Will X ever be as profitable as YouTube for creators?

  • Elon Musk suggested MrBeast migrate his video content to X, prompting a spirited exchange.
  • MrBeast, with 225 million YouTube subscribers and 25 million X followers, emphasized his videos’ multimillion-dollar production cost.
  • Elon Musk is testing user willingness to pay for basic features, with X charging new users $1 annually.

In a bold move to reshape the dynamics of a single social platform, Elon Musk, owner of X (formerly known as Twitter), had a lively exchange with famous youtuber MrBeast, signalling a greater “appetite” for real-time updates on a platform originally more inclined towards text and images. “Video.

Video, which means viewers will stay on the platform longer, bringing in more traffic and potential advertising revenue. But at the same time, Musk is challenging users’ original viewing habits, such as using YouTube to follow their favourite video bloggers and using X to follow breaking news in real time.

Elon Musk solicits MrBeast to upload videos on X

Elon Musk suggested that MrBeast should migrate his video content to X, to which MrBeast, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, responded with a sharp retort. “I uploaded, go watch or I’ll drop kick you,” he posted on X on Saturday, drawing attention to the spirited conversation.

When a user requested MrBeast to also upload on X, Musk joined the discussion, affirming with a simple “Yeah.” However, MrBeast pointed out the financial challenges, stating, “My videos cost millions to make and even if they got a billion views on X, it wouldn’t fund a fraction of it.” He expressed willingness to explore opportunities once monetization on the platform is robust.

X initiated its ads revenue-sharing program last year, with Musk revealing a $5 million payout to creators initially. Despite initial promise, reports emerged in August, such as YouTuber KSI’s revelation of meager earnings, raising questions about the platform’s financial viability for content creators.

MrBeast, with a colossal 225 million subscribers on YouTube and 25 million followers on X, emphasized in a 2022 Rolling Stone interview that his videos often cost around a million dollars each to produce.

X’s paid plan

In a recent development, Elon Musk is set to test X’s user base’s willingness to pay for basic features. X will charge new users $1 annually, placing the platform under a paywall for essential functions like creating posts, replying, quoting, reposting, liking, bookmarking, and creating lists. Musk justified this move as crucial to combatting bots and maintaining platform integrity.

This shift follows Musk’s acquisition of X, which has progressively limited features to Premium subscribers, prompting discussions about a new, pricier tier to eliminate ads entirely. The current X Premium subscription costs $8 per month or $84 annually.

The subscription experiment has commenced in New Zealand and the Philippines, with potential expansion to other countries. The shift is deemed experimental and is exclusively applicable to new users, adding an intriguing layer to the ongoing debate on the future of social media monetization.

As X embarks on this transformative journey, the question looms: Would you pay $1 a year to continue using X?


Coco Yao

Coco Yao was an intern reporter at BTW media covering artificial intelligence and media. She is studying broadcasting and hosting at the Communication School of Zhejiang.

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