Elon Musk thinks he can double Twitter’s revenue with subscriptions alone

Elon Musk, the world’s richest man and Twitter’s new owner, expects Twitter to earn nearly $10 billion in subscription revenue by 2028, a projection that doubles the $5 billion in total revenue the platform earned the year. past, according to a report by The New York Times.

On a pitch deck seen by the TimesMusk gave investors an idea of ​​what to expect under his ownership. This reportedly includes increasing Twitter Blue’s subscribers to 69 million by 2025 and more than doubling that number to 159 million by 2028. Launched last year, Twitter Blue is the $2.99/month subscription service that provides users access to an “undo tweet” button, app personalization, ad-free articles, and other exclusive features. Musk also expects huge growth in total Twitter users, going from a reported 217 million users last year to 600 million Twitter users in 2025 and eventually 931 million in 2028.

The pitch deck also outlines plans for an unnamed subscription service outside of Blue, called “X,” that Musk hopes to bring in nine million subscribers by 2023 and 104 million by 2028. Earlier this week, Musk hinted that he would charge governments and corporations a “low cost” to use Twitter. Whatever subscription “X” is, revenues from it and Blue combined are supposed to hit the $10 billion mark by 2028, which is a large fraction of the $26.4 billion in total revenue that Musk believes the service will reach that same year.

According to the TimesTwitter is supposed to make up the rest of its total projected revenue with ads, something Musk predicts will make Twitter around $12 billion by 2028. Twitter has relied on advertising as his main source of income in the past, but Musk, who said in a now-deleted tweet that Twitter should remove ads for paid subscribersit wants ads to account for just 45 percent of Twitter’s total revenue.

Musk’s pitch deck reportedly includes plans to raise $15 million from some kind of payment business, which he hopes will grow to $1.3 billion by 2028. Twitter currently allows users to tip creators, buy Super Follows and interact with limited shopping features. that link users to vendor websites to make purchases. However, since Musk is one of PayPal’s co-founders, he could see some room to expand.

The times points out that Musk also expects Twitter to get an unspecified portion of the revenue through data license, a business that consists of selling the millions of daily tweets on its platform to companies and developers who analyze the data to learn about the market or consumer trends. Last year, Twitter made $572 million (PDF) in data licenses and “other revenue,” but it’s unclear if or how Musk plans to expand this business. If Twitter were to resell individual tweets, our editor-in-chief Nilay Patel points out that Elon “would have to radically change Twitter’s terms of service,” not to mention that he would face “massive revenue-sharing and fair-use issues,” since the copyright of tweets belongs to the users who posted them.

Developing Twitter’s services will require some work, a likely factor behind Musk’s plans to hire an additional 3,600 employees. The times notes that Musk is aiming to have 11,072 employees by 2025, although the launch pad shows Twitter’s employee count rising in 2022 and then falling in 2023 before rising again.

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