The lesson from OnlyFans
By Adam Ryan
In late April, The Information did a profile on OnlyFans newest CEO. Ami Gan, the former CMO of the infamous platform, took on a challenge unlike any other in her career. OnlyFans has more than 1,000 employees, on pace to $2.5B in revenue this year, and more than $350M in income, and it’s doubling year over year. On top of that, she has to deal with all of the issues that come with NSFW content.
Gan is trying to position OnlyFans as a creator platform in the same breath as Patreon and Cameo, but let’s call a spade a spade – as of now, it’s a modern p*rn platform.
But when reading the interview, there was something that stuck out. Gan has an absolute focus on listening to the creators on the platform.
OnlyFans realized that P*rnhub and other platforms have prioritized consumption, not creators. This has been shown by P*rnhub’s site filled with films that include underage children and women who never gave their consent to be filmed.
Gan mentioned in her interview, safety is the foundation of OnlyFans. They’ve required creators to submit their first and last name, their social media links, a photo of a valid ID, and a photo of themselves holding their ID. Then the creators go through a biometric screening and give all creators a W-9, which includes their Social Security number.
They also offer complementary take-down service and allow creators to easily block and report anyone who is bullying or harassing the creators on the platform.
This is why OnlyFans is winning.
They now have more than 16,000 creators who make more than $50K a year. It puts Substack, Patreon, and other creators platforms to shame by that performance.
It would have been easy for OnlyFans and Gan to create a low barrier to have content on the platform which you would assume then brings more eyeballs and subscriptions, but instead they took the harder route. They solved the real problem for their real customers, the creators.
Maybe media companies should take a page out of Gan’s book.