OnlyFans has boomed during lockdown. Users spent $2.4 billion on the adult-entertainment site in 2020, and 120 million people now use it.

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OnlyFans has boomed during lockdown. Users spent $2.4 billion on the adult-entertainment site in 2020, and 120 million people now use it.
Singer Cardi B joined OnlyFans last yearTommaso Boddi: Getty Images for Fashion Nova
  • OnlyFans, the subscription site popular with adult-content creators, has boomed during the pandemic.
  • Transactions rose seven-fold to £1.7 billion ($2.4 billion) across 2020, and user numbers now exceed 120 million.
  • Celebrities, musicians, and fitness professionals are joining the platform to monetize their social-media fanbase.
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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.

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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.

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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.

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