Co-Founder of Starbackr. Bitcoiner and Content Creator.

OnlyFans creators lost 390M USD in payment fees last year

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OnlyFans is one of the biggest platforms for monetizing exclusive, digital content. In 2021 creators on OnlyFans paid over 390,000,000 US Dollars in transaction fees, which does not include the platforms share yet.

Direct Digital Monetization Is A Growing Business

When OnlyFans started out a couple of years ago, people were skeptical, but today everyone knows the company’s name. According to Variety, OnlyFans’ creators earned over 3.9 Billion US Dollars in 2021. While this is a great success for the creative industries, it also points to one of the biggest problems with monetizing digital content today: costs of payment processing. Because 3.9 Billion USD in revenue also means 390.000.000 USD in fees paid to payment processors.

OnlyFans’ Fee Structure

OnlyFans is based on a revenue-share model. No matter what a creator earns, OnlyFans takes 20% of that. In the end, they provide the platform and need to pay their bills and employees. Right, but if you start to investigate their fee structure, you will quickly discover that a big part of that revenue cut does not go to OnlyFans; it goes to the payment processors. OnlyFans is quite transparent in that regard. According to a Story posted on their Instagram channel, half of the 20% revenue cut ends up in the bank account of a payment processor.

OnlyFans Fee Structure (source: OnlyFans Isntagram)

The calculation is quite easy. 10% of a creator’s revenue (or 50% of OnlyFans’ fees) is getting eaten up by transaction fees. With 3.9 Billion USD in revenue last year, that is 390 Million USD for the processors.

How Bitcoin Can Help

Why are payments on OnlyFans so expensive? A major reason is that the credit card payment system is extremely inefficient and has a lot of friction. The settlement of payments involves many parties that, of course, need to be paid for their services.

But we can make things better. On Starbackr, creators keep 90% of their revenue because we eliminated transaction (or general payment processing fees) completely.
How? By building on Bitcoin and its second layer, the Lightning Network. Bitcoin payments on the Lightning Network are not only faster than credit card payments (almost instantaneous), but they also involve fewer middlemen. The result is easily accessible and frictionless monetization for all creators alike.

Bitcoin empowers creators!

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