Patreon vs OnlyFans

Jane Foster
September 20, 2023

Choosing the ideal platform to exhibit and profit from your creative work can profoundly impact your journey to success. Thus, let’s explore two well-known choices: OnlyFans and Patreon.

While both offer opportunities for content monetization and community interaction, they each possess distinct characteristics. Within this article, we will dissect the features of both platforms, as well as their key differences.

What is OnlyFans?

OnlyFans stands out as an adult subscription platform, offering content creators various avenues to monetize their work. Creators can generate income through paying subscribers, the sale of videos as PPVs (pay-per-views), tips from fans both on their content and in messages, and even custom requests from their audience.

While OnlyFans has gained notoriety as a platform favored by adult content creators, it’s worth noting that some users create content in diverse niches such as fitness, combining it with explicit content (which, in some niches, isn’t necessarily sexual).

What is Patreon?

Patreon, on the other hand, primarily functions as a subscription-based platform. It does offer the option for subscribers to provide tips, but its core model revolves around subscriptions. To access content from your favorite creator, you’re required to subscribe and pay a predetermined monthly fee.

Patreon’s earning opportunities tend to be more limited compared to OnlyFans. The platform predominantly features text and image-based content. However, many content creators who are active on platforms like YouTube or Instagram use Patreon to share videos with their subscribers, enriching their offering beyond text and images.

Fee20 %5-12%, depending on subscription tier
Content restrictionsAllows adult contentExplicit content not allowed
Main useFan interactionCrowdfunding and fan support
Data & analyticsLimited data and insightsDetailed metrics and analytics
Promotion & referralsSocial media promotionSocial media promotion and referrals

Ways to make money

Make money

OnlyFans has established itself as a versatile platform, initially recognized for its association with adult content but now embracing a wide range of niches. Its emphasis on personal interaction and premium content sales makes it an excellent choice for creators looking to provide tailored experiences, particularly those in the adult industry. With a direct messaging feature, OnlyFans enhances one-on-one engagement, enriching the subscriber experience.

In contrast, Patreon provides creators with a diverse canvas to offer exclusive content, extending beyond photos and videos to include podcasts, music, eBooks, and more. What sets Patreon apart is its multi-tiered membership system, allowing creators to offer varying levels of access to their content. This approach caters to fans with different budgets and interests, providing them with flexibility in choosing their support level.

On OnlyFans, creators can monetize their content through subscriptions, tips, custom requests, and pay-per-view sales. The platform’s strong fan base is willing to pay generously for premium content. Patreon, on the other hand, primarily relies on paid subscribers and tips, with limited opportunities for creators or influencers to maximize their earnings compared to the broader spectrum of revenue streams available on OnlyFans.

Content guidelines and restrictions

Both OnlyFans and Patreon maintain distinct content guidelines. OnlyFans is widely recognized for its association with adult material, with a substantial portion of its content dedicated to this category, constituting approximately 90% or more. In contrast, Patreon has a clear policy against Not Safe for Work (NSFW) content, making it an unsuitable platform for creators in the adult industry.

While both platforms have rules to prevent copyright violations and the promotion of hate speech, creators must diligently acquaint themselves with these guidelines to ensure their content remains compliant with each platform’s terms. This differentiation in content policies is crucial for creators to make informed decisions about which platform aligns best with their content and audience preferences.

Key differences between OnlyFans and Patreon

Patreon vs. Onlyfans measurement

When considering the distinctions between OnlyFans and Patreon, one notable difference lies in their target audiences. Patreon primarily caters to content creators or influencers hailing from platforms like YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram. These creators typically boast a substantial following on other social media networks and employ Patreon to foster their community. Patrons, in this context, pay to access exclusive content or engage with their favorite creators.

Conversely, OnlyFans predominantly targets adult content creators. While they make efforts to highlight Safe-for-Work (SFW) creators on their social media platforms, the overwhelming majority, surpassing 90%, are engaged in adult content creation. This unique positioning has led to some creators on OnlyFans amassing substantial earnings. In contrast, Patreon creators find it challenging to achieve such levels of income.

When examining service charges, there are disparities as well. OnlyFans imposes a 20% service charge on every transaction between creators and their fans, contributing to its significant profitability. The platform gained considerable traction, particularly among sex workers, and capitalized on the demand for monetizing content during the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, Patreon employs a tiered service charge system, ranging from 5% to 12% on Tips and subscriptions. The rate varies depending on the features selected, offering more flexibility to creators.

Both platforms share a commonality in their payout procedures, requiring creators to initiate payout requests manually. These payouts take approximately 4 to 5 days to process, lacking a fixed payout schedule. This aspect remains consistent across both OnlyFans and Patreon, ensuring creators can access their earnings with similar timelines.

Pros and cons of OnlyFans vs Patreon

Patreon vs. Onlyfans pros and cons

Pros of OnlyFans:

  • Diverse revenue streams: OnlyFans offers various avenues for creators to boost their earnings.
  • Targeted adult audience: with a predominantly adult audience, creators can cater to both explicit and SFW content consumers.

Pros of Patreon:

  • Variable service charges: creators can choose between service charges ranging from 5% to 12%, offering flexibility.

Cons of OnlyFans:

  • High transaction fees: OnlyFans imposes a 20% charge on every transaction, reducing creators’ income.

Cons of Patreon:

  • Limited income streams: Patreon presents creators with relatively few options to generate revenue compared to platforms like OnlyFans.
  • Content optimization: certain content formats, particularly videos, may not be optimized for social media sharing on Patreon.


Each platform offers a distinct array of features and advantages, so it’s crucial to carefully consider the pros and cons before making your decision. If you’re an artist or creator aiming to establish a community and engage with your supporters, Patreon provides an excellent platform. However, if you operate in the adult content industry, OnlyFans is the preferred choice due to its adaptability and specialization in that specific niche.

Regardless of the platform you opt for, it’s essential to stay informed about payment processing methods and fee structures. Familiarize yourself with the platform’s rules and regulations to ensure your content complies with their terms. Additionally, don’t overlook the importance of promoting your account through social media and other channels to build a dedicated fanbase.

Author Jane Foster