Elon Musk says Twitter to offer premium subscription tier without advertising, as company seeks new revenue sources
Twitter owner Elon Musk said over the weekend he plans to introduce an ad-free subscription service, as the company looks for new revenue streams.
The company is thought to have seen a sharp drop in advertising revenues since Musk took over late last year, and reportedly faces a looming massive interest payment on loans the entrepreneur took out to buy the firm.
“Ads are too frequent on Twitter and too big. Taking steps to address both in coming weeks,” Musk wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
He added there would be a “higher-priced subscription that allows zero ads”.
Musk has said he is looking to vastly increase the social media firm’s revenues from sources other than advertising, which has in the past provided nearly all its income.
Ad sales made up 90 percent of Twitter’s revenue in 2021 but sales have dropped since Musk took over, with daily revenue reportedly declining 40 percent compared with last year.
Twitter in December launched its Twitter Blue service for the second time under Musk, with pricing currengly set at $8 (£6.50) a month for a web subscription or $11 a month on Android or the iPhone.
Twitter Blue is offered in Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, the UK and the US.
Ads are too frequent on Twitter and too big. Taking steps to address both in coming weeks.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) January 21, 2023
The company is reportedly due to make a quarterly interest payment of $300m this month on the $13bn of debt Musk loaded the company with as part of the takeover.
He told staff in November that without “significant” subscription revenue Twitter might not survive an economic downturn.
“We need roughly half of our revenue to be subscription,” he wrote in a company-wide email.