OnlyFans’ policy change is a tale as old as the internet

Hello and welcome back to Equity, TechCrunch’s venture capital-focused podcast, where we unpack the numbers behind the headlines.

For our Wednesday show this week, Natasha and Alex and Danny had colleague Amanda Silberling on the show to help us parse through OnlyFans‘ precedent-setting move to ban sexually explicit content on its service. The decision was a bolt from the blue for many of its creators, a great portion of whom created and monetized adult videos and images through the subscription service. It also stirred up a ton of debate around fintech, crypto, venture capital and the morality of decision-makers.

We put all the facts in context for you, hitting the following points:

  • OnlyFans’ recently leaked financials. Of course, the company’s historical, and projected revenues, are now dated thanks to the platform’s planned content changes, but all the same the numbers help put into context just how much money OnlyFans’ adult creators were earning on its platform.
  • The leaked financials were part of a pitch deck that the company was using on its plight to raise more capital — an endeavor that has apparently been challenging for the startup. This tension made us think about the role that venture capital plays in funding vice startups, and why a tiny clause may stop many from getting into the game. Let’s just say, the money behind the money has a way of having weight.
  • And finally, we wondered what might be ahead for adult-content creators. Per Silberling, the world of adult content has ever been in flux, with creators and other sex workers moving from platform to platform as corporate policies, and national laws, evolved. To see OnlyFans wind up where Patreon and Tumblr previously tread is not a complete surprise.
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