Social media often relies on advertising as a major source of revenue, so it’s surprising to see X skirt away from the brand by hiding its advertising behind a paywall. In other words, X Premium starts at $8 per month, so people hoping to avoid all ads can expect to pay more than that.
X’s pivot without ads isn’t unexpected though. Since Musk took control after spending $ 44 billion to buy the company, X has fallen sharply in the number of advertisers due to his “free speech absolutist” approach. Over the past year, X has been called out for a rise in offensive language, offensive propaganda, and offensive language — all of which are obvious marketing kryptonite.
So, it makes sense that Musk would want to create a revenue stream that doesn’t rely on advertising and offers additional opportunities like sales pitches. But adding subscriptions isn’t the only way to make money on X’s roadmap. The company is already testing a new program in the Philippines and New Zealand that offers $1 a year for all new accounts.
Musk envisions it as a platform solution to the bot problem. For non-paying users, their account will be changed to read, which means they will not be able to post, and will not be able to interact with other posts on the platform other than viewing them.