OpenAI Sets the Stage for Sustainable AI Ecosystem with GPT Store

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  • OpenAI’s latest initiative marks a significant step towards building a sustainable ecosystem that rewards the contributions of its community members.
  • Exclusively available to developers and creators in the United States during its initial phase.
  • In the initial rollout of the payment model, eligibility is restricted to developers who have crafted “popular and engaging GPTs” within the store.

After unveiling the custom GPT store in January 2024 OpenAI has taken the next step in the development of an AI ecosystem. The company announced a revenue-sharing program for developers of popular custom Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT) applications. The program will allow creators to make money from developing custom GPTs and this signals the beginning of a strong AI ecosystem. The move may be just as pivotal as the development of the NTT DoCoMo’s i-Mode; the first mobile application store. DoCoMo’s store created the path for the Apple App Store which completely changed the mobile phone industry.

Rewarding creators of popular custom GPTs incentivise the creation of custom GPTs. A look at the way that app development has grown and transformed in the last 2 decades shows us a glimpse of what custom GPTs could hold for AI’s future. This precipitates the creation of GPTs for even the most niche applications. This article will look at the announcement, the known details of the payment model and what this means for AI in the future.


Introduction of a Payment Model to the GPT Store

At the core of the GPT Store’s launch is implementing a novel payment model, exclusively available to developers and creators in the United States during its initial phase.

AI is a very young field but this development is expected to accelerate its growth. OpenAi’s plan to directly reward GPT developers based on usage and popularity sets a new standard for how AI developers will look at generative AI platforms. ChatGPT is without a doubt the leading generative AI platform in the world. So we can expect to see this sort of setup being replicated all across the AI world.

Fulfilling a promise

The commitment to the Open AI custom GPT store revenue program was made when the custom GPT store was initially launched in January 2024. At the time of the launch of the custom GPT Store OpenAI left a lot of people wondering what the payment model would look like.

Ecosystem goal

We are in the ecosystem age when it comes to customer-facing technology-based businesses. Companies like Apple, Amazon and others have transitioned from product companies to ecosystem companies. OpenAI has this in mind with the GPT Store.

The initiative will bring more people into the AI developing fold and this is ultimately the whole point of an ecosystem approach; providing talent the platform to shine. The payment is only one part of this ecosystem but is a very important part of the ecosystem.

Eligibility criteria

As a start eligibility for the revenue-sharing program is limited to developers who create “popular and engaging GPTs” within the store. A little obscure but the details are surely to be found in terms and conditions when publishing to the GPT Store.

The eligibility will be expanded after the testing period according to OpenAI. The limited launch will allow OpenAI to gather data and observe patterns before opening up the revenue-sharing program fully.

Availability to Chat GPT Plus Subscribers

When the GPT Store launched, publishing custom GPT applications was only available to paid Chat GPT Plus subscribers. However, to expand the ecosystem the creation of custom GPTs is now open to all Chat GPT users. This deliberately lowers the barriers to entry for GPT developers. In this way we can expect to see millions of custom GPTs in the future and some catering to extremely niche use cases.

All a user needs to do is make sure their custom GPT is set to “Save For Everyone”, meaning other users can access and use the custom GPT. Private links will not be displayed in the GPT Store. Verification of the builder profile is also a requirement to publish custom GPTs.

Users will also need to familiarize themselves with usage policies and GPT guidelines compliance. OpenAI has started using a new review system for custom GPTs. This ensures the integrity of custom GPTs that are published to the GPT Store. The review system includes both human and machine testing so we can expect it to be quite rigorous.

Future Plans

After the testing period, OpenAI has committed to providing more detailed information. It is safe to surmise that while OpenAI wants to go ahead with the store there are some things they still need to figure out and it is safe to say they are using this testing phase to do so. This also suggests that the GPT Store will evolve and we should expect not just changes but improvements.

Implications for AI development and monetization

The sheer size of OpenAI’s Chat GPT at 180 million users means this development will have big implications for generative AI as a whole. Developing and monetizing generative AI applications outside of an ecosystem is resource-heavy and prohibitive. For example, a developer with an idea would need to expend resources in creating the generative AI, creating a web platform, creating a payment system, marketing and everything else that comes with it. All this while swimming in the sea of other AI-based applications that are being developed every day.

The GPT Store concept reduces some of these barriers. And where developers can create popular and useful applications they are rewarded sooner without the massive expenditure of creating all the systems around the AI application.

The overall impact amounts to a democratization of custom GPT creation and revenue generation from it. The lower barriers mean greater inclusivity in the ecosystem and in AI development as a whole. Inclusivity benefits the AI ecosystem as a whole because a wider variety of needs and use cases are catered to.

AI moves to the ecosystem age

The introduction of the GPT Store and its associated payment model by OpenAI is a bold step towards creating a sustainable and rewarding ecosystem for AI developers and creators. As the platform continues to evolve and expand its reach, the implications for the future of AI development and monetization are profound.

With a commitment to rewarding creativity and impact, OpenAI is paving the way for a new era of AI innovation that is both inclusive and economically viable for its contributors. As the GPT Store matures and its community grows, the potential for groundbreaking advancements in AI technology and its application seems boundless, promising a future where AI development is both a pursuit of passion and a viable profession.


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Kudzai G Changunda
Kudzai G Changunda
Finance guy with a considerable interest in the adoption of web 3.0 technologies in the financial landscape. Both technology and regulation focused but, of course, people first.