Two days ago, The Hustle published an article about the lucrative business of OnlyFans consulting.
Some of the stats mentioned blew me away. For example, did you know that OnlyFans paid their creators over $2 billion in revenue in 2020? This figure is expected to rise to more than $5 billion this year and $12 billion by 2022:
During the pandemic, OnlyFan saw explosive growth, with 200k new users and 8k new creators signing up every day.
I learned about this a few years ago from Chris Dixon:
When a major new technology trend emerges – say, the rise of online video or social media – entrepreneurs can try to capitalize on the trend by creating a consumer product (mining for gold), or by creating tools to enable consumer products (selling pickaxes).
For most technology trends, the number of successful companies created in gold mining and pickaxes are comparable, yet the gold mining businesses tend to get much more attention.
This has also been the case with OnlyFans. Almost every mainstream media outlet has written about it, but The Hustle is the first (that I am aware of) to cover the "pickaxes" part in depth.
Their article focuses on human services for OnlyFans creators (marketing, accounting, etc.) I'm old enough to recognize that where there is a market for B2B human services in a specific niche, there is also a market for SaaS products in that same niche.
The OnlyFans creators market appears to be a good fit for this. Here are some stats:
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Richard Lewis is the founder of SEO Bounty, a digital agency for OnlyFans creators. Richard surveyed 105 OnlyFans users to find out how many hours they spend each week promoting their OnlyFans page:
SaaS ideas: How many of these hours are spent on repetitive tasks? If you spend some time talking to these creators, you're bound to discover repetitive/hard tasks you that a SaaS product could automate.
According to The Hustle, the retention rate of OnlyFans subscribers is quite low: creators may lose up to 50% of their subscribers each month.
This "forces" creators who want a steady stream of revenue to constantly look for new user acquisition strategies.
SaaS ideas: There are numerous SaaS products that address retention in a variety of industries. I haven't come across anything related to the adult industry. Can you think of a creative way to ask about why subscribers stopped paying, for example?
The most important question of all: If I make a SaaS product, will creators pay?
Richard Lewis has a Twitter account with 139k followers. Most of them are male OnlyFans subscribers. Richard charges $20 to share a post linking to a creator's account.
He's currently selling around 400 posts per month.
OnlyFans models also have hundreds of private Telegram groups where they promote each others' accounts for a certain sum.
So the answer is yes; just like in any other business, if you help people make money/save money, they will pay.
Take a social network like Facebook or Twitter. See what are some successful SaaS tools that exist for them. Can you replicate the same model to OnlyFans? Here are some ideas:
The adult industry is quite controversial. A few months ago, Axios reported that OnlyFans couldn't find investors due to its adult content.
The adult market is quite large, as we've seen in the first graph, and there are no signs of it slowing down.
As the "gold rush" continues, more and more people will figure out how to sell pickaxes to OnlyFans creators.
Would you ever go into this kind of market? Why? Why not? Let me know your thoughts below.