ChatGPT's Revenue Climbs as Downloads Continue to Slide
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ChatGPT has been all the rage online for more than a year now, and its introduction on mobile back in May brought the rage to the App Store and Google Play - and by rage I mean downloads and revenue. Lots of them!
Maybe too many because in November, OpenAI couldn't handle all the growth and suspended new signups for its premium tier, causing monthly revenue to tank and downloads to slow down.
The suspension didn't last too long and revenue continued to grow, but downloads didn't.
I thought it would just be a matter of time but after two months it's pretty clear it isn't.
So, what's going on?
According to our estimates, ChatGPT's revenue started to climb immediately after subscriptions resumed. In October, ChatGPT earned $5.6M in net revenue (after store fees). That rose to $6.7 in November and $7.8M in December.
So while OpenAI definitely lost money during the pause its velocity didn't. This means ChatGPT's premium features remain popular.
Very popular, because revenue in January rose sharply and brought ChatGPT into single-digit revenue with $11.2M. And that's all net which is what OpenAI gets to keep after Apple and Google take their fees.
That's the good news. On to the bad news...
Downloads Drop as Competitors Take on ChatGPT
ChatGPT's downloads have been on the rise since it was released last year, growing steadily month after month. Even as competitors emerged.
It took ChatGPT 7 months to reach its peak - 19M downloads - in November. That's the month the subscription was paused, and also the beginning of the drop.
Our estimates show ChatGPT was downloaded 17.9M times in December and 15.1M times in January. That's a 21% drop.
This drop may not have an immediate impact on revenue as ChatGPT's conversion rate is still high for those who know they need it, but it puts future revenue growth in jeopardy. Especially as rivals Google and X are catching up.
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All figures included in this report are estimated. Unless specified otherwise, estimated revenue is always net, meaning it's the amount the developer earned after Apple and Google took their fee.