How Does OnlyFans Make Money: Business and Revenue Generation Dynamics

The adult entertainment industry is having its moment, and the $18 billion OnlyFans empire is a significant catalyst for the change! It’s amazing how a simple niche has metamorphosed into a global phenomenon!

With every other OnlyFans creator making headlines for their staggering billion-dollar revenue, OnlyFans is definitely a raging storm in the creator economy! Abridging content creators with their fans, the platform has democratized content creation and opened diverse ways to monetize their content.

So, how does OnlyFans make money? What decisive paths and strategies led to the platform’s current fandom?

We explore the amazing OnlyFans business plan and revenue generation. So, are you ready to navigate through the narrative?   

The Rise of OnlyFans: An Overview

Founded in 2016 by British businessman Tim Stokely, OnlyFans quickly rose to stardom within a few years of its conception. Although it started as a subscription-based platform for creators to monetize their content, the platform has been synonymous with “adult content.”

OnlyFans’ meteoric rise is evident in its $400 million revenue in 2020, a staggering 750% increase from the previous year. With $5.6 billion in user spending in 2022 and a 75% increase in signups during the same period, OnlyFans transformed into a “global business.”

Fast-forwarding the narrative, OnlyFans had a $18 billion valuation in 2023 and amassed a profit of $525 million in 2022. The platform’s direct creator-fan interaction and global reach are the critical factors contributing to its success.

OnlyFans valuation over the years
OnlyFans valuation over the years

As OnlyFans expands new niches, let’s dabble into some of the platform’s interesting statistics:

OnlyFans Business Model: How Does it Work?

Before delving into the revenue streams, let’s understand how the platform works!

OnlyFans is a subscription-based platform that allows creators to hide their content behind a paywall. Users can access the content for free or at a subscription price

In addition to subscriptions, creators can monetize through paid messages(PPVs), live streaming, paid DMs, tips, and personalized merchandise.

OnlyFans charges a 20% commission on every platform transaction, while it pays creators the remaining 80%.

The pioneering platform, known for its explicit content, only allows users above 18 years of age to access it. Moreover, creators must submit valid identity proof to sign up and earn from the platform.

From writers to photographers, OnlyFans attracts creators from diverse niches with its democratized content creation. 

Well, that’s pretty simple enough, isn’t it?

Unique Value Proposition 

Now, you have got a good overview of the platform! Aren’t you eager to explore the reasons for its popularity?

Let’s examine the key points defining its unique value proposition! 

1. Subscription-based

At the crux of OnlyFans’s success is its subscription-based model! It follows the same model as Netflix and Spotify, offering convenience and engagement! With an expected market size of $1.5 trillion by 2025, the subscription economy is a win-win for customers! 

Creators earn a recurring income and users only pay for what they consume — a win-win strategy!

2. Ad-free space

Unlike other creator platforms, OnlyFans adopts an ad-free model. This offers a great platform experience minus the distractions! A major reason is as the platform drives revenue from commissions rather than ads and sponsorships!

3. Personalized Creator-Fan Interaction

One of the key aspects of OnlyFans is 1:1 private chat, which helps establish a direct line of communication between creators and fans. Creators can personally connect with fans, share photos, videos, and audio and monetize on custom requests.

Conversely, users get access to exclusive content and foster a deep relationship with the creators!

4. OnlyFans Security and Privacy

OnlyFans values the security and privacy of its users and has different policies to create a safe environment for them.

From two-step verification and copyright protection with watermark to data encryption, the platform is a safe haven for creators! Like Snapchat, OnlyFans doesn’t allow sharing content outside the platform. If a user violates the policies, the user will be banned from the platform.

5. Set prices as per your own terms

Its unique monetization model prioritizes creative freedom and empowers the creators to grow and earn a steady income. 

Let’s say a creator has joined a social media platform like YouTube or Instagram. It takes a few months for their videos to gain traction and drive a consistent income. 

With OnlyFans, your income is not decided by the number of views or videos posted but rather by the content quality and engagement! Interesting, huh?

Creators enjoy complete freedom to decide the prices: from subscriptions to custom content. Unlike other creator platforms, OnlyFans just takes a generous 20% of the revenue share.    

6. Anonymous Feature

Creators love OnlyFans for its anonymity and confidentiality!

Given the platform’s nature, creators typically don’t disclose their identities by using a stage name or creating content hiding their faces. Moreover, the platform’s native search tool only allows users to find profiles with their exact username.

Next, let’s move to the part you all are curious about: how onlyfans makes money!

How Does OnlyFans Make Money: Platform Monetization

Here, we have categorized the platform earnings into two sections: key revenue streams and other monetization channels. So, let’s get started!

Key Revenue Streams

OnlyFans is known for its diverse monetization channels. And as we know, OnlyFans charges a 20% commission on these transactions. In fact, commissions are the lifeline, supporting the platform operational costs like payment processing and hosting.

On that note, let’s take a closer look at the OnlyFans revenue model

1. Subscription

A major chunk of the platform revenue comes from content subscriptions. On average, an OnlyFans user spends $55.58 monthly on subscriptions. Creators can sell a  monthly, yearly, or bundled subscription with attractive discounts. 

Subscription prices can range from $4.99 to $49.99, and the average is $16.49 per month

Another important statistic to consider is that 36.5% of subscribers charge within a typical price range of $10 to $20 per month.

Denise Richards’ OnlyFans Subscription Tier
Denise Richards’ OnlyFans Subscription Tier

2. Pay-Per-View Messages

Apart from subscriptions, exclusive content also drives a lot of revenue to the platform. Creators share pay-per-view images or videos, where users can access the content for a fixed price.

High-quality content like photoshoots, behind-the-scenes videos, and audio clips typically sell as PPVs. It is a lucrative way to earn for creators with free subscriptions!

The maximum cap for PPV posts is $50, while for PPV messages is $100. 

OnlyFans PPV Post
OnlyFans PPV Posts

3. Live Streaming 

In the age of live streaming platforms like Twitch, YouTube and Instagram, the OnlyFans live feature is not far behind! It helps creators to revamp their equation and build a loyal fan base!

Creators can set tipping goals for live streaming. The maximum tipping amount is $100 for new users and $200 for OnlyFans users consistent on the platform for the last four months.

Additionally, creators offering free subscriptions can earn from gated live events with an entry price starting at a minimum of  $5. 

These live events kick in real-time action, drive engagement and direct more revenue to the creator-led platform! 

4. Tipping

In recent times, digital tipping has been a key monetization stream shaping the creative landscape. Creators are looking to diversify their revenue with virtual tips treading beyond traditional brand deals and platform payouts.

Paywalled sites like OnlyFans and Patreon have also been instrumental in embracing the rising trend.

The following infographic shows how the creator earnings have evolved over the years:

Creators Earning Chart
Source: EMarketer

Creator Revenue Breakdown in 2021 and 2024 {Subscriptions: $270 million; tipping: $160 million; merchandising: $450 million; all of the diverse streams have tripled from 2021 to 2024}

So, the creator revenue from tipping has tripled from 2021 and stands at $160 million in 2024. 

Those generous tips are a great way to show appreciation and support the creator tribe!

On OnlyFans, creators can earn from tipping on posts, profiles, PPVs, live streaming, and custom content. Like other revenue streams, the platform takes a 20% commission, and the remaining 80% goes to the creator’s pockets.

5. Paid Direct Messaging

While subscriptions and PPVs are significant revenue streams, paid DMs pump in an equivalent share of the platform revenue.

In fact, the top % of creators state that 50% of their revenue comes from private chats and tipping. 

Here are the three ways creators monetize from 1 :1 private chats:

  • Share PPV photos and videos through DMs
  • Create custom content as per customer needs and expectations
  • Receive tips from fans through personalized chats 
  • Sexting complemented by exclusive photos, audio, videos

Creators can either take a flat fee or charge on a per-message or a per-minute basis. Paid DMs are lucrative monetization, given the element of exclusivity and the effort it demands!

In a digital landscape that favors personalization, private chats significantly contribute to OnlyFans fandom and revenue!

6. E-Commerce Sales

OnlyFans offers an e-commerce store for creators, where they can sell products and connect with their fans at a personal level.

Creators can sell physical products like t-shirts, hoodies, caps, sweatshirts, and personal items. Additionally, they can also monetize from digital products like PDFs or ebooks on specific topics or even their private Snapchat access.

E-Commerce Store
E-Commerce Store

Other Revenue Streams

While the platform earns a major chunk of revenue from commissions, it also monetizes through a few other strategies.

Let’s take a look at how OnlyFans makes money through other revenue streams!

1. OnlyFans-Branded Merchandise

According to BPMA, promotional products drive brand awareness by 96%. OnlyFans realizes the importance of merchandise and has an online store that sells exclusive merchandise with the coveted OnlyFans tag.

Primarily, the store sells three main categories: clothing, accessories, home & living. The clothing range includes sweatshirts, t-shirts, crop tanks, and ribbed dresses. While its accessories span across tote bags, belt bags, beanies and socks, home & living includes pillows, towels, blankets, etc.

The platform currently delivers its merchandise and packaging worldwide except in Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.

OnlyFans Merch Store
OnlyFans Merch Store


OFTV is OnlyFans’ free SFW streaming platform featuring the platform creators from diverse genres like fitness, comedy, cooking, music and more.

Launched in 2021, OFTV allows OnlyFans creators to share short and long videos accessible from phones, web browsers, smart TVs, and tablets.

It aligns with the platform’s creator-first policy, giving the creatore more power and autonomy. Popular OFTV shows include “House of Sims”, “This is Fire”, “Rise and Grind”, “Whitney Cummings Presents”, etc.

Although OFTV is a free streaming service, it is a winning marketing strategy that allows creators to create content beyond the OnlyFans. The entertainment, adventures, and spicy behind-the-scenes action drive traction to the OnlyFans!

OFTV is the free streaming platform of OnlyFans involving several OnlyFans creators
OFTV is the free streaming platform of OnlyFans involving several OnlyFans creators

How Much Can Creators Make on OnlyFans?

Yes, creators are the meat of the platform! Revenue is pulled in through diverse channels like subscriptions, PPVs, paid DMs, live events, and tipping. 

So, analyzing the average creator earnings is essential to gauge how much the platform can earn!

According to various sources, an average OnlyFans creator earns around $180 monthly, while top earners earn as high as $100,000 or more monthly.

An important trend to consider here is the classic power law distribution! Yes, top creators contribute a major chunk of the platform revenue! Statistically, the top 1% of creators yield 33% of the platform revenue, while the top 10% contribute 73%.

The Path Ahead: OnlyFans Trends and Predictions

As OnlyFans shines as a trailblazing platform in the realm of the adult industry, it’s interesting to see how the platform strides ahead!

OnlyFans’ generous commission model has been a game-changer and is largely responsible for the platform’s success. However, much needs to be explored ahead, as it stands at the precipice of change.

Here are the significant trends and transformations to expect in the platform’s journey ahead:

  • Expanding Frontiers of Content Creation

Despite its note-worthy timeline in adult entertainment, OnlyFans is set to break the barriers and diversify into non-adult niches. The echelon of creators in fitness, cooking, music, etc., is a testament to the change. Besides, OFTV is a remarkable step in this direction!

  • Technological Advancements

Amidst an  AI-led revolution, OnlyFans might leverage AI to drive personalized fan interactions. With the rise of virtual and augmented reality, OnlyFans might explore new ways to offer immersive experiences to users. 

  • Broadening the Payment Options

The platform is expected to diversify its revenue streams by integrating crypto payments to enhance the user’s convenience and security.

  • Enhancing User Experience

OnlyFans’ business model is exemplary in the creator landscape. However, it has also spurred the creation of more OnlyFans like platforms, intensifying the competition. Hence, OnlyFans might improve its monetization features, analytics and user experience.

FAQ-Related to How Does OnlyFans Make Money

1. What percentage does OnlyFans take?

OnlyFans takes a 20% commission from every creator transaction on the platform, while the remaining 20% goes to the creator.

2. What is the average income of OnlyFans?

An average OnlyFans creator earns $100 to $180 per month. The income depends on several factors, such as niche, expertise, subscription prices, and the audience’s payment potential. 

3. How do people make money on OnlyFans?

Creators can join OnlyFans and monetize their content through subscriptions, PPVs, live streaming, paid DMs, etc.

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