1. Most leading products are built from the “ground up” around generative AI
Like ChatGPT, the majority of products on this list didn’t exist a year ago—80% of these websites are new Of the 50 companies on the list, only 5 are products of, or acquisitions by, pre-existing big tech companies... Of the remaining list members, a whopping 48% are completely bootstrapped, with no outside funding, according to PitchBook data.
2. ChatGPT has a massive lead, for now…
ChatGPT represents 60% of monthly traffic to the entire top 50 list, with an estimated 1.6 billion monthly visits and 200 million monthly users (as of June 2023). This makes ChatGPT the 24th most visited website globally.
3. LLM assistants (like ChatGPT) are dominant, but companionship and creative tools are on the rise
General LLM chatbots represent 68% of total consumer traffic to the top 50 list. However, two other categories have started to drive significant usage in recent months—AI companions (such as CharacterAI) and content generation tools (such as Midjourney and ElevenLabs). Within the broader content generation category, image generation is the top use case with 41% of traffic, followed by prosumer writing tools at 26%, and video generation at 8%. Another category worth mentioning? Model hubs. There are only 2 on the list, but they drive significant traffic—Civitai (for images) and Hugging Face both rank in the top 10. This is especially impressive because consumers are typically visiting these sites to download models to run locally, so web traffic is likely an underestimate of actual usage.
4. Early “winners” have emerged, but most product categories are up for grabs
Good news for builders: despite the surge in interest in generative AI, in many categories there is not yet a runway success.
5. Acquisition for top products is entirely organic—and consumers are willing to pay!
The majority of companies on this list have no paid marketing (at least, that SimilarWeb is able to attribute). There is significant free traffic “available” via X, Reddit, Discord, and email, as well as word of mouth and referral growth. And consumers are willing to pay for GenAI. 90% of companies on the list are already monetizing, nearly all of them via a subscription model. The average product on the list makes $21/month (for users on monthly plans)—yielding $252 annually.
6. Mobile apps are still emerging as a GenAI platform
Consumer AI products have, thus far, been largely browser-first, rather than app-first. Even ChatGPT took 6 months to launch a mobile app! Why aren’t more AI companies building on mobile? The browser is a natural starting place to reach the broadest base of consumers. Many AI companies have small teams and likely don’t want to fragment their focus and resources across Web, iOS, and Android. Given that the average consumer now spends 36 minutes more per day on mobile than desktop (4.1 hours vs. 3.5 hours), we expect to see more mobile-first GenAI products emerge as the technology matures.