CASE STUDY | The OnlyFans phenomenon: +3700% searches in the last 5 years

Javier Gázquez
Javier Gázquez

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Onlyfans phenomenon in usa case study from interamplify

OnlyFans recently celebrated its sixth anniversary. Its success has been in crescendo since its launch took place on July 1, 2016 by operator Fenix International Limited.

The magnitude of its reception has been such that, as happens to any product that succeeds and its use expands globally, it has been the target of business admiration but has also garnered staunch detractors among society who question the morality of the business. For this reason, you can find on the net countless articles that try to decipher the mystery and the key to the triumph of the platform.

Questioned or not, its irruptive business model has managed to achieve numbers that make an impression when an analysis of the organic traffic data of this content subscription service is performed.

Not everything has been said (or written!) about the OnlyFans case. At Interamplify, on the occasion of its anniversary, we have put to work our SEO technicians, who have delved into the phenomenon that has captivated content creators and subscribers.

An exhaustive research that today allows us to offer an interpretation study of the Google search figures for OnlyFans in the United States, which has by far earned the title of the country that consumes the most of this entertainment product.

OnlyFans, +3700% searches in the U.S.

Probably no one has to explain to you what OnlyFans is all about. It is known worldwide for being a monthly subscription platform, where a content creator’s subscriber can view their posts in exchange for a monthly fee.

Although it may seem otherwise, its product is not new. In fact, before the birth of our object of study, there were already other competitors such as Patreon, where since 2013 you can earn money by sharing content.

What is striking about OnlyFans from an SEO standpoint, is how organic queries on Google have grown exponentially to become the third fastest growing query in Google searches recorded in the United States over the last five years.

Search queries from United States since past five years chart
Search queries from United States since past 5 years

As can be seen in the graph shown by Google Trends, it reaches a percentage of +3700% in this period of time and for this territory. We wanted to know why these data are so significant in the country and to unravel the reasons for the search peaks.

What do COVID-19 and Bella Thorne have in common?

No, we have not gone crazy and we are not mixing topics. First of all, one of the data that piqued our interest was the search spikes. Why in the United States the tendency to make queries about OnlyFans increased significantly in certain periods of time was the big question we wanted to solve.
These increases are no coincidence and after delving deeper into the explanation we determined that the explanation was to be found in several facts, among which we highlight two for their relevance: the arrival on the platform of former Disney actress Bella Thorne and the irruption of COVID-19 in our society. We explain them below.

Google Trens Chart from search term onlyfans
Google Trends chart from search term onlyfans

Bella Thorne, the actress who broke all the records on OnlyFans

In the top 3 of queries related to the term OnlyFans is Bella Thorne. We could analyze the first two, but the former Disney actress, now reconverted into an adult film director, is especially relevant because she marked a before and after for the British platform.

Google Trends Related queries chart: Bella Thorne

After creating her account on August 14, 2020, she raised $1 million in just 24 hours. Barely a week had passed when the amount doubled.

But the disappointment generated by its content caused subscribers to request a fee refund, crashing the site and forcing OnlyFans management to take action.
This fact explains why one of the queries with the highest number of searches associated with the company is Bella Thorne and why the conversation peaked between August 23 and 29. You can check it out below:

Google trends interest over time chart bella thorne
Google Trends interest over time chart: Bella Thorne

Let’s prove it to you once again. If instead of entering the term “Bella Thorne onlyfans” we enter only “Bella Thorne”, Google Trends re-links us to the search intensity associated with a given date and a related query:

Google trends search term chart bella thorne
Google Trends search term chart: Bella Thorne

So far, we have associated OnlyFans search interest data to the subscriber but what about from a content creation perspective? Read on, COVID-19 has in common with Bella Thorne the ability to generate interest in the platform among users, regardless of the role they choose to adopt in the signup.

No two without three: Coronavirus, lockdown and OnlyFans

The latest update offered by the official government agency Data USA, corresponding to the year 2019, indicates that women in the United States earn on average a lower salary than men for the equivalent job, especially in executive positions or technical performance, as shown below:

Data usa chart wage by gender for securities industries 2019
DATA USA chart: Wage by gender for securities industries 2019

It is not surprising that, influenced by the arrival of Covid-19 and its respective restrictions on mobility, job losses or reduced economic activity, queries experienced a new peak of intensity during this period because the platform was presented as a lifeline and a source of income apparently simple and within the reach of anyone who created content.

Regardless of whether we analyze the pandemic as a conditioning factor or as an incentive, the arrival of coronavirus means that OnlyFans has become the livelihood of many U.S. content creators. Moreover, if we add to this situation the revenue expectations raised by cases such as Bella Thorne’s, we find ourselves faced with the justification for these new query and traffic data.

Look what happens on People also ask, if we browse “onlyfans bella thorne”:

People Also Ask from Google search “onlyfans bella thorne”

The user asks questions associated with the film director’s record and the amount of money she generates from her account, showing a clear interest in the platforms’ monetization.

Notice in the graph below how searches increase exponentially over the course of the months in 2020:

Google Trends interest over time chart from OnlyFans 2020

A trend that, far from being associated only with the pandemic period, continues to trend upwards, with more than 248 million visits to the website from the United States alone in January 2022, according to Statista, compared to a timid 23.5 million from the United Kingdom, despite the fact that the product originates in the latter country.

Statista onlyfans chart 2022
Statista chart from OnlyFans in January 2022

Nevada, the state which searches for OnlyFans in Google the most

Another aspect to take into account in our object of study is the geographic area that shows the greatest interest in the search. Going back to our initial query we observe that the state that leads the trend is Nevada.

Google trends chart interest by sub-region from onlyfans search term
Google Trends chart from OnlyFans interest by sub-region

If we explore this result we find that the metropolitan area that shows the greatest predisposition to search for information about OnlyFans is Las Vegas.

Google trends chart las vegas and onlyfans
Google Trends chart interest by metro from OnlyFans search term

It is very interesting to analyze these searches in the period between April 2020 and August 2021, since this is the phase in which COVID-19 has had an impact.

According to statistics published by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (hereinafter, LVCVA), Las Vegas recorded an unemployment rate of 33.3% in April 2020, being the most affected area in the state of Nevada and with particular impact on the tourism sector.
This is to be expected, since according to the same study, it is one of the main tourist destinations in the United States. Therefore, the dependence on tourism made Las Vegas a territory particularly susceptible to the recession caused by the pandemic.

As we have explained above, the source of income for many people had been lost and OnlyFans presents itself as a safe bet for those who consider it as a means of financial gain.

Keep in mind that we are in a city where surveys traditionally indicate that the average conference visitor spends approximately $1200 per trip. According to the LVCVA study of tourism in Las Vegas, presented in June 2022, more than 32 million tourist visits were recorded in 2021 alone.
The peculiarities of Las Vegas, where there is no income tax or where gambling spending and touristic visits take the biggest slice of the economic pie, make it a perfect place for:

  • Consuming this type of content due to purchasing power.
  • Create this type of content due to user demand with purchasing power or the conditioning factors of unemployment caused by the pandemic.
Source: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Conclusions

In May 2022 alone, 272,426 accounts were created on OnlyFans. The platform itself indicates here that it pays $5,000,000,000,000 million annually to its content creators and that they have 1,500,000 registered users.

The triggering of events such as celebrity appearances, the exceptional situation of limited movement and work activity caused by an epidemic or the high purchasing power of the inhabitants or tourism are the ideal scenario for both creators and consumers to have valued the opportunity to be part of a community dedicated to the subscription of content.

In this analysis, Interamplify wanted to demonstrate that with tools such as Google Trends it is possible to detect the search interests of users, to facilitate the interpretation of their intentions and to be able to offer a business the tools and services it needs to adapt to new consumer needs.

Do you need our assitence? Begin your journey, today!

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