Early Wednesday morning, the inimitable Beyoncé emerged from self-isolation to shut down the internet. Along with Megan Thee Stallion, the legendary diva dropped a remix to “Savage,” with proceeds going to COVID-19 relief efforts. And one line in particular caught the Twittersphere’s attention:
Hips TikTok when I dance / On that Demon Time, she might start an OnlyFans.
The line proved not only how clued-in Beyoncé is to quarantine trends, referencing the DIY Instagram Live strip club “Demon Time” that emerged during the pandemic, which The Daily Beast published a feature on that same day, and OnlyFans, a content-subscription site that’s seen a 75 percent increase in new users registering since March 1, but also the world of sex work, given that OnlyFans is primarily used by those hawking homemade XXX photos and videos.
And the line is paying big dividends for OnlyFans. “In less than 24 hours since Megan Thee Stallion dropped her ‘Savage’ remix featuring Beyoncé, OnlyFans has seen a 15 percent spike in traffic,” a spokesperson for the site told The Daily Beast.
It was a pleasant shock to the site’s co-founder and COO, Tom Stokely. “The surprise call-out from Beyoncé on the ‘Savage’ remix was very exciting for us, to say the least,” he told The Daily Beast. “Her stamp of approval comes on the heels of major stars joining the platform in recent weeks, including Blac Chyna, The-Dream, Safaree Samuels, and Casanova. We built OnlyFans as a platform to enable creators to share their authentic content, free from brand endorsements and paid deals, and the growing momentum among these celebrities is the beginning of a new movement in social media that prioritizes personalization over mass appeal.”
The-Dream, who produced the “Savage” remix and is a member of OnlyFans, said that the shout-out in question was written by none other than Beyoncé’s partner, Jay-Z.
This Bey/Jay mention isn’t out of the blue, of course. Since its creation in 2016, OnlyFans has become one of the world’s biggest platforms for user-generated subscription content, boasting over 30 million registered users and 400,000 creators, while generating an estimated $700 million annually in revenue. With stay-at-home orders in place around the country due to the novel coronavirus crisis, the site has become not only the go-to source of income for those in the adult industry, who’ve been hit hard by the shutdown, but even “influencers” like Caroline Calloway, who recently began posting adult content on the site.
Just last week, the actor Ansel Elgort (Baby Driver) shared a semi-nude photo of himself to his 10.1 million Instagram followers, accompanied by the caption: “OnlyFans LINK IN BIO.” The link redirected users to a GoFundMe page raising money to feed COVID-19 first responders in Brooklyn.