As much of culture has been transported into the online sphere, so has the ability for content creators to monetize engagement with their brand. Patreon and OnlyFans are two content monetization platforms that have taken off in recent years due to the increasing popularity of subscription-based content services. The question remains: Which is a better service, Patreon or OnlyFans?
Patreon vs. OnlyFans: Side-by-Side Comparison
|Target Audience||General content||Adult content|
|Payment Method||Stripe, Payoneer, PayPal||Bank Account, Venmo, PayPal|
|Approved Content||Nudity is allowed if flagged for adult content||Everything except public sex|
|Cross-Platform Integration||WordPress, Discord, Streamlabs, Mailchimp||Almost none; Instagram and Tik-Tok will ban OF content|
|Creator/Fan Engagement||Text messages||Text, voice notes, photos|
OnlyFans vs. Patreon: What’s the Difference?
OnlyFans and Patreon are two of the leading subscription-based membership platforms on the web today. What this means is that each site operates as a middleman for various types of content accessible through membership. For such a service, both Patreon and OnlyFans charge content creators a percentage of the membership fees they receive.
Audience and Userbase
While Patreon has gained a reputation for providing access to more general content (podcasts, art, music, and other public media), OnlyFans has gained a reputation mostly for adult content. However, through a fair assessment of each platform’s approach, it’s clear that there is more than meets the eye with both of them in terms of content variety, membership engagement, and cross-platform functionality.
As previously mentioned, the main difference between Patreon and OnlyFans is that each platform targets different audiences. However, the differences don’t end there. Patreon started in 2013 and has grown to hold six million users and two hundred thousand content creators. OnlyFans, started in 2016, has exploded in recent years with fifty million users and one million content creators.
The most glaring difference between the platforms is evident in how each one charges fees. Patreon features a three-tiered system of Lite, Pro, and Premium tier accounts charging 5%, 8%, and 12% of monthly earnings, respectively.
For subscribers of these platforms, the difference can be quite extraordinary. With Patreon, what you see is what you pay for. Except for some rare cares, by subscribing to a content creator’s Patreon page, you will be able to access all of that creator’s content for the monthly subscription fee. While this is a benefit, there isn’t much in the way of package options or discounts. Plus, direct communication between creators and subscribers on Patreon is limited to text messages.
OnlyFans charges its creators a 20% flat fee but has a seemingly endless pricing tier for users, which can be deceiving. Paying for an OnlyFans subscription only gives you access to the creator’s page and what the creator has deemed free content.
From there, you might have to pay even more per video or photo that the creator uploads. While this is a drawback, OnlyFans allows more direct engagement with content creators and a variety of bundle packages and discount offers which may knock your total cost as a user down.
For a content creator on OnlyFans, this is quite a plus. You can receive monthly subscription fees to your page and charge per uploaded item, as well. What’s more, OnlyFans offers better sales managing options, including bundling packages, discount offers, and other special options for marketing and selling your content.
Patreon has cross-platform integration with a number of sites including Mailchimp, WordPress, and Discord. Content creators can communicate with their subscribers via text message. As for payment methods, the website/ app has options for Stripe, Paypal, and Payoneer. Subscribers to Patreon are charged on the first of every month.
OnlyFans is focused more on adult content, though, technically, all content is allowed. The site offers little in the way of cross-platform integration but allows creators to interact with subscribers through voice notes, photos, video, and text.
In terms of payment method options, OnlyFans uses Venmo and PayPal, or deposits money straight to a bank account. Subscribers are charged upon sign-up and when purchasing additional in-page content. It should be noted that both Patreon and OnlyFans offer priced access to content outside of full subscriptions. Both platforms also allow individual pieces of content to be bought without a subscription.
Patreon vs. OnlyFans: 7 Must-Know Facts
- Patreon allows for a greater range of content creators while OnlyFans targets more of the adult content market.
- Patreon offers a three-tiered pricing system for its content creators.
- OnlyFans charges its creators a flat rate of 20% per total monthly subscription but also allows individual content uploads to be sold separately.
- Patreon integrates better with other platforms such as Discord and WordPress. OnlyFans has no cross-platform integration.
- OnlyFans has more freedom for uploaded content. While Patreon does allow some adult content, it is under heavier scrutiny than OnlyFans.
- OnlyFans allows a variety of channels for creator/user interaction including texts, voice notes, and video. Patreon only allows text message communication between creators and users.
- OnlyFans allows for a greater variety of engagement, marketing, and communication compared to Patreon which offers little.
Patreon vs. OnlyFans: Which One Is Better? Which One Should You Use?
In the case of Patreon versus OnlyFans, which one is better depends entirely on whether you are a content creator or a consumer. Even though OnlyFans has a ‘dirtier’ reputation, it’s the best choice for content creators. Once you get past the adult connotation, OnlyFans offers so much more variety in terms of experience, engagement, and marketing compared to Patreon.
Not only can OnlyFans creators scale their content pricing however they want, but they can also establish better engagement with different bundling services and discount offer options. Plus, OnlyFans has multiple mediums available to communicate with users. This makes OnlyFans the best top-to-bottom platform for content creators. If you’re looking for true creative freedom for your content, look no further than OnlyFans.
For users, however, OnlyFans has a more deceptive, nickel-and-dime type pricing setup, meaning a subscription to a given content creator page does not necessarily guarantee access to all its content.
Patreon is more upfront with what’s available to subscribers. This is because the majority of pages give full access to their content once the monthly subscription is paid. This means, for example, you can access the full episode list of a long-running podcast for only a few dollars. Patreon has a far larger variety of content, making it a better bang for your buck.
If you are a content creator with an already established fanbase, Patreon will help solidify your brand with its reputation for a large roster of well-known creators. Simply put, Only Fans is best for content creators. Patreon is best for content consumers.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Vitalii Vodolazskyi/Shutterstock.com.