky bought a 75% stake in OnlyFans and oversaw the development of a couple of key things – most notably extra safeguards designed to protect account holders.
Between 2016 and 2020, OnlyFans grew at a respectable rate. But it remained a niche product, something only a few people – in the context of the web – knew about.
But then COVID happened and everything changed.
OnlyFans Growth – 2020 Changed Everything
Since 2016, OnlyFans has paid out around $2 billion to its content creators. In December 2019, it paid out $64 million. But after COVID had one its thing on the global stage, OnlyFans experienced massive growth.
And in 2020, the company confirmed that it paid out over $300 million during December.
That is an increase of over 360% year on year.
How To Make Pandemic-Proof Money
The COVID pandemic, which kicked off in early 2020, has done irreparable damage to the global economy. Millions of people, highly skilled and technical people, as well as lower skilled workers, lost their jobs. Businesses failed. It was miserable.
In a bid to find new – and quick – ways to make money, interest in OnlyFans piqued during 2020. You can see the trend as it happened below – it was massive, helped in no small measure by OnlyFans being name-dropped in a Beyonce song.
Mostly, though, OnlyFans’ growth – off the back of the pandemic – came down to one thing and one thing only: money – fast, easy access to money.
Now, most of the content creators on OnlyFans produce NSFW content. Everybody knows this, and it is OnlyFans’ bread and butter, from a revenue perspective. But the company has plenty of content creators that DO NOT produce NSFW content.
It also has plenty of celebrities on its platform too; celebs like Michael B Jordon, Cardi B, Bella Thorne, Tyga, and Black Chyna to name just a few.
NSFW Content Sells. Big Time.
Mostly, though, the regular people that use OnlyFans are producing, predominantly, NSFW content. And they’re growing their channels by leveraging their existing followers on platforms like Instagram and Twitter which are both notoriously difficult to monetise.
This is the secret sauce of OnlyFans; if you already have followers, you can instantly monetise your account. All you need to do is a bit of promotion and you could be making north of $1000 a month in no time.
Here’s an example: say you have 10,000 Instagram followers and you decide to setup an OnlyFans account. If you managed to convert 10% of your followers, that’d mean 1000 paying subscribers on your OnlyFans account.
And if you charged each of these 1000 subscribers $4.99 a month to access your content, you’d be making $4999.99 a month. And that’s if you charged $4.99; if you hiked up your prices to, say, $10 per month, you’d be looking at $10,000 per month.
Not bad, right? This is why OnlyFans is so popular. If you don’t have a problem “putting yourself out there” in a NSFW context, you can, and will, make a ton of money. And best of all, you’re in control of what you do.
No one can or will ever tell you what you can and cannot do, so long as it’s legal.
On average, though, most new accounts on OnlyFans can expect to make anywhere from $500 to $2000 a month, although this depend largely on your following and how committed you are to growing your channel through off-page marketing and updating it with content.
An AMA with OnlyFans creator lucylyrica37 – which you can read in full here – provides some pretty definitive context on what life is like being a creator on OnlyFans in the NSFW niche.
In the AMA, she talks about why she started on OnlyFans account (she lost her job because of COVID), how much she makes per month (around $3000 to $6000), how tips work on OnlyFans (spoiler: these are what generate the most money), and how she manages life as a NSFW content creator.
If you’re interested in learning more about what goes into running a relatively successful OnlyFans account, I would definitely check out the AMA in full.
Myself, I think I’ll just stick to running a tech blog…
Richard Goodwin has been working as a tech journalist for over 10 years. He is the editor and owner of KnowYourMobile.