Perhaps the most impactful announcement of this week was OpenAI’s GPT Store, which will be the platform on which these GPTs will be distributed and, eventually, monetized:
Later this month, we’re launching the GPT Store, featuring creations by verified builders. Once in the store, GPTs become searchable and may climb the leaderboards. We will also spotlight the most useful and delightful GPTs we come across in categories like productivity, education, and “just for fun”. In the coming months, you’ll also be able to earn money based on how many people are using your GPT.
Sound familiar? The App Store model has proven unbelievably lucrative for Apple, so it should come as no surprise that OpenAI is attempting to replicate it here. Not only will GPTs be hosted and developed on OpenAI platforms, but they will also be promoted and evaluated.
“We’re going to pay people who make the most used and most useful GPTs with a portion of our revenue,” and they’re “excited to share more information soon,” Altman said.
It’s not clear at this point whether there will be the ability to simply charge for your GPT, or whether it will be strictly revenue sharing. When I asked him later, he said that he expects the strategy to evolve a lot, first with a straight revenue share (of unspecified magnitude), and later the possibility of subscribing to individual GPTs if there is demand for that.
It’s not clear who these “verified builders” are exactly, but presumably that’s just a hurdle to prevent low-effort and scammy stuff from making its way in. (That comes later.) But they demonstrated GPTs built by Code.org, TripAdvisor and Canva, so it may be that at first it is going to be more official apps rather than individuals’ GPT experiments.
OpenAI is clearly aiming high here, and the decision to establish itself as a platform independent from existing app stores and distribution methods may put it directly in conflict with industry giants like Apple and even its perennial patron, Microsoft. Apple may take issue with monetization of GPT models without taking its cut via the App Store, so OpenAI will have to step lightly here.
And Microsoft is about to debut its own Copilot models specific to tasks like Office tools, and it certainly sounds like GPTs might run headlong into those enterprise-level models.
CEO Satya Nadella appeared onstage briefly to reiterate how excited he is about the partnership, but there is certainly a sense that OpenAI is the one moving forward and Microsoft is relegating itself to a support role. How long can that relationship stay friendly? The next few years will be interesting to say the least.
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