Since its launch in November 2016, OnlyFans has revolutionized the relationship between creators and their fans.
Back in 2016, making money is a challenge for adult creators as cam sites had unfair payout percentages (> 40%).
Aella, one of the top creators on OnlyFans, mentioned that she started with a service that took 85% of her income.
OnlyFans solved this by enabling creators to share personalized content with their audience with a better payout percentage.
After adult creators realized that they could make more money on OnlyFans, they doubled down on promoting it via Reddit, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
As a result, OnlyFans grew in popularity through super fans, social media, and word of mouth.
Though the platform mainly focuses on adult content—it has expanded to multiple genres including fitness, music, gaming, fashion, and more.
In August 2021, OnlyFans announced that they’re banning explicit content from their platform (effective Oct 1, 2021) after pressure from banking partners and payout providers.
A few days after, they reversed the ban due to backlash from creators.
Whether you’re a marketer, creator, or fan, here are the top 10 OnlyFans statistics and facts that you need to know in 2021.
- How many users does Onlyfans have?
- How many creators are there on OnlyFans?
- OnlyFans revenue
- How does OnlyFans make money?
- Who is the top creator on OnlyFans?
- How much money do OnlyFans creators make?
- Who is on OnlyFans?
- How does OnlyFans make money?
- Who founded OnlyFans?
- OnlyFans traffic overview
1. How many users does Onlyfans have?
Accordingly to Timothy Stokely, there are close to 500,000 site registrations per day.
When COVID hit March in 2020, OnlyFans has seen a month over month (MoM) growth rate of 70%+.
This is mainly due to two factors—the influx of celebrities and the COVID pandemic.
Firstly, celebrities/influencers started to join the platform—Cardi B, Bella Thorne, Swae Lee, and more.
Here are some of the media mentions that drove a ton of attention to OnlyFans:
- 30.5k likes — The teaser tweet by Cardi B.
- The “Cardi B joins OnlyFans” announcement by Los Angeles Times, Billboard, The Verge, and more.
- 502k likes — The announcement post by Bella Thorne on Instagram.
- The “Bella Throne made 1 million on OnlyFans in 24 hours” article by Variety, CNN, Page Six, and more.
Along with several other tweets that went viral on Twitter:
- 562k likes — This tweet by @xtcshroomslsd mentioning OnlyFans but for beating up abusive people.
- 270k likes — This tweet by @sarvanieloheimo mentioning that OnlyFans helped her to move into her dream house at the age of 22.
- 254k likes — This tweet by @skimpthesimp of a joke about OnlyFans.
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), from August to September, the unemployment rate increased to 4.9% in the UK, the highest in the last three years.
Some people who lost their jobs, income, or are on lockdown due to COVID has turned to OnlyFans to make money/as a side hustle.
With COVID, the influx of celebrities, media mentions, increased unemployment rates, OnlyFans has skyrocketed in growth (users, revenue) throughout 2020.
2. How many creators are there on OnlyFans?
OnlyFans has more than 1 million creators worldwide as of January 1, 2021, up from 70,000 creators in July 2019.
The 1 million creators differ a lot—some are earning hundreds, thousands, or even millions every month.
Currently, there isn’t a search function on OnlyFans—which is said to protect its creators’ anonymity.
People have to find creators on OnlyFans either from their link, social media, or a third-party tool.
Hence, creators promote their OnlyFans from social media platforms like Instagram, Reddit, TikTok, and Twitter.
According to Aella, Reddit is one of the best places where the top posts in NSFW subreddits always have an OnlyFans account that is associated with it.
TikTok has been an increasingly popular way for creators to promote their OnlyFans too because of how well it converts.
However, TikTok frequently deletes NSFW accounts and content as it’s against their community guidelines.
The irony is that this type of content normally gets on the “For You” page because it performs really well in terms of engagement (e.g. likes, comments, shares).
At the end of the day, TikTok can’t prevent users from signing up, and manual moderation is limited due to the massive number of uploads each day.
That being said, social media platforms like TikTok drive a ton of new registrations on OnlyFans every day—be it a fan or a creator.
3. OnlyFans revenue
According to Bloomberg, OnlyFans has generated more than $2 billion in sales in 2020 with $400 million in annual net sales.
Timothy Stokely mentioned that the platform pays out over $200 million every month to its creators.
When COVID hit in March of 2020, creator platforms saw an uplift in revenue growth, and the biggest winner that came out of it is OnlyFans.
The platform has been growing by 70% every month ever since COVID hit.
From the graph above, OnlyFans surpassed every creator platform—Patreon, Twitch, Outschool, Cameo, Bandcamp, Gumroad, and Substack in terms of revenue.
The OnlyFans graph resembles a hockey stick growth where its revenue surges boundlessly from September 2018 to Jul 2020.
The membership platform, Patreon that has a valuation of $1.2 billion (after raising $90 million), has been outclassed by OnlyFans.
On social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, celebrities mainly post family-friendly content of themselves.
On OnlyFans, people post risqué content of themselves which has a higher degree of interaction and intimacy.
As a result, males are willing to pay more to have access to it.
4. How does OnlyFans make money?
OnlyFans makes money by taking a percentage of its creators’ earnings.
Creators receive 80% of all revenue (subscriptions, paid messages, and tips), while OnlyFans takes the remaining 20%.
The remaining 20% is used to cover payment processing, referral payments, hosting, support, and all other services for OnlyFans.
For example, if a creator earned $1,000, OnlyFans will take $200, leaving them with $800.
This business model is used by a lot of other companies such as Fiverr (an online marketplace for freelancers), Twitch (a video live streaming service), and Google AdSense (an ad network).
As OnlyFans takes a small percentage cut of revenue, its creators are paid more than most platforms.
On that account, OnlyFans is the prime platform for adult creators.
5. Who is the most popular creator on OnlyFans?
According to OnlyFinder, the most popular creator on OnlyFans is OMGCosplay with 1,200+ photos, 100+ videos, and 2,500,000+ likes.
Second on the list is lilianaheartsss with 300+ photos, 200+ videos, and 2,200,000+ likes
The following table is a list of the most popular creators on OnlyFans as of January 2021 based on their total number of likes.
Subscribers are rounded down to the nearest ten thousand, photos and videos are rounded down to the nearest hundred, and likes are rounded down to the nearest hundred thousand.
6. How much money do OnlyFans creators make?
The vast majority of OnlyFans creators make $0 to $5,000 a month, but there are 100+ creators making over $1 million.
This is excluding tips that fans send directly to creators for private messages or photos.
Based on the graph, the top 1% of accounts make 33% of all the money while the top 10% of accounts make 73% of all the money.
It’s also worth noting that a decent percentage of creator’s revenue comes from tips, but they aren’t disclosed on OnlyFans.
Hence, tips are not included in the analysis.
According to Thomas’ study, most creators are “losing money” on OnlyFans.
Creators need to remain online on the website round the clock as fans expect consistent posts and timely replies.
Considering the median revenue of $155 per month along with a $15 minimum wage, creators need to spend only 20 minutes a day to break even.
If you’re looking to start an OnlyFans, it might not be worth your time unless you have a large following on another platform like Instagram or TikTok.
7. Who is on OnlyFans?
Notable celebrities with OnlyFans include:
- Cardi B, an American rapper, songwriter, and actress.
- Bella Thorne, an American actress, model, singer, and director.
- Amber Rose, an American model, television personality, and actress.
- Swae Lee, an American rapper, singer, and songwriter.
- Adi Spiegelman, a professional tennis player, and model from Israel.
- Chris Robshaw, an English rugby union player for Major League Rugby side San Diego Legion.
- The winner of season 5 of RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars, Shea Coulee.
- Jermaine Dupri, an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, entrepreneur, record executive, and DJ.
Another notable creator, Belle Delphine, disclosed that she makes over $1 million a month from the platform.
8. How do people make money on OnlyFans?
People make money on OnlyFans from subscription revenue, paid posts, paid streams, pay-per-view messages (PPVs), and tips.
There are two types of accounts—a free page, and a paid subscription page.
Creators with a free page charge fans to unlock posts and pay-per-view messages.
On the other hand, creators with a paid subscription page generate revenue from subscriptions and pay-per-view messages.
According to Aella, 64% of income is from subscriptions, while the remaining 36% comes from pay-per-view messages and tips.
For an estimate on how much a creator can earn from subscriptions, try the revenue calculator on the OnlyFans site.
It calculates a creator’s potential subscription revenue between 1% and 5% of their followers subscribing.
An important decision that a creator has to make is whether to make a free or a paid account.
Both types of accounts have their advantages and disadvantages.
Firstly, a free account gains followers faster than a paid one as it removes the payment barrier.
A free account also has a couple of features that paid accounts don’t—paid posts and paid stream.
With paid posts, creators can monetize posts on their feed.
When they set a price to a post, it will appear as locked on a subscriber’s feed, and they have to pay to unlock it.
In addition, free accounts can start a paid stream where viewers are required to pay to join.
When a creator goes live, they can set a “ticket price” for viewers to join (minimum $5).
However, a free account lacks regular income as it fluctuates from month to month.
Secondly, with a free account, a creator might get too many followers which diminishes its exclusivity.
9. Who founded OnlyFans?
OnlyFans is founded by Timothy Stokely, a British tech entrepreneur, in November 2016.
Tim is a lifelong entrepreneur who founded several other internet platforms—GlamWorship, Custom4U, and 121With.
He discovered his knack for entrepreneurship back in school where he collected orders for a local fish & chip shop, marking up the cost for his friends.
Tim originally intended to follow his father’s financial path, but later took his own independent route.
He has a degree in Property and Surveying from Anglia Ruskin University and follows the New England Patriots (an American football team).
10. OnlyFans traffic overview
Here are some quick statistics about OnlyFans traffic:
- As of November 2020, onlyfans.com has an estimate of 201 million monthly visitors.
- OnlyFans is the 183rd most popular site in the world (as of 2 Jan 2021).
- OnlyFans is the 98th most popular site in the United States (as of 2 Jan 2021).
- The average visit duration of the site is 4 minutes and 21 seconds.
- The majority of OnlyFans’ traffic is coming from the US (48.21%).
- 60.33% of OnlyFans’ traffic is from Direct.
- 22.08% of OnlyFans’ traffic is from Social Media.
- Twitter accounts for 53.60% of the OnlyFans’ social traffic.
- Instagram accounts for 17.73% of the OnlyFans’ social traffic.
- 4.5% of OnlyFans’ traffic is from Referrals.
- The top referring site for OnlyFans is AllMyLinks.
In a nutshell, OnlyFans grew by focusing on a specific creator segment and gradually expanded to other verticals and markets.
People might argue that the main reason for its rapid growth is due to adult content.
While this holds true, there are a ton of other factors that contributed to it.
Essentially, it’s a mix of the pandemic, media, and most importantly, the creator-fan interaction that the platform provides.