Is Leonid Radvinsky sabotaging OnlyFans? His own company MyFreeCams stands to benefit

Leonid Radvinsky, who bought majority stakes in OnlyFans in 2018, also owns a webcam adult entertainment website called MyFreeCams


                            Is Leonid Radvinsky sabotaging OnlyFans? His own company MyFreeCams stands to benefit
Leonid Ravindsky, center, has a 75 per cent stake in OnlyFans, the adult entertainment platform now sprinkled with mainstream celebrities like Bella Thorne, left, and Cardi B, right (LinkedIn, Instagram: @bellathorne, @iamcardib)

For those into adult entertainment, this year's worst news came when OnlyFans announced it was banning porn in less than two months. The platform's decision comes after alleged significant pressure from its payment processors regarding its heavily NSFW content catering to sex workers. But as the drama unfolds, it's worth noticing that the paid subscription platform populated by adult entertainers was recently bought by Leonid Radvinsky, who also happens to be the founder of a very similar platform called MyFreeCams. Is Radvinsky nuking OnlyFans' main draw to get rid of the competition?

The boom of OnlyFans soared recently in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. An increasing number of creators flocked to the paid subscription forum to sell their content. Mainstream celebrities like Cardi B and Michael B Jordan joining the platform increased its popularity tenfold, but controversial stunts by Bella Thorne and Mia Khalifa's announcement to use OnlyFans like Instagram has also drawn ample flak from social media users. Many believe that mainstream celebrities are cashing in on OnlyFans' user base after sex workers worked to build up the site's popularity. There are already a spate of harrowing stories of non-celebrity content creators receiving poor treatment from OnlyFans and OnlyFans models dying in the recent past. Now, the decision to pull back all explicit content has also been widely debated on social media. But a closer look might reveal why Radinsky has decided to switch things up.

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Radvinsky reportedly bought a 75% stake in the parent company of OnlyFans called Fenix International Ltd. The stakes were sold to Radvinsky by British business mogul Tim Stokely who had founded the app in 2016. The platform was an immediate hit with adult entertainers, but the platform's user base grew exponentially only after the pandemic hit. OnlyFans began raking in billions of pounds in revenue, as some 130 million users signed up to subscribe to the content made by "creators", or just chat with them during the long months in lockdown. Chefs, yoga instructors, and several other skills are also traded on the platform, but the biggest revenue earners are definitely the NSFW content creators.



 

Then why would Radvinsky decide to erase the one thing that continues to fuel the website's popularity? The answer lies in Radvinsky's other company: MyFreeCams. Founded in 2002, the American website is a live 'webcam performances' forum where adult entertainers upload videos and photos with nudity and sexual activity, ranging from strip tease routines to erotic talk, and also the use of sex toys on demand. With more than 100,000 models and more than five million members, it was MyFreeCam that acquired Fenix International from Stokely. The Independent reports that it was after this acquisition that OnlyFans became primarily pornographic. Before the acquistion, the platform was intended for creators who wanted to create a paywall for exclusive content. As OnlyFans boomed, searches for MyFreeCams began declining.

As of May 2020, Google Trends' data shows a steady but almost 50 percent decline in searches for the website. And this is exactly the time period that OnlyFans came into its own as an adult content subscription site.

For Radvinsky, who now owns both the companies, it makes no sense to have competing platforms under one roof. However, the ban on sexual content on OnlyFans is not a blanket one; there will be some nudity still floating around. But according to the spokesperson of the site, “In order to ensure the long-term sustainability of the platform, and to continue to host an inclusive community of creators and fans, we must evolve our content guidelines."

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