How much OnlyFans creators really make
People often joke about quitting their jobs to produce adult content on OnlyFans, but how much money do creators on the platform actually make?
Due to the nature of the site's paywalled and private business model, hard numbers aren't easy to come by, but personal finance website SpendMeNot estimates the average account earns just $220 ($150 US) per month. Creators charge anywhere from $7.50 to $75 (US$5-US$50) for a monthly subscription, which means you'd need between three and 30 subscribers to earn $220. SpendMeNot estimates the average creator has 21 subscribers, paying an average of $11 per month.
On the other hand, it's not hard to find people who claim to make much more than SpendMeNot's average earning estimate. Vlogger Makayla Samountry has documented how she made more than $1,400 in her first month on OnlyFans. Samountry explained this was split roughly 50/50 between subscriptions and revenue from paid-for private interactions with her subscribers.
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Samountry later revealed she went on to make more than $40,000 in her first five months and just over $150,000 in her first year. Subscription fees account for 40 per cent of this revenue, with the other 60 per cent split evenly between private interactions and affiliate fees earned from referring other creators to OnlyFans.
Although Samountry's success on the platform may not be representative, it highlights how truly successful content creators must develop multiple revenue streams in order to succeed. In fact, Thomas Hollands of xsrus.com said the revenue of OnlyFans content creators "follows a classic power law distribution" where the majority of earnings were generated by only a select few. Hollands' research suggests the top 1 per cent of creators generate 33 per cent of all earnings on the platform, while the top 10 per cent generate a whopping 73 per cent of revenue.
"The standard way to measure inequality of an economy is with a Gini Index," Hollands explained.
"An index of 10 implies a communist utopia. A value of 1 implies a single greedy capitalist owns all the wealth. The Gini index of OnlyFans is 0.83. The most unequal society in the world, South Africa, has a Gini index of 0.68."
Hollands believes the OnlyFans income distribution is so unequal due to people starting out from scratch vs Instagram stars and other celebrities bringing their existing fan bases with them.
"A large proportion of accounts have no fans at all, and the lion's share of fans are shared by the top accounts," he said.
Former Married At First Sight contestants Jessika Power, Olivia Frazer and Hayley Vernon are illustrative examples of this phenomenon - although all three Aussie women said they'd made serious money on OnlyFans (more than $1.3 million in Vernon's case), each of them already had a huge online following prior to crossing over into adult entertainment.
Lucy Banks, a successful OnlyFans content creator and mother from Perth, was able to leave a high-paying, high-pressure role in corporate banking to earn a living through the platform and put more focus on raising her two children, one of whom lives with a disability. Although her banking job paid well, she said it didn't offer her the flexibility she needed as a mother.
"I have two children, including one with a disability; each day, I wake up at 5:00am, make breakfast and get them ready for school," Banks explained. "They go to two different private schools that cater to their individual needs; it takes me three hours every day to do the school run, but it's worth it. After school I help with homework, cook dinner and put them to bed. My current job allows me the flexibility to do that ... my former job does not."
While it's not easy money, Banks said the hardest part of being an OnlyFans star was living in a society that still stigmatises sex work.
"I work so hard; it's not an easy job," she said. "To be honest, the hardest part about it is trying to exist in society amongst people's slander and judgment. Say all you want about me, but I feel like the luckiest mum ever and I would make the same decision over and over again ... in a heartbeat."
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