It’s officially been one year since ChatGPT launched, taking the world by storm as the research preview turned into an everyday tool that brought AI chatbot technology to mainstream users. A large part of that effort was driven by the release of the ChatGPT mobile app, whose May 2023 launch on iOS put the chatbot into more consumers’ hands, later followed by a July 2023 release on Android. Now, on the technology’s first anniversary, new data indicates the mobile app versions of ChatGPT have topped 110 million combined installs and have reached nearly $30 million in consumer spending, according to a market analysis provided to TechCrunch by mobile intelligence provider, data.ai.
ChatGPT’s mobile apps make money by selling the ChatGPT Plus subscription via in-app purchases. The $19.99 per month service offers a variety of extra perks, including general access during peak times, faster response times, and early access to new features and improvements. The subscription was expanded to users outside the U.S. in February 2023, ahead of the mobile apps’ debut.
As an in-app purchase, the subscription is fairly pricey given that it costs more than many music and streaming services, but consumers’ interest in ChatGPS Plus access has driven demand higher over time, data.ai says. In total, ChatGPT’s apps have generated approximately $28.6 million in global consumer spending on mobile, though likely many more users have subscribed via the web. However, other mobile app users may have also subscribed to different AI chatbot apps, some likely using ChatGPT’s API. For example, Poe, an app that lets you play with OpenAI’s ChatGPT and other AI chatbots like Anthropic’s Claude and more in one interface, had 1.18 million monthly active users as of September 2023, according to app intelligence firm Apptoppia.
While data.ai’s analysis differs from others in terms of ChatGPT’s ranking by consumer spending, it still indicates that it’s not the top chatbot by revenue. Ask AI, which beat ChatGPT to mobile, is ahead and it offers several lower-priced in-app purchase options for premium features, ranging from one week up to one year as well as multiple tiers, like “premium” and “elite.”
In addition to its money-making capabilities, ChatGPT’s mobile app downloads continue to grow following its spring and summer debuts on iOS and Android, respectively, now topping 110 million.
Within a week of its Google Play release, ChatGPT’s Android downloads saw record adoption with about 18 million new installs — a figure that has yet to be beaten by other mobile apps, data.ai notes. Combined iOS and Android downloads now average above 4 million on a weekly basis. And they’ve retained that figure for the past five weeks.
In terms of downloads, that puts ChatGPT ahead of other generative AI apps like Character AI, Ask AI, Open Chat, Nova, ChatBot, AI Mirror, Imagine, Artimind, and ChatBox, the data indicates.
Meanwhile, India and the U.S. are nearly neck and neck in terms of the country accounting for the most ChatGPT downloads at 18% and 17.5%, respectively.
Still, an analysis of Android data indicates that ChatGPT may not be the most often used AI app. Instead, it ranks number three behind Character AI, where users can create personified AI chatbots, and another similar AI app, Chai. These sorts of apps lend themselves to more sessions overall than the more utilitarian ChatGPT, though that could change with the launch of special-purchase GPTs, data.ai suggested.
The firm expects that by year-end 2023, ChatGPT will have added tens of millions more installs and revenue.