🔥 OnlyFans is a massive business


December 11, 2020

PLUS: A $57m startup disrupting the warranty biz.
December 11, 2020
The Hustle
TOGETHER WITH
Noom

Yesterday, we used the Reface app to swap Sam’s face with Batman’s. We mistakenly said he replaced actor Christian Bale… when it was, in fact, Boston-area legend Ben Affleck.

Sorry, Ben.

Now, can you apologize for the movie Gigli?

The Big Idea
censored gif

OnlyFans: From adult content to a multibillion-dollar creator-based empire

When it comes to the creator economy, Patreon is the name that comes to mind. Between 2013 and 2019, the platform paid out $1B+ to creators of all stripes.

Join 1.5m+ professionals getting The Hustle daily news brief

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

But an unlikely competitor is blowing it out of the water: OnlyFans.

According to a recent Bloomberg profile, the site — which allows people to charge fans for access to videos, photos, and personalized communications — is on pace to dish out $2B this year.

Never heard of OnlyFans?

The platform’s traditional power users are attractive females selling the “opposite of G-rated” photos to (usually) male buyers.

Today, its biggest accounts are from the world of Instagram influencers like Jem Wolfie and Andrea Vasile.

But adult performers and sex workers — who are unable to meet clients in person — have taken to the platform as a way to earn a living during the pandemic.

OnlyFans founder Tim Stokely is a serial entrepreneur

He founded a successive series of startups throughout the 2010s, prior to the launch of OnlyFans in 2016:

  • GlamWorship, which facilitated transactions for a sexual fetish known as “financial domination” (which may also have been a phrase used in Amazon’s pre-IPO prospectus)
  • Custom4U lets customers order personalized videos
  • 121with was a marketplace where tradespeople (e.g., plumbers) could sell their expertise

Stokely tells Bloomberg that these ventures gave him key insights into the creator-fan relationship.

Mainstream celebrities are taking notice

Musicians like Cardi B and The Weeknd have used OnlyFans as a promotional platform. Actress Bella Thorne pulled in a single-day record of $1m when she joined the platform.

While sex workers expressed concern that the likes of Thorne will “gentrify” the platform and take away a much-needed income stream, OnlyFans’ growth outside of adult content looks inevitable.

Already with 85m+ users and 1m+ creators, OnlyFans is adding 500k users a day and — with a 20% take on the $2B in sales — will bring home $400m in 2020.

If Patreon is already worth $1.2B+, the sky’s the limit for OnlyFans.

Check out our related coverage:

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
Snippets
  • Disney+ was waiting to drop the mic! After casually racking up 70m+ subscribers in the last year, Disney just announced 10 new Star Wars spinoffs and 10 new Marvel shows. Wow!
  • The power of distribution: YouTube megastar David Dobrik sold 17k+ puzzles ($30 a pop) in a few hours. How? The first person to put the puzzle together and take a photo wins $100k. Dobrik, meanwhile, nets millions.
  • It’s a wonderful life… for early Airbnb employees who finally traded their paper millions (or billions) for the real thing after $ABNB’s first day trading left it with a $100B+ valuation.
  • “Not at these valuations”: The refrain heard ‘round the investing world has financial backing via a shorting strategy at a hedge fund newcomer targeting hype startup stocks.
  • AT&T looks to dump DirecTV… for a whopping $15B, just a wee bit lower than the $63B it paid for the satellite TV provider in 2015.
  • There’s a cloud in all of us: At least Amazon thinks so — it’s looking to train 29m employees for cloud-based jobs by 2025.
  • Hyundai buys Black Mirror episode Boston Dynamics: and all of those fun, and totally practical, $75k robotic dogs, for ~$900m.
 
Fixing Things
extended warranty

The extended warranty experience sucks. Extend raised $57m to make it better.

“Do you want an extended warranty?” may be 6 of the most stressful words in the English language.

The source of that stress? Information asymmetry.

According to one study on TV purchases, customers overestimated the likelihood of a product breaking by 3x. Merchants capitalize on this false intuition by offering highly profitable warranty products (50%+ margins) — and 20 to 40% of consumers end up buying them.

Extend has raised $57m to improve the experience

The startup’s investors include Meritech Capital and fintech giant PayPal, which is always looking to back cutting-edge financial solutions.

Extend’s CEO Woody Levin tells The Hustle that the gold standard in the extended warranty space is AppleCare+.

“Getting AppleCare+ is so smooth that people don’t realize it’s an extended warranty,” he says. “We want to let all merchants — not just the top 1% — offer the same experience.”

To do so, Extend has created a “digitally native” warranty solution (e.g., transparent pricing, a chatbot, and a dashboard of products) that online merchants can add in a few lines of code.

Kayley the chatbot is available 24 hours a day for customers…

… and so far has processed 98% of Extend’s claims, which are underwritten in partnership with big insurers like AIG.

Extend currently covers $27B in gross merchandise value — everything from $1.99 spark plugs to $30k Rolex watches. Its biggest merchant partners include Peloton, Advance Auto Parts, and iRobot.

“Merchants who add a 3rd party extended warranty see a double-digit percent increase in overall product purchase conversions,” Levin tells us.

Low stress = big bucks.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
SPONSORED

Our copywriter lost 11 lbs using Noom and now his confidence is simply *way too high*

We’re talking the kind of confidence that can only come from fitting into his prom dress soccer uniform from college again.

  • He just updated his LinkedIn title to “Thought Leader, Futurist, and Wellness Expert @ The Hustle” despite the fact that his job hasn’t changed.
  • He said he was thinking of cold emailing George Lucas and “seeing if they want me in the Star Wars cinematic universe.” 
  • The shoulder slouch his chiropractor couldn’t fix? Yeah, it’s gone.

But hey, that’s just what happens when you get control over your habits.

And it’s all thanks to Noom. 

Noom’s approach to weight loss — which involves focusing on behavioural change, instead of burning anything containing gluten — is actually sustainable. 

You build healthy habits. You feel better about yourself. You get a supporting role in the next Star Wars trilogy. 

Simple as that. 

Want to try Noom for yourself? Get a 7 day trial of for $0.50:

Start your trial →
Razor Burn
Billie razors

The folks at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have been busy.

In addition to hitting Mark Zuckerberg with antitrust papers, the commission also moved to block P&G’s acquisition of female DTC razor startup Billie.

The core of US antitrust law has been ‘consumer welfare’…

… AKA whether an acquisition would raise prices for consumers.

But with the rise of Big Tech, it has expanded its antitrust playbook to properly address things like:

  • The stifling of innovation
  • The maleffects an acquisition may have on other stakeholders (suppliers, partners, advertisers)

For antitrust nerds (we see you), Billie is a throwback

Billie was launched in 2017 to combat the “pink tax” — the extra cost that brands place on common female consumer household products.

The startup, which has raised $35m, clearly had enough traction to attract P&G.

“If P&G can snuff out Billie’s rapid competitive growth, consumers will likely face higher prices,” said the FTC, which also blocked Edgewell’s acquisition of Harry’s men’s razors in February.

Industry proponents say blocking these deals will take an exit option off the table for startups and make DTC investing an increasingly hairy experience.

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Send as email to a friend View on our website
SPONSORED
Raise your own →
This may not be representative of others’ experiences and is no guarantee of similar future success.
Business fact of the day
VHS gif

Source: Giphy

The porn and adult video industries have had no shortage of controversy over the years.

In the latest row, the website Pornhub barred unverified users from uploading videos after the platform was accused of facilitating child abuse.

What’s lesser known about the industry is its history of advancing tech innovations. Per The Atlantic, the porn overlords were at least partly behind many of the great inventions of our time:

  • The VCR found an initial product-market fit among people wanting to watch X-rated fare from the comfort of their own homes.
  • Cable TV attracted early subscribers by offering certain “premium” content.
  • Popular bulletin boards and forums in the early days of the internet were built around adult content.
  • VR and haptic technologies are finding some of the earliest adopters in the… well, you get it.

Further, Plytix makes a fairly convincing argument that internet users buying adult content in the 1990s laid the groundwork for ecommerce.

Common functionalities first found in the online transaction of porn include: online credit cards, fee-based subscriptions, affiliate programs, site membership, the double opt-in process and — gulp — email marketing.

Shower Thoughts

  1. You can instantly stress out anyone just by shouting “catch”
  2. Corn is a speedometer for your digestive system
  3. You hate alarm clocks in both possible scenarios… they work, or they don’t
  4. Saying that someone has a future is optimistic, but saying someone has a past is ominous
  5. A Christmas tree next to a roaring fireplace seems less quaint when you realize it’s a tree watching its friends being burned alive
via Reddit
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Hustle Cons Greatest Hits ebook

Over the years, we’ve learned… secrets.

The business secrets, tips, and tricks that have helped founders go from zero to millions — and even billions — of dollars.

Want to see ‘em? Just refer {3-referral_count} more friends to The Hustle and we’ll send you our curated set of interviews with founders from brands like Zola, AWAY, Vungle, Bonobos, and more.

Here’s a message you can you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
Share The Hustle
Ambassador Rewards

Laptop lookin’ sparse? Water bottle lookin’… clear?

You’re only {5-referral_count} referrals away from your first Hustle swag, Sam’s Stickers. Slap a few of these bad boys on the ol’ laptop and let everyone in the coffee shop know that you know. You know?

Here’s a message you can you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Ambassador Rewards

Look at you, smarty pants. You’ve already shared The Hustle with {referral_count} friends and enemies.

But hey, just because you’re a business nerd doesn’t mean you can’t look fresh to death. Get {10-referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you a pair of our signature skate socks — you’ll look good on the streets or in the sheets. Well, maybe.

Anyway, here’s a message you can you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Ambassador Rewards

Look, we know the skate socks aren’t for everyone. Know what is though? Dad hats, baybeee.

And you’re only {15-referral_count} referrals away from earning our signature dad hat meant for ladies, gents, and dads alike to show folks they’re in the club.

Here’s a message you can you can use to share with your friends:

Hey! Do you read The Hustle? It’s the best daily business newsletter out there — only takes 5 minutes to read and you’ll sound like the smartest person in the room. Sign up here, it’s free: {referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Ambassador Rewards

You’re close to the most coveted item in Hustle-land: The Always Be Hustlin Tee.

The fabric? Luxurious. The cut? Relaxed, yet refined. The message? Indisputable.

Share this link with {25 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Ambassador Rewards

Damn, you’re on a roll. You’ve got the socks. You’ve got the hat. It’s time to complete your collection, don’t you think?

Get {50 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll send you our favorite piece of Hustle swag: The Startup Sweatshirt. Slipping into this piece of fleece might just transport you to Silicon Valley (or maybe somewhere better, your pick).

Share this link to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Ambassador Rewards

Hey, we see you. You’re out their spreading the gospel of The Hustle like it’s nobody’s business. Seems like you might be ready for a little more…

Get {100 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll slide you a free subscription to Trends.

And no, this ain’t an ad. We just think you’re the kinda person who would thrive in our top-tier community (it’s usually $299) full of founders, investors, and builders (AKA ambitious, no B.S. business folks like you — and enjoy our premium research and content.

Share this link with {100 – referral_count} more of your friends to get the goods:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
SHARE THE HUSTLE
Ambassador Rewards

If you love us so much why don’t you just marry us?

Get {1000 – referral_count} more referrals and we’ll fly you to The Hustle HQ in beautiful, downtown eastern Austin, Texas. Round-trip flight, 2 nights in a hotel downtown, and some wining and dining with The Hustle fam.

Heck, you practically work here anyway. Copy & paste this link to share:

{referral_url}

P.S. You can always check your referral count here.

Share The Hustle →
How did you like today’s email?

hate it

meh

love it
Today’s email was brought to you by @TrungTPhan.
Editing by: Zachary “#1 Fan” Crockett, Studds Tercel (Staff Oral Historian).

PODCAST JOBS ADVERTISE CONTACT US
Facebook Youtube Instagram Trends
2131 THEO DR. STE F, AUSTIN, TX 78723, UNITED STATES • 415.506.7210 Never want to hear from us again? Break our hearts and unsubscribe.
The Hustle

Join 1.5m+ professionals getting The Hustle daily news brief

Business and tech news in 5 minutes or less

100% free, no ads or spam, unsubscribe anytime

Psst

How'd Bezos build a billion dollar empire?

In 1994, Jeff Bezos discovered a shocking stat: Internet usage grew 2,300% per year.

Data shows where markets are headed.

And that’s why we built Trends — to show you up-and-coming market opportunities about to explode. Interested?

We’re shooting our shot…

Start your mornings with The Daily.

Get the freshly baked 5-minute newsletter every day except Saturdays.

It’s filled with the most interesting stories on business, tech, and the internet.

And written for innovators of every industry. Sign up for the news that slaps.

If you don’t like it, unsubscribe any time. Privacy policy.

[email-submission-form redirect-to-home="true" button-text="Join Free" include-trends-opt-in="true" id="main-signup-form" fail-url="" success-url="https://thehustle.co/signup" default-source="thehustleco" default-campaign="home"]
<script type="text/javascript"> var onloadCallback = function() { grecaptcha.render('verify-your-humanity', { 'sitekey' : '6LdddrcZAAAAALyttpvOqiwQGwq5BNhgDz4tMQGE' }); }; function getCookieValue(a) { var b = document.cookie.match('(^|[^;]+)\\s*' + a + '\\s*=\\s*([^;]+)'); return b ? atob(decodeURIComponent(b.pop())) : ''; } function setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, cookieName, defaultValue) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; var existingVal = el.getAttribute('value'); var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName) || getCookieValue(cookieName); if ((existingVal == null || existingVal == '' || existingVal == defaultValue) && (newVal != null && newVal != '')) { el.setAttribute('value', newVal); } } function setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm( wrappingDiv, searchParams, className, utmName, defaultValue ) { var el = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName(className)[0]; if (el != null) { var existingVal = el.getAttribute("value"); var newVal = searchParams.get(utmName); if (newVal != null && newVal != "") { el.setAttribute("value", newVal); } } } function initForm() { var wrappingDivs = document.getElementsByClassName('email-submission'); wrappingDivs.forEach(wrappingDiv => { var sp = new URLSearchParams(window.location.search); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-source', 'utm_source', 'funnel_source', 'thehustleco'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-campaign', 'utm_campaign', 'funnel_campaign', 'home'); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-medium', 'utm_medium', 'funnel_medium', ''); setHiddenFieldValue(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-referral', 'ref', 'funnel_referral', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-a', 'a', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-c', 'c', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-o', 'o', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-oc', 'oc', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-e', 'e', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-f', 'f', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-r', 'r', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-t', 't', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s1', 's1', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s2', 's2', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s3', 's3', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s4', 's4', ''); setHiddenFieldValueFromUtm(wrappingDiv, sp, 'funnel-s5', 's5', ''); var error_message = getCookieValue('funnel_error_message'); if (error_message && error_message.trim() != '') { var error = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('funnel-error')[0]; var prev_email = getCookieValue('funnel_email'); error_message = prev_email + " is not valid. Please try again"; error.innerHTML = error_message; error.style = ''; } }); if (false) { initCaptchaFormV2(); } } function initCaptchaFormV2() { var v3RecaptchaResponseEl = document.getElementById('recaptcha-response-v3'); v3RecaptchaResponseEl.parentNode.removeChild(v3RecaptchaResponseEl); var wrappingDiv = document.getElementById('main-signup-form'); var subForm = wrappingDiv.getElementsByClassName('email-submission')[0]; var captchaVersion = document.createElement('input'); captchaVersion.class = 'g-recaptcha hidden-input'; captchaVersion.type = 'hidden'; captchaVersion.name = 'g-recaptcha-response-v2'; captchaVersion.value = 'true'; subForm.appendChild(captchaVersion); var captchaEl = document.createElement('div'); captchaEl.id = 'verify-your-humanity'; subForm.appendChild(captchaEl); var captchaApiScriptEl = document.createElement('script'); captchaApiScriptEl.src = 'https://www.google.com/recaptcha/api.js?onload=onloadCallback&render=explicit'; captchaApiScriptEl.async = true; captchaApiScriptEl.defer = true; document.head.appendChild(captchaApiScriptEl); } function appendCheckboxes() { var optInDivs = document.querySelectorAll('.trends-opt-in'); optInDivs.forEach(el => { if (el.getElementsByClassName('trends-opt-in-checkbox').length < 1) { var checkbox = document.createElement('input'); checkbox.setAttribute('class', 'trends-opt-in-checkbox'); checkbox.setAttribute('type', 'checkbox'); checkbox.setAttribute('name', 'trends_opt_in'); var label = document.createElement('label'); label.setAttribute('class', 'trends-opt-in-text'); label.textContent = "Yes, I'd like to receive updates on market opportunities before they explode from Trends by The Hustle"; el.appendChild(checkbox); el.appendChild(label); checkbox.click(); } }) } window.addEventListener('DOMContentLoaded', (event) => { var funnel_email_cookie = getCookieValue('funnel_email'); if ( (true) && (funnel_email_cookie != null && funnel_email_cookie != '') ) { window.location.replace('/home'); } initForm(); if (true) { appendCheckboxes(); } }); </script> <div class="email-signup" id=main-signup-form> <div class="funnel-error" style="display:none;"></div> <form class="email-submission" action="https://cms.thehustle.co/api/v1/contacts/wordpress_create" method="post"> <div class="email-form-wrap"> <input class="funnel-source hidden-input" type="hidden" name="source" value="thehustleco"> <input class="funnel-campaign hidden-input" type="hidden" name="campaign" value="home"> <input class="funnel-medium hidden-input" type="hidden" name="medium"> <input class="funnel-referral hidden-input" type="hidden" name="referral_code"> <input class="funnel-fail-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="fail_url" value=""> <input class="funnel-a hidden-input" type="hidden" name="a" value=""> <input class="funnel-c hidden-input" type="hidden" name="c" value=""> <input class="funnel-o hidden-input" type="hidden" name="o" value=""> <input class="funnel-oc hidden-input" type="hidden" name="oc" value=""> <input class="funnel-e hidden-input" type="hidden" name="e" value=""> <input class="funnel-f hidden-input" type="hidden" name="f" value=""> <input class="funnel-r hidden-input" type="hidden" name="r" value=""> <input class="funnel-t hidden-input" type="hidden" name="t" value=""> <input class="funnel-s1 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s1" value=""> <input class="funnel-s2 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s2" value=""> <input class="funnel-s3 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s3" value=""> <input class="funnel-s4 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s4" value=""> <input class="funnel-s5 hidden-input" type="hidden" name="s5" value=""> <input class="funnel-success-url hidden-input" type="hidden" name="success_url" value="https://thehustle.co/signup"> <input id="recaptcha-response-v3" class="g-recaptcha hidden-input" type="hidden" name="g-recaptcha-response" value=""> <input class="signup-email" type="email" name="email" placeholder="Your email address" required> <input class="email-submit" type="submit" value="Join Free"> </div> <div class="trends-opt-in"></div> <div submit-success> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--success">Thank you for subscribing.</p> </template> </div> <div submit-error> <template type="amp-mustache"> <p class="c-message c-message--failed">Your submission failed. Please try again!</p> </template> </div> </form> </div>