OpenAI's Path Toward App Store, Ad Monetization

Apple, Google, and Microsoft have new competition in the app space, which could open new advertising options for brands.

OpenAI’s first developer conference debuted tools that allow anyone to create a custom chatbot with no coding experience needed -- and that could give the creators the ability to monetize the bots through advertising in an app store hosted by the artificial intelligence (AI) company.

To create one of these custom bots or artificial intelligence (AI) agents that OpenAI calls "GPTs," a user need only verbally tell the ChatGPT what they would like the bot to do. ChatGPT will write the code needed to create and run the new bot.

OpenAI says the bots can plug in to other sites and services to do tasks such as accessing databases, searching emails, and automating ecommerce orders.

“GPTs are a new way for anyone to create a tailored version of ChatGPT to be more helpful in their daily life, at specific tasks, at work, or at home — and then share that creation with others,” OpenAI said in a blog post today. 



The company said it will launch an online chatbot store later this month where users will be able to find GPTs from “verified builders” chosen by the company.

In the store, GPTs will become searchable.

The spotlight will turn toward the most useful categories including Just for Fun, Useful, or Educational. In the coming months, those who build GPTs will have an option to earn money based on how many people use their GPT.

The GPT store will compete with the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store.

Verified builders will feature their own GPTs. In the coming months, builders will earn revenue based on the number of users. 

OpenAI also joins Amazon, Google, and Microsoft in offering to legally back users accused of copyright infringement. 

Dan Salmon, partner at New Street Research, wrote how OpenAI's new products launched Monday will compete directly with Meta's customized AIs and voice assistants from Amazon, Apple, and Google, in a note published last Monday.

He added that it's possible OpenAI's new GPTs, which competes with Meta's AI, could eventually be monetized through advertising, and may also compete more broadly with Google and Amazon.

More importantly, he wrote, Microsoft -- which is both lead investor in OpenAI, preferred distributor of Meta's Llama 2 -- could be the advertising partner for OpenAI.

"OpenAI has an inside track on advertising monetization if it chooses to follow that path," Salmon wrote. "OpenAI CEO Altman highlighted how Snap's My AI is built on GPT-4, and My AI is already testing sponsored links in partnership with MSFT."

Salmon said there was an opportunity to talk about search when Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined OpenAI CEO Sam Altman on stage, but instead they talked about their strong partnership.

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