Elon Musk concedes Twitter ad revenue has halved
Musk concedes Twitter ad revenue is down almost $100m but blames liberals for trying to bankrupt the platform and kill off its free speech – as new CEO Linda Yaccarino takes the reins early
- Elon Musk said Twitter ad revenue has halved in North America and Europe
- He accused advertisers of boycotting the platform over its free speech push
- But he thanked Apple and Disney for being loyal to Twitter in recent months
Elon Musk confirmed on Monday that Twitter’s advertising revenue had halved ‘overnight’ and blamed advertisers in America for ‘trying to drive Twitter bankrupt’ over its stance on free speech.
His comments came hours after a report in The New York Times claimed Twitter’s US ad revenue for the five weeks from April 1 until the first week of May was down 59 percent, around $125 million, from last year.
Twitter’s financial woes will be a focus for its new CEO Linda Yaccarino, who was publicly announced by Musk last month and whose first day on the job was brought forward two weeks to Monday.
Yaccarino is the former head of advertising at NBCUniversal and will ‘focus primarily on business operations’, Musk said at the time, suggesting her main job will be to entice advertisers back after his turbulent reign.
Advertising is a critical source of income for Twitter, and in 2021 it made up more than 90 percent of its total revenue.
Elon Musk confirmed on Monday that Twitter’s advertising revenue had halved ‘overnight’ hours after a report in the New York Times suggested in the US it was down 59 percent
Musk’s comments came on Monday, the first day for new CEO Linda Yaccarino, who has been hired to entice advertisers back to Twitter
The report in the Times on Monday suggested that the company has internally forecast that revenues will remain down at least 56 percent each week this month, as compared with last year.
‘The public does not realize the magnitude of the pressure, extreme financial pressure, that is placed upon organizations to toe the line by advertisers,’ said Musk during a ‘Twitter Spaces’ meeting with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Monday.
Kennedy Jr., the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, recently entered the presidential race as a Republican candidate and described Musk as a free speech ‘hero’.
Despite being an underdog, on Sunday he was endorsed by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, who also predicted he was going to win the Republican nomination.
Musk has encouraged presidential candidates to engage with the public on Twitter in recent weeks after Ron DeSantis used it to launch his own presidential bid.
‘Twitter has seen extreme pressure from advertisers and has at least in the West, seen an advertising boycott from a lot of companies,’ said Musk during the conversation on Monday, and in response to comments about advertising from Kennedy Jr.
‘I think this is a fundamental corruption of democracy. And the public should be absolutely outraged by this,’ he went on.
During a ‘Twitter Spaces’ meeting with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on Monday Musk said ‘the public does not realize the magnitude of the pressure, extreme financial pressure, that is placed upon organizations to toe the line by advertisers’
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. recently entered the presidential race as a Republican candidate and described Musk as a free speech ‘hero’ on Monday. He is pictured on June 5
Musk did however express thanks to companies that were remaining loyal to the platform despite the controversial free speech push, which Twitter’s ad sales staff had told the Times led to a rise in pornography and hate speech.
‘I would like to, for sure, thank those companies that have stuck with us like Apple and Disney and many others, but we have for North America and Europe seen roughly half of our advertising disappear overnight, simply because we insist on free speech,’ he said.
On Sunday Yaccarino welcomed a fellow former NBCUniversal employee Joe Benarroch to the team, writing: ‘Welcome to the flock, @benarroch_joe! From one bird to the next. Let’s get to work!’
Benarroch was senior vice president of communications, advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal and worked at Meta. At Twitter, he will be focused on business operations.
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