Twitter, which derived about 90% of its revenue from advertising before Elon Musk took it private late last year, has lost half of it, according to a tweet he made on Saturday:
Responding to Twitter follower's post, @elonmusk disclosed: "We're still negative cash flow due to ~50% drop in advertising revenue plus heavy debt load."
It was the first public disclosure about the magnitude of Twitter's ad losses since Musk took it private.
In Twitter's last publicly reported data, the microblogging platform reported annual revenue of about $5 billion with about $4.5 billion of it coming from advertising sales, and the rest coming from data licensing and "other" revenue.
Since acquiring the platform, Musk has fiddled with new revenue models, including charging Twitter users monthly subscriptions for maintaining verified accounts, and he has alluded to ambitious plans for diversifying Twitter's revenue base in a multitude of directions as part of plans to transform it into the "X" app, or "Everything App," modeled after China's WeChat platform.
Musk's selection as long-time big media sales exec Linda Yaccarino as CEO was expected to help court advertisers back, or attract new ones, but so far that does not appear to be the case based on a second tweet Musk made on Sunday in response to a negative tweet by Reuters, conceding, "We did not see the increase in advertising revenue that was expected in June. July is a bit more promising."
Yaccarino started her new job on June 5, after serving as the top ad exec at NBCUniversal and at Turner Broadcasting before that.