OpenAI’s ChatGPT has become a viral sensation since its launch in November 2022, and now the AI chatbot is on track to surpass 100 million monthly active users (MAUs). To capitalize on its success, OpenAI has now launched a paid subscription called “ChatGPT Plus” that offers a wide range of benefits for its customers.
Starting at $20 a month, ChatGPT Plus provides a number of features unavailable to free users, including general access to ChatGPT even during peak times, faster response times, and priority access to new features and improvements. It’s no surprise that the subscription plan has attracted a lot of attention, as it has the potential to be a major revenue stream for OpenAI.
UBS analysts have estimated that the total addressable market for ChatGPT is worth as much as $1 trillion, and its rapid adoption rate could mean that it surpasses even TikTok or Instagram’s 100 million MAU mark in the near future. Big Tech has taken notice of this success, with Microsoft committing an additional $10 billion to OpenAI in January and rumors of Google’s (GOOG, GOOGL) own conversational AI app in the works.
The launch of ChatGPT Plus has been met with both excitement and criticism. Many free users are worried that the subscription could limit their access to the platform, though OpenAI has said that the free tier of ChatGPT will remain and that the subscription is designed to support free access. Additionally, ChatGPT Plus has only been made available to customers in the United States, though OpenAI is looking to expand this to other countries and regions soon.
ChatGPT Plus could be the first of many plans to come, with OpenAI exploring lower-cost plans, business plans, and data packs in addition to an API. This could be a major development for OpenAI, which is under pressure to turn a profit after the multi-billion-dollar investment from Microsoft.
Either way, the launch of ChatGPT Plus shows that OpenAI is serious about monetizing this popular platform, and it will be interesting to see how the subscription plan continues to evolve in the coming months.