Generative AI (GenAI) has been making waves in the consumer space, with ChatGPT leading the charge. Nine months post its release, ChatGPT became the fastest consumer application to achieve 100 million monthly active users. But how are consumers engaging with other GenAI products? A recent analysis by Olivia Moore from a16z provides insights into this burgeoning field.
A Surge in New GenAI Products
According to SimilarWeb data from June 2023, 80% of the top 50 GenAI web products didn’t exist just a year ago. This indicates a rapid evolution in the GenAI space, with many new entrants. Interestingly, while big tech has made its presence felt with products like Bard (Google) and Clipchamp (Microsoft), 48% of the companies on the list are bootstrapped, having received no external funding.
ChatGPT accounts for a staggering 60% of the monthly traffic to the top 50 GenAI products, translating to approximately 1.6 billion monthly visits and 200 million users as of June 2023. This places ChatGPT as the 24th most visited website globally. However, CharacterAI is emerging as a strong contender, capturing about 21% of ChatGPT’s scale, especially on mobile platforms.
GenAI Categories in Focus
General LLM chatbots, including ChatGPT, Bard, and Poe, dominate the GenAI space, accounting for 68% of the total consumer traffic. However, AI companions like CharacterAI and content generation tools such as Midjourney are gaining traction. Within content generation, image generation tools lead with 41% traffic, followed by writing tools at 26%.
The Competitive Landscape
While some early “winners” in the GenAI space have emerged, many product categories remain open for innovation. The traffic difference between the top two players in most categories is less than 2x, suggesting ample opportunities for new entrants.
Organic Growth and Monetization
GenAI products have witnessed significant organic growth, with the majority having no paid marketing. Remarkably, 90% of the companies on the list have already started monetizing, primarily through subscription models. The average GenAI product earns $21/month from users on monthly plans.
The Shift to Mobile
While most consumer AI products have started as browser-first, the trend is slowly shifting towards mobile. Currently, only 15 of the top 50 GenAI companies have a live mobile app. However, with consumers spending more time on mobile than desktop, a shift towards mobile-first GenAI products is anticipated.
In conclusion, the GenAI space is evolving rapidly, with ChatGPT setting the pace. As the technology matures, it will be interesting to see how consumer engagement and product offerings change.
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