Elon Musk’s creator monetization program fails to convince many to pay for X Premium

Elon Musk's creator monetization program fails to convince many to pay for X Premium

The Struggles and Realities of X Premium Subscriptions


Elon Musk, known for his ambitious projects and bold statements, has been actively promoting X Premium, formerly known as Twitter Blue, as a paid feature package. One eye-catching claim Musk made was that by subscribing to X Premium, users might even have the chance to earn money themselves. This intriguing proposition has enticed creators to sign up and become part of X’s new creator monetization program. Initial reports reveal creators receiving payouts in the tens of thousands of dollars, sparking excitement and curiosity among content creators. However, once the smaller creators started receiving their payouts, the amounts were mostly in the hundreds of dollars range.

Musk himself has been a vocal advocate for monetization on the platform, frequently reminding users that subscribing to X Premium is a prerequisite for acceptance into the program. Despite his efforts, the adoption rate of X Premium subscriptions has been lackluster. Recent data collected by third-party researcher Travis Brown indicates that between July 1 and August 10, only around 94,000 net users have signed up for X Premium. This figure falls significantly short of expectations and reveals that X Premium has failed to gain substantial traction.

The Numbers Game

Over the past month and a half, X Premium has only seen a weekly increase of approximately 16,000 net new subscribers. This slight boost in growth is not substantially different from the program’s previous gains of 7,000 to 15,000 net new subscribers. These statistics suggest that the promise of monetization has yet to significantly impact the number of X Premium subscribers, particularly when compared to Musk’s previous actions that negatively affected the free version of X.

For instance, when Musk announced the end of Twitter’s old legacy verification program, which removed verification badges from users’ accounts, Twitter Blue experienced a surge in subscriptions. In the week leading up to the planned badge removal on April 1, there was an influx of 53,682 net new subscriptions. This number saw an additional boost of 53,400 net new subscriptions when Musk delayed the verification badge removal to April 20. Even though these numbers seemed disappointing compared to the total number of legacy verified users, they far outweigh the subscription growth related to monetization.

Based on data collected from official X channels, it is estimated that around 827,615 users currently subscribe to X Premium. Considering the research methodology employed by Brown, who collects data from about 90 percent of all paid service subscribers, the total number of X Premium subscribers is unlikely to exceed 950,000. Musk previously mentioned that the X platform has over 540 million monthly users, adding further context to these numbers.

The Appeal of X Premium

While the data cannot definitively explain users’ motivations for subscribing to X Premium, it provides a snapshot of the situation during a specific period. This timeframe encompassed the payment period to preferred users, the official launch of the program to all users, and the first payout period to all eligible users. In addition to being a prerequisite for monetization, X Premium offers other benefits such as verification badges, longer tweets, and an edit tweet function.

To become eligible for monetization, users must meet certain criteria. This includes having a minimum of 500 followers and receiving at least 5 million post impressions over the past three months. However, as of August 11, the latter requirement was lowered, challenging the assumption that it might lead to a surge in new X Premium subscriptions. Based on the available data, more than 37 percent (or 307,891) of X Premium subscribers have fewer than 500 followers, rendering them ineligible for monetization. It can be assumed that a significant portion of these subscribers also fail to meet the 5 million impression threshold, further limiting the pool of potential monetizable users.

Furthermore, Musk clarified that only views from other X Premium subscribers count towards monetization. This revelation means that the actual number of subscribers who can actively participate in the program is fewer than one million. With this context in mind, the ambition of X Premium’s potential to generate substantial revenue for creators must be tempered.

Overall, the current data highlights the challenges faced by X Premium in attracting a large subscriber base. Despite the allure of monetization and the added perks of the paid package, the adoption rate remains relatively low. Whether this is due to the limited pool of eligible users, the price point of the subscription plan, or other factors is open to speculation. As X continues to refine and promote its paid features, it will be interesting to see if they can boost the appeal of X Premium and achieve the substantial growth they desire.