Onlyfans Business Model – How Onlyfans Makes Money

OnlyFans Business Model

Onlyfans Business Model – How Onlyfans Makes Money

It is true that there are a number of online platforms where Creators can make money online by sharing their contents. Platforms like Facebook, Google, Instagram, Tiktok and even Twitch easily comes to mind. However there is something about OnlyFans business model that makes it both, controversial, special and different from the other platforms. That point is the fact that OnlyFans has little or no restrictions on the type of contents people can share. If fact, it unapologetically allows creators to upload any kind of content, including porn, and lock it securely behind a paywall. As a matter of fact, the platform has eventually become known as a platform for adult contents.

But the whole idea of Onlyfans business model was actually to disrupt the ‘sex industry’ with a completely new strategy. At first it sounded impossible. And the reason is not far fetched. Before the arrival of Onlyfans, the so-called tube sites – video platforms would simply aggregate stolen pornographic contents and dish it out for free. Their revenue model, was to suck up revenue from banner and video ads.

But Onlyfans came up with a subscription based business where creators were in charge of their contents and those interested will have to pay to access them.

Moreover the fact, that the platform become profitable in just 4 years, now has over 170 million registered users and about1.5 million creators goes to show the immense success of Onlyfans business model.

However, the big question is, how on earth did it manage to grow this big so fast? And that is what this post on Onlyfans business model seeks to explore.

What is Onlyfans?

OnlyFans is a social media content subscription-based platform that brings hands the power to protect their contents to creators and influencers. By this, those creators and influencers are in direct contact with the consumers of their content or their ‘fans’. The platform that helps them earn directly by satisfying their audience’s needs and thus, ‘monetise their influence or creativity’. No wonder the platform’s tagline – “Make your influence pay.”

When it comes to OnlyFans, it’s a platform where creators sell original contents. All the contents on Onlyfans are marketed directly by the original creators. Incidentally, majority of the contents on offer are the pornographic variety from sex workers. But Onlyfans is not a platform for sex workers only. It also has a mix of health experts, artists, chefs, musicians, and everyone else who has something to attract and influence people on.

But whatever the case, Onlyfans thrives on exclusive contents. And it is important to note that the price of a photo or video on Onlyfans depends on the influencer’s activity. People can post from bathroom selfies explicit self-entertainment or baby development activities.

Onlyfans Business Model – How it Works

From the creators’ perspective Onlyfans is a very user-friendly platform. So, let’s take a closer look at how Onlyfans works.

It is as simple as getting on the Onlyfans’ official website to create an account.  Once you sign up and your account is confirmed you can start uploading content to the platform. And from that moment you can actually start earning as long as there are people who are interested in your contents. The amount you charges on your contents is entirely up to you. To keep enjoying your contents, fans must subscribe on a monthly basis.

Because the content can’t be shared outside the platform, the platform ensures that its creators are completely protected. Users who attempt to take a screenshot or record a video of the content will be banned if they are caught. A strict privacy policy is part of the platform’s commitment to the safety of its creators. And it is easy to understand why it has to be so.

After all, creators are the major group that drive their business and so must be protected as much as possible.

One can sign up on OnlyFans through their email ID or use a Twitter or Google account to sign in. An important thing to note here is that the platform doesn’t differentiate between a general and a creator’s account. One account can be used in both ways.

Also, the platform asks one to verify their identity by providing a government-issued ID card. It is strict about not letting in anyone under the age of 18.

The Functioning Of OnlyFans

If you just joined OnlyFans, it is important you understand how to navigate the app and the website. Specifically, there 5 major sections you need to be aware of:


Once you login, you will be at the homepage. At the homepage, you will see your feed, which is made up of content shared by people you follow, including your closest friends. On OnlyFans, you’ll also find suggestions for new people to follow. Should you need to find other creators and users to follow, you can use the search bar at the top of the Home page.


From the notification page you can see your notifications including past interactions, likes, subscriptions, tidbits, and others.


If you are a Creator, then you are certainly on OnlyFans to create contents. And here is where to do that. You can create a new post on the Create posts page and share it with your followers.


The Chats page allows you to start a direct message with someone you know, such as someone you subscribe to or a fan.


From the right, a menu slides out, displaying your display name, user name, and the number of fans and followers you have accumulated. A dark mode can be enabled and you can access your profile from the Menu. You have the option to log out as well.

Onlyfans Business Model – Value Proposition

There are basically two components of the OnlyFans business model; the creators and the consumers (fans).

OnlyFans brings content creators in direct contact with their audience or fans. While the creators benefit from a direct payment mechanism, their fans enjoy engaging and most times exclusive contents.

To keep both parties glued to the subscription-based service OnlyFans business model had to produce very strong value propositions. And below are the value propositions for both creators and consumers alike:

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Value Proposition to Content Creators?

  1. OnlyFans helps creators monetize their influence by hiding their content behind a paywall.
  2. With OnlyFans creators are not dependent on brands to pay them for partnerships.
  3. The platform also facilitates interaction and engagement through live shows and paid direct messages.
  4. It further helps in the personal branding of these creators who can now know the requirements of their fans to optimise viewership and build their communities.
  5. OnlyFans offers very serious safety, security, and privacy to content creators
  6. Creators in OnlyFans get to keep 80% of the money they charge fans
  7. A potential market of over 180 million users

Value Proposition To Consumers?

  1. OnlyFans lets the audience of the creators interact and learn more about them.
  2. Consumers get access to exclusive textual content, pictures, and videos from their favourite creators.
  3. Fans have the option of also specifying their requirements through direct messages and have them fulfilled in exchange for a small fee.
  4. They have access to a wide range of creators and can select which of them to follow
  5. A chance to select from millions of contents posted on a daily basis.

Onlyfans Business Model – How it Makes Money

The major revenue source for OnlyFans business model is commission-based revenue model. It earns by taking a 20% cut from its creators’ income. As users subscribe to the contents of different creators, Onlyfans takes 20% of every of such content.

Reports available in the public domain shows that OnlyFans revenue for 2021 as $4.8 billion. Analysts are of the opinion that the billion-dollar business is actually on its path to grow into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

OnlyFans business model has been compared  to those of Airbnb and Uber. But in terms of revenue potential OnlyFans tends to have a much greater potential. Whereas Airbnb and Uber use linear business models, OnlyFans follows a multiplicative model.

Onlyfans Business Model – Customer Segments

The customer segment of OnlyFans comprises content creators (aka the ‘influencers’) and content viewers (aka the ‘fans’).

  • Content creators post images, videos, and textual matter on the platform to satisfy their audience’s requirements and earn. They create content on various topics like fitness, art, food, travel, etc. Several celebrities like Cardi B, Blac Chyna, and Chad Johnson also have OnlyFans accounts to interact with their fans and popularise their upcoming works.
  • Content consumers are the loyal fans of these creators willing to pay for accessing their content and interacting with them. Many of the consumers joined the platform because of boredom during the COVID-19 pandemic. When Cardi B announced that she would be starting an OnlyFans account before the launch of ‘WAP’, the growth accelerated so much that its first BTS video brought $1000 in tips.

However, most of the platform’s customers are sex workers and consumers of pornographic content.

It’s a place where you’ll find trainers as well as writers, artists, and chefs.

Other real TV stars, such as Erica Mena and Safaree Samuels as well as Chad Johnson are on the platform. It’s also worth mentioning that not every creator sells explicit content through this site. OnlyFans commissioned The-Dream to create his new album, SXTP4. It’s a way for him to connect with his fans and encourage them to create their own sensual choreographies for his songs.

Some Popular Creators on OnlyFans

  • Cardi B – Musician
  • Amber Rose – Internet personality
  • Tana Mongeau – Influencer
  • Bella Thorne – Actress
  • Jordyn Woods – Internet personality
  • Blac Chyna – Reality TV star
  • Dorinda Medley – Reality TV star
  • Larsa Pippen – TV personality and former wife of an NBA legend
  • Bhad Bhabie – Internet personality
  • Farrah Abraham – Reality TV star
  • Aaron Carter – Musician
  • Tyga – Musician

How to Make Money on OnlyFans

There are a couple of ways one can make money from the OnlyFans platform, and here are the major ways:

1. Subscription Services

OnlyFans Business Model makes it possible for creators to make money by having 100% control of their contents. They allow creators to create posts and hide them behind a paywall. So for anyone to access the contents the person must have to pay the monthly subscription. Though, a creator has the right to decide how much fans can pay for any given content, but generally monthly subscription is within the range of $5 to $20.

2. Earning Through PPV (Pay-Per-View)

Pay-per-view messages, or PPVs, are another way to make money on OnlyFan. Content that you share with your fans via message, but they must pay to see it! As soon as you’re in your messages, you can send PPVs to specific accounts by writing a message to the account and attaching your media, then clicking on the price tag in the bottom right to set your price. So it becomes an extra source of income for the creator.

3. OnlyFans Referral Prgram

For the first 12 months, a content creator can earn about 5 percent of their earnings up to the first $1 million earned by the creator through OnlyFans’ referral program. There are no restrictions on the number of referred creators or the total referral earnings. This is usually paid on the first working day of the next month.

Due to the popularity of the platform, references to the first $1 million earned by the creator in question are limited to the year following their subscription to the reference scheme.

4. Tips

Another revenue source for content creators on OnlyFans is what OnlyFans refers to as tips. Fans can tip creators at any time for any amount. However, for amounts under $5, OnlyFans requires users to use funds in their digital wallet (more on that later). Sometimes, fans will tip under a post, or they can send tips through messages.

In many cases, a creator will ask for a specific tip amount and then send content once the money comes through. This system is different from PPV content because the material is not directly locked behind a paywall.

New users can tip a maximum of $100 at a time for the first four months. Afterward, the limit goes up to $200.

Onlyfans Business Model – Key Statistics

  • OnlyFans made $4.8 billion in revenue in 2021.
  • Users are now 187.97 million
  • Creators are on the north of 1.5 million people
  • In September 2022, contents posted on OnlyFans platform reached an all-time 22.5 million

Is Onlyfans Profitable?

In fact OnlyFans became profitable just within 4 years and it is still considered one of the most profitable social media platforms.


OnlyFans is a social media platform that allows content creators to produce and share contents behind a paywall for their fans to subscribe and enjoy their choice contents. It is a disruptive service that completely disrupted the sex industry, but is now popular for its adult contents that usually cannot be shared on platforms like Instagram or YouTube.

The company makes money primarily from taking 20% commission on every amount the creators earn.

From our study of OnlyFans business model it is easy to see how important having a well defined business model for your business can be. If you truly want to build a global brand you must carefully consider what type of business model to adopt.

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