Vice is looking to diversify its distribution strategy with a new account on buzzy platform OnlyFans.
Axios reports that Vice has become the first publisher to launch a verified account on OnlyFans — a subscription service whose popularity has exploded amid the coronavirus pandemic, and which is favored by sex workers and creators who are looking to post racier content, for which fans must subscribe to consume. The verified blue check mark on OnlyFans was typically reserved for its celebrity influencer contingency — until now.
Vice is specifically launching an OnlyFans account for its long-running food vertical, Munchies, and will be charging $5 per month for subscribers to access exclusive videos — which, for now, include close-up shots of food being made and the sounds of dishes as they’re being prepared, per Axios — a decidedly sensual take on the medium. Future videos will comprise behind-the-scenes, bloopers, and recipes hosted by chefs, Vice’s executive producer of digital video, Clifford Gulibert, tells the outlet.
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Munchies counts 4.1 million YouTube subscribes, 1.5 million Facebook followers, and 800,000 fans on Instagram — though the OnlyFans slate will be intended for its most hyper-loyal followers. If it turns out to be a success, Gulibert says, Vice will launch OnlyFans channels for other verticals.
Vice has experimented with other direct-to-consumer subscription content models in the past, including a pop-up physical newsletter and zine in August called The Mail, which both covered and sought to financially bolster the United States Postal Service.
Axios reports that the media giant approached OnlyFans earlier this year, with the two companies working collaboratively to bring the channel to life.
“It’s always great when there’s creative synergy among companies and we can support each other,” OnlyFans founder and CEO Tim Stokely told Axios. “OnlyFans has 500,000 people signing up every month. It’s something as a company we thought we had to try and experiment on it.”