Mary O’Connell, runner up in the 2020 ‘lockdown’ Funny Women Awards, has netted a huge win in a comedy contest backed by OnlyFans.
At the end of 2022, OnlyFans – the online subscription platform that monetizes all content – announced a its Creative Fund: Comedy Edition with a whopping prize of £100k, allowing amateur comedians the chance to launch their career in comedy. The competition was covered in an online mini series on OFTV (its free video platform) comprising four episodes, and judged by acclaimed comedians: Mae Martin, Jamali Maddix and London Hughes (winner, 2009 Funny Women Stage Award).
In response to questions about her plans for the winnings, O’Connell said: “I’m […] going to do everything I was always planning to do, but it’s now just a lot easier”. She’s currently working on her Edinburgh show Money Princess, where she’ll likely address her recent OnlyFans competition victory.
In terms of competitions, OnlyFans hasn’t stopped there – recently announcing its second competition, this time for fashion creators and designers in the US, which will be documented as a series airing on OFTV which is free to view and available as an app for mobile devices and watchable via smart TVs.
OnlyFans rose to fame as a subscription site exclusively for content creators specialising in sex work, but the launch of its high stakes Creative Fund has changed the game plan. The site rose to huge popularity in 2020, hitting 50 million users that year, making headlines when stars Bella Thorne and Cardi B offered fans exclusive content. Bella Thorne was the highest earner on the site to date, making $1 million in under a week.
In 2021, after a BBC3 documentary shed light on OnlyFans not doing enough to prevent child pornography on its platform, the site announced it would be banning sexually explicit content, however, the backlash that ensued lead to a reversal of the announcement six days later. While OnlyFans has made headlines particularly for its sex worker content, the site continues to encourage content creators from a variety of fields, including chefs, personal trainers and musicians.