The number of people signing up for OnlyFans, a paid subscription service best known for its adult content, spiked dramatically in March amid coronavirus quarantine measures, which have upended the U.S. work force.
In an email obtained by The Daily Beast, OnlyFans reported 3.5 million new signups in March and 60,000 new creators.
The increase represented a 75 percent jump from its normal level, according to Daily Beast reporter Blake Montgomery.
In February, the site reported having more than 20 million users, and more than 200,000 content creators.
OnlyFans allows anyone — from porn star pros to college girls next door in need of cash — to provide paying subscribers with exclusive photos and videos.
The company purposely avoids a restrictive content policy, allowing users to share revealing, nude and sexual content with fans who pay a monthly membership fee.
Members of the adult entertainment industry have flocked to the platform, as have amateur models.
The coronavirus lockdown’s impact on the economy has only driven more would-be sex workers to OnlyFans.
Thursday’s weekly jobless claims report from the Labor Department showed a record high of more than 6 million Americans filing claims for unemployment benefits last week, as more jurisdictions enforced stay-at-home measures to curb the coronavirus pandemic, which economists say has pushed the economy into recession.
For some women struggling with the economic fallout from coronavirus restrictions, OnlyFans has become a saving grace.
Karli Helm, a musician who lost her cocktail server and bartender jobs in March, told the San Francisco Chronicle that her OnlyFans account has become her only sustainable source of income.
“I think OnlyFans has this huge appeal because it feels very authentic,” Helm said. “You follow me on Instagram, you see all the nonsexual content I post, you know my dog’s name and you know my band and now you get to see this other side of me.”
Jessica Niles, a sex worker who lost her restaurant side gig after the Bay Area was ordered to shelter-in-place, is also using OnlyFans to stay financially afloat.
“OnlyFans is the best way to make money, period right now, unless you have a normal 9 to 5 job that you’re working from home,” Niles told the Chronicle.
Another woman interviewed by the Chronicle, Juanita Burton, said she’s not hoping for a long-term future in the adult industry, but has turned to OnlyFans to pay her bills in a time of uncertainty.
While data on the percentage of female content creators on OnlyFans isn’t readily available, the vast percentage of performers in the adult industry are women.
The most popular OnlyFans personality is also female.
(Reuters contributed to this report.)