Elon Musk’s xAI startup recently rolled out the highly anticipated Grok AI chatbot to Premium+ subscribers on the X platform. Yesterday, Musk confirmed that the rollout in the US has been completed. While he acknowledged that there may be some issues during the beta phase, he assured users that improvements would be made continuously. He also shared that Grok would be available to all English language users who subscribe to Premium+ in about a week. The next target market for Grok will be Japanese users, with a goal of expanding to all languages by early 2024.
Grok, the AI chatbot developed by xAI, is now available to all Premium+ subscribers in the US. The rollout will continue to other English language users in the upcoming week.
Grok’s Launch Schedule and Challenges
Elon Musk is known for setting ambitious targets and occasionally missing them, as demonstrated by the delays in Tesla’s full self-driving feature. However, in the case of Grok, Musk has been relatively close to his estimated launch timeframe. Initially, Musk had announced that Grok would be launched to Premium+ subscribers “next week” on November 22. The actual launch occurred on December 7, only a few days behind schedule.
While the success of Grok in generating subscription revenue for X remains uncertain, it is currently part of the top-tier Premium+ subscription package, priced at $16 per month. This makes it more expensive than X’s Basic ($3/mo) and Premium ($8/mo) options. It remains to be seen if casual AI users, who have access to free alternatives like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, will find the Premium+ offering appealing.
Enhancing Premium+ Subscription Appeal
To attract users to the Premium+ subscription, X offers additional features beyond Grok. Subscribers can enjoy an ad-free experience in the For You and Following timelines on X. Additionally, Premium+ users have their replies amplified and can benefit from all features available in the Premium tier, such as revenue sharing for creators, ID verification, a verified checkmark, access to Media Studio, and more.
Currently, the majority of X’s revenue comes from advertising rather than subscriptions. However, the platform’s ad-supported future is uncertain due to Musk’s controversial remarks and the departure of advertisers concerned about antisemitic content. To ensure sustainability, X may need a substantial increase in Premium+ subscribers to compensate for the loss of ad revenue from brands like Apple, Disney, IBM, Paramount, Walmart, and others.
Although X had its highest-ever month for subscription revenue in November, generating $6.2 million in net revenue, it still falls short of Snapchat’s in-app subscription revenue, which exceeded $20 million for the first time. With over 500 million monthly active users, X has the potential to attract more subscribers, but the challenge lies in converting them.
As the availability of Grok expands and X explores new revenue streams, the company will need to navigate a changing landscape to ensure continued growth and sustainability.