Elon Musk’s plans for Twitter have seen the light of the day, and it includes driving up revenue through subscriptions.
When asked about why he wanted to take over Twitter, Elon Musk was quick to say he wanted to make the platform a bastion for free speech and not about the money. However, the pitch deck Musk prepared for investors has revealed the billionaire entrepreneur did consider making Twitter profitable.
As reported by The New York Times, Musk projects Twitter to amass about $10 billion from subscription fees by 2028. This is double the total revenue Twitter got in the whole of 2021. Musk plans to increase the subscriber base for Twitter Blue to 69 million by 2025 and 150 million by 2028.
Twitter Blue costs $2.99 per month and gives users some exclusive features, like an “undo” button and more app customization.
Meanwhile, Musk expects Twitter to grow from 217 million users in 2021 to 600 million in 2025 and 931 million in 2028. These massive figures are not surprising as Musk is known to aim high in his businesses.
Musk also mentions a subscription service in the works, simply referred to as X, without further explanation. But the service is expected to have nine million subscribers in 2023 and 104 million in 2028. However, Musk has spoken about making government and corporate accounts pay a small fee to use Twitter. The revenue from X and Twitter Blue will make up $10 billion in 2028; the same year Musk expects Twitter to rake in $26.4 billion in total revenue.
The rest of the revenue will come from ads, which Twitter has depended on for a long time. Even though Musk once called for Twitter to be ad-free for paying users, Musk expects ads to account for 45 percent of the company’s revenue. Ads made up 90 percent of Twitter’s revenue in 2020.
The incoming Twitter owner also plans for $15 million from a payment service and sees this stream generating $1.3 billion by 2028. Twitter lets users accept tips from followers and even sell Super Follows for fans who want to have the latest info about the people they follow. It is interesting to see Musk interested in this part of the Twitter business, seeing that he got his first big break from PayPal, a payment processing company.
The last area Musk touched on in his pitch is data licensing, which he wants to expand. Twitter actually sells daily tweets to companies that mine them for market or customer insights. The business brought in $572 million for Twitter in 2021, although it was lumped with “other revenue.”
However, selling individual tweets will require changing the platform’s terms of service, as Twitter users currently own the copyright to the content they post. Exactly how Musk will make more money from this business remains to be seen.
Contrary to concerns that there might be lay-offs when Musk takes over Twitter, Musk plans to add 3,600 new employees, making 11,072 by 2025. However, Musk’s pitch showed the staff strength might reduce in 2023 before increasing again.