OpenAI's 'magical' GPT-4o launch leads to ChatGPT's "biggest spike ever" in revenue and downloads on mobile, despite being buried behind the 20-dollar Plus plan

ChatGPT and Microsoft Logo
(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

What you need to know

  • OpenAI's new GPT-4o model spikes ChatGPT's revenue and downloads on mobile.
  • The new flagship model's launch contributed to ChatGPT's rise in daily average revenue from $491K to nearly $900K.
  • Appfigures says this isn't a one-off peak, but a sustainable trend on an upward trajectory.
  • GPT-4o is limited to ChatGPT Plus members on mobile, but it's still driving more revenue and downloads. 

At the beginning of the year, a report indicated ChatGPT dominates the mobile market share despite Microsoft's effort to ship Copilot to iOS and Android with free access to OpenAI's GPT-4 model and DALL-E 3 image generation technology.

Interestingly, nothing much has changed five months after the report was initially released. A new report by App Store intelligence provider Appfigures indicates OpenAI's recent launch of its new flagship GPT-4o model with reasoning capabilities across, text, audio, and voice has contributed to ChatGPT's "biggest spike ever" in revenue and downloads on mobile (via TechCrunch). 

OpenAI's GPT-4o model might be magical after all. According to Appfigures:

"ChatGPT's mobile revenue rose 22% on the day of GPT-4o's announcement, already the most revenue the app has seen in a single day since launch."

ChatGPT revenue on mobile spikes after OpenAI's GPT-4o launch. (Image credit: Appfigures)

The magic didn't stop there, either. A day after GPT-4o launched. ChatGPT's revenue rose to "nearly twice" the daily average revenue in May. Putting this into perspective, Appfigures an estimated rise in the daily average revenue from $491K to nearly $900K. It's worth noting that this is the rough net figure OpenAI gets after giving Apple and Google their commissions. 

Appfigures says that this isn't a one-off peak in revenue for OpenAI's ChatGPT revenue. Per its estimates, the trend is seemingly sustainable and on an upward trajectory.

The company further estimates that OpenAI's ChatGPT earned a total of $4.2M of net revenue from the App Store and Google Play. However, it highlights that most of the revenue was generated from the App Store. This aligns with OpenAI's explanation for shipping ChatGPT to Mac users first, snubbing Windows. “We’re just prioritizing where our users are.”

OpenAI tying GPT-4o to its $20 ChatGPT Plus subscription is genius 

(Image credit: Windows Central)

At launch, OpenAI promised to avail GPT-4o for both its free and paid users with  "GPT-4-level intelligence." However, the latter will get five times the capacity of free users.

Up until now, ChatGPT Plus has been received with mixed feelings. Several users have blatantly expressed their frustrations after subscribing to the $20 service, highlighting the free availability of Microsoft's Copilot with similar capabilities. Interestingly, some users view ChatGPT Plus as more than a $20 subscription membership but a gateway to the world of custom GPT chatbots, too.

Microsoft unveiled a ChatGPT Plus-like service this year dubbed Copilot Pro. Like OpenAI, Microsoft charges $20 for this service as well with faster performance and an enhanced user experience, alongside priority access to the GPT-4 Turbo model, even during peak times. However, it has previously fallen short of the touted capabilities and performance.

While OpenAI stated GPT-4o will be available for free, it didn't categorically indicate that this would also apply to its ChatGPT app on mobile. Mobile users will be compelled to subscribe to ChatGPT Plus to interact with OpenAI's 'magical' GPT-4o model. This is a rather strategic move — let's be honest, the average user probably spends most of their time on their phone compared to any other device they own. 

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.