Stability AI, the company behind the popular text-to-image generation model Stable Diffusion, is facing an uncertain future. The company is reportedly struggling to generate revenue while offering its models for free, and its investors are pressuring it to change its business model.
In a recent blog post, Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque admitted that the company is “doing ok as a business” but is “ramping up nicely.” He also said that the company generated $1.2 million in revenue in August and was projected to reach $3 million this month from software and services.
However, these numbers are relatively small compared to the company’s expenses. Stability AI is reportedly spending millions of dollars each month to develop and maintain its models. The company is also facing increasing competition from big tech giants like Meta, Google, and Amazon, which have all launched their own text-to-image generation models.
As a result of these challenges, Stability AI is considering introducing a subscription model for its models. The company has already implemented a subscription model for Stable Diffusion XL, and it is considering charging indie developers $100 a month to use its models for commercial purposes.
Mostaque has said that the company will continue to offer its models for free for non-commercial and academic usage. However, it is clear that the company is under pressure to find a way to generate more revenue.
To establish the optimal pricing for his new core Stable models, he conducted a survey on X. Interestingly, a majority of users expressed a preference for $1, suggesting a desire for the models to be offered at no cost.
If Stability AI is unable to find a sustainable business model, it may be forced to sell the company. The company has reportedly approached Cohere and Jasper AI about a potential sale, but both companies have declined.
It is also possible that Stability AI could be acquired by a larger company, such as Apple or Microsoft. These companies have the resources to support Stability AI’s development efforts and help the company to reach a wider audience.
The future of Stability AI is uncertain, but the company is clearly at a crossroads. If the company is able to find a way to generate more revenue, it could continue to be a major player in the text-to-image generation market. However, if the company is unable to find a sustainable business model, it could be forced to sell or even go out of business.
Only time will tell what the future holds for Stability AI.