Report from Money20/20: OnlyFans CFO touts the platform's growth, but not adopting crypto to pay creators

Report from Money20/20: OnlyFans CFO touts the platform's growth, but not adopting crypto to pay creators
Kazi Awal/Insider

Report from Money20/20: OnlyFans CFO touts the platform's growth, but not adopting crypto to pay creators
Money20/20 Europe runs from June 7, 2022 to June 9, 2022James Gillham
  • OnlyFans CFO Lee Taylor, and Keily Blair, the company's chief strategy and operations officer, spoke about the company's growth at Money20/20 Europe in Amsterdam.
  • The site is still growing its workforce, and has around 200 million users and two million creators.

OnlyFans says its number of subscribers is continuing to grow even as other subscription services such as Netflix are seeing their number of users tank.

Instead, the company has seen "sustained growth" over the last six months despite growing inflation, OnlyFans CFO Lee Taylor said in remarks at Money20/20 Europe in Amsterdam on Tuesday.

"We're not experiencing that slowdown," Keily Blair, the company's chief strategy and operations officer, added.

Taylor said that the site's average user currently has four subscriptions but that that number keeps growing. "COVID accelerated a lot of growth in OnlyFans," he said.


Netflix's earnings in April revealed that it had lost subscribers for the first time in more than a decade. Its total number of subscribers fell by 200,000 in the first quarter and the streaming giant predicted losses of up to 2 million in the second quarter, attributing this to factors including the reopening of the economy and the growing number of competitors.

Compared to Only Fans, Netflix is in a "very saturated market," Taylor said, pointing to the likes of Apple TV.

And on OnlyFans, users just pay for what they want to view, unlike other subscription services where customers may be paying for content they don't access, Blair said. Taylor said that the site had around 200 million users and two million creators with "very vast, very spread out, diverse content."

"We will not push you down a rabbit hole," Blair said, adding that the company doesn't use algorithms to direct users towards recommended content.

She said that the site doesn't monetize data and would never offer advertisements.


"Your data's not a product," Blair said.

OnlyFans, which was founded in 2016, allows creators to post content on the site, with some available for free and other items accessible only through a paid subscription. The platform is used by creators ranging from musicians to comedians but has become best known for its explicit content.

"We are in the headlines constantly," so "we do have this incredible brand recognition," Blair said. But she added that this had led to a "misconception about our brand." Shortly after, in August 2021, OnlyFans announced that it would introduce a ban on "sexually-explicit conduct" starting October 1.

"We kinda broke the internet" by announcing the change, Taylor said Tuesday. Creators rushed to confront the platform about the move in an "incredible swell of voices," he said.

The company reserved the policy amid the huge outcry. "We're desperate for the financial community to realize it's not a side hustle" and that content creators make a legal living, Taylor said.


Community is the core of the business

Some tech companies are reducing their headcounts and freezing hiring, but Taylor said this wasn't the case for OnlyFans.

"Maybe we're hiring those people" who were laid off by other tech firms, he said. The company has more than 1,000 employees and expands its workforce by between 2% and 3% each month, according to Taylor.

Taylor said that the company pays creators in a variety of ways, including in local currencies and through services like Pix, an instant payment platform which it uses to pay some creators in Brazil.

But Taylor said that the company wasn't considering adding payment in cryptocurrency as an option because OnlyFans needs to know who payments are going to under its security policies.

"Through the obviously more private crypto world, we need to be sure exactly where those funds are going, and that's not possible. Blair said that OnlyFans deliberately placed all of its explicit content behind a paywall so that only people who wanted to see it would be able to view it. Taylor said that OnlyFans wanted to become the "safest social-media platform."


During both a live Q&A with Blair and Taylor and separate remarks made to the press at Money20/20 Europe, the two directors emphasized how OnlyFans' community of creators was the core of its business.

"For every dollar OnlyFans makes, creators make $4," Taylor said.

OnlyFans is the fourth-fastest growing business in Europe, according to a recent ranking by The Financial Times. Users spent $2.4 billion on the site in 2020 and it posted revenues of 316.7 million euros ($337.9 million) that year, according to the publication.