ChatGPT is popular but people don't seem to be willing to pay for it

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What you need to know

  • ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that launched in November 2022.
  • The tool reportedly had 100 million users in January and is one of the hottest topics in tech.
  • Microsoft recently announced a new version of Bing that uses ChatGPT.

ChatGPT is a trendy new chatbot that uses artificial intelligence to create content. It also powers the new Bing. Interest in the service has skyrocketed since it launched in November 2022, with a reported 100 million people using it in January of this year. But a user count does not equate to profitability.

OpenAI's Sam Altman has shared that the processing power required to get an answer costs somewhere between 1-10 cents on average. He also explained that OpenAi would have to monetize ChatGPT at some point in the future.

We recently ran a poll to see if people would be willing to pay to use ChatGPT. Over half of those polled (54.4%) said that they would not pay anything to use ChatGPT. A significantly smaller 12.53% said they'd pay monthly while 4% said they would pay per usage.

A more promising strategy could be to bundle ChatGPT usage with Microsoft 365. 29% of polled participants said that they would have a Microsoft 365 subscription to use ChatGPT.

Microsoft invested $1 billion into OpenAI in 2019 and announced a multi-billion-dollar investment in the AI company earlier this year. The new Bing and new Microsoft Edge also use ChatGPT and OpenAI tech. If Microsoft and OpenAI partnered up on the subscription side of things, it could be profitable for both organizations.

Windows Central take

The results of this poll are not surprising. People aren't used to paying money to use search engines or chatbots. ChatGPT using artificial intelligence and supercomputers doesn't change the fact that everyday users would prefer not to pay for a service if they don't have to.

Many services are monetized through ads, and that is likely going to be a big part of ChatGPT's business model going forward. Microsoft explained that for every single percentage point Bing gains in search market share, Microsoft is set to make $2 billion annually. The new Bing uses ChatGPT, so it's reasonable to expect that OpenAI would profit from Microsoft making billions through search.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at