ChatGPT Plus Subscriptions Are Raking Hundreds of Millions in Cash for OpenAI [Chart]
ChatGPT is on track to pull in half a trillion dollars for OpenAI this year from the United States alone, according to a report from venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. The premium version of the generative AI chatbot, known as ChatGPT Plus, has accused more than two million users in the U.S., each paying $20 per month for the higher-tier service. That comes out to about $500 million in annualized revenue and could end up being significantly more if the subscriber rate ticks up again.
The conversational AI bot unveiled late last year has amassed millions of users faster than nearly any app in history. The willingness of people to pay for access points to a potential cash cow for OpenAI, even with a tiny fraction of ChatGPT users willing to switch from using the free version to being paying subscribers. Recent patterns indicate significant demand exists. New generative AI companies across industries like law, marketing, and entertainment have quickly scaled to hundreds of millions in revenue from users paying for next-generation AI services. ChatGPT dwarfs the reach of those platforms, driving excitement about its revenue potential after a paid subscription model launches.
“The new user behaviors that have emerged with the generative AI wave are as startling as the economics have been. LLMs have been pulled into service as software development partners, brainstorming companions, educators, life coaches, friends, and yes, even lovers. Large image models have become central to new communities built entirely around the creation of fanciful new content, or the development of AI art therapy to help treat use cases such as mental health issues,” a16z explained in the report. “These are functions that computers have not, to date, been able to fulfill, so we don’t really have a good understanding of what the behavior will lead to, nor what are the best products to fulfill them. This all means opportunity for the new class of private generative AI companies that are emerging.”
Some firms training their own models are already seeing self-sustaining businesses, with revenue outpacing hefty costs associated with developing and running AI systems. The key shift is users embracing new behaviors and use cases with generative AI that they previously turned to humans for, such as advice, education, and companionship. This change creates opportunities for OpenAI and competitors to monetize if they can meet emerging user needs and preferences. While substantial uncertainty remains around the development of the generative AI market, the underlying user demand is clearly demonstrated. As the most widely adopted generative AI to date, ChatGPT, therefore, appears uniquely positioned to capitalize both in the immediate and long term as consumers flock to the technology.