Over the past year, artists from Cardi B to The-Dream and Rico Nasty have all joined content subscription platform OnlyFans — and Beyoncé even gave the platform a shout-out during her verse on a remix of Megan Thee Stallion‘s “Savage.” Now, the London-based company is leaning further into the music world with the launch of a new creative fund for artists in the U.K., announced today (March 17).
The fund will award four aspiring artists grants of £20,000 (roughly $27,800) each, plus mentorship from a “music industry professional,” to help them kickstart their careers in music. Artists can enter to win the funds online through April 13 using an application process that includes uploading a 90-second performance video. OnlyFans CEO Tim Stokely will judge the applications alongside a panel including singer and actress Suki Waterhouse, rapper Stefflon Don, DJ-producer Joe Goddard and House of Holland clothing company founder Henry Holland.
“The creative community has suffered during the pandemic and OnlyFans wants to give music artists the opportunity to hone their skills and launch their work,” the website reads. “With so many music artists including Cardi B, Jermaine Dupri, Franc Moody, and many more joining the site, OnlyFans wants to support up-and-coming artists in the creative community.”
The OnlyFans Creative Fund is set to become a multi-year project, with the inaugural year centered around music. Reached by email, a spokesperson for the company said that the response to the new fund has already been “astounding,” and “nothing is off the table in the future for other markets.”
Founded in 2016, the privately-held company is now home to more than 1 million content creators and more than 100 million users, according to its website.
The company has developed a reputation for its community of sex workers, but anyone can create a page on OnlyFans, where creators can upload videos, photos and other content, go live and collect tips. Users unlock access to that content by paying a monthly subscription fee set by the creator (although creators can also make their pages free). Creators get 80% of their subscription earnings.
To date, OnlyFans has paid out more than $3 billion in creator earnings, and the company says that more than 100 creators have earned over $100 million from the platform. As artists scrambled to find new revenue sources amid the pandemic, the platform has attracted more and more of the music industry: Cardi B launched a page for behind-the-scenes takes and other content in August, and The-Dream created a “digital listening experience” on his free account last April to promote his Sextape 4 album, among other examples.
According to OnlyFans’ online earnings calculator — which assumes that between 1% and 5% of an artist’s social media following across Instagram, Facebook and Twitter will subscribe to their OnlyFans — Cardi B’s page could be generating anywhere between $5.2 million and $26 million monthly after OnlyFans takes its cut.