So, I wrote this script when the whole Onlyfans debacle came out, and since then they’ve apparently reversed their plans. The concept still stands either way though, so I’ll still leave it as is.
A little while back I was watching the random ramblings playlist from Shadiversity when I came across his video titled “The Patreon Problem.” Now, the closest I have ever come to a sword is clearing brush with a 5$ Harbor Freight machete, but if you are ever looking for interesting or thought provoking content listen to a nerd ramble on about things of interest. Shadiversity and Skaligrim are two channels with playlists like this, so even if you are like me and not looking to collect swords I can assure you that you will probably find their playlists of ramblings/philosophy interesting regardless of if you agree completely with their thoughts. Anyway, this video is about Patreon and Onlyfans, so I’ll get back to that now.
Bringing that random paragraph back full circle, Shad from Shadiversity was talking about how he disagreed with Patreon’s arbitrary restrictions on who is permitted on the website. Also, in the news recently, was Onlyfans' announcement that they may remove some adult content from their site – you know, the only thing that Onlyfans is known for. The thing is, I’m confused as to why those sites have such a place in the market to begin with, and I would like to propose a solution to people who don’t like them.
There seems to be this running mindset where it seems every YouTube creator dislikes YouTube. So why is everybody on YouTube? Yes, the graphics are sleek, it’s easy to navigate, and it’s preinstalled on most phones, but there’s more to it than that. Every creator who is small and has no audience has no other option but to start on YouTube to gain traction, and once they do they build up a YouTube audience and strengthen the platform even more. My point isn’t that YouTube is somehow evil for being big, but that being dominant in the market of free video content is a self fulfilling prophecy sucking in new creators who then strengthen the dominance of YouTube. Yeah, a video creator could make a website and host their videos there, gaining 100% of ad revenue and having full control of their site, but they’d be unable to draw in users because YouTube is the place to be discovered and once you are discovered then you have already built your audience. You can probably see where I’m going with this.
Unlike YouTube, however, sites like Patreon and Onlyfans are places that you draw in YouTube subscribers for extra paid content. The users already know who the creator is, and are specifically seeking them out on these platforms, so there is no issue of discover ability. Yeah, Patreon or Onlyfans would allow a user who already has an account to use an existing credit card to streamline purchasing speed, but that plus the standard display is about all the benefit that a user gets for using these platforms. I haven't used either of these platforms, but I can imagine they take a 30%-50% cut of the creators earnings and of course have total authority over the creators account.
Thing is, I can’t wrap my head around why platforms that have the creator themselves draw in the subscribers offering little to no discovery for the creator can have such a monopoly on the market. Yes, there are some alternatives that have a mostly deserved reputation of being havens for a lot of undesirable folks, but I don’t know why people don’t just consider creating their own website and hosting their own premium content.
As far as I am aware, it should be pretty simple, start by setting up a site like one based on the WordPress script. Then, in the case of this WordPress example install a plugin that would allow an e-commerce subscription service. The subscription service would handle the actual payment processing, and the security of the details like credit card numbers, so there would be much less pressure for cybersecurity. Then simply allow people to subscribe and pay for access to premium content. Since it is your website there would be no overlords ready to arbitrarily swipe you down at any moment. Furthermore, since the standard credit card processing fee is usually 2%-3% and a payment processing service would probably charge an extra 1%-3% your fictional website would provide you with a lot more money than a standard platform would.
So, there you go, I just saved the internet or something. Seriously though, I’m not an expert and don’t know how feasible this is – the technical side of things all line up, but I have absolutely no idea how a user base would react to something like this. Either way though, food for thought and I hope you found this interesting.