The Billion-Dollar Girlfriend: How $11 AI Subscriptions Are Reshaping Love and Intimacy

In a startling trend, Americans are increasingly turning to AI girlfriends, and there’s money to be made.

In April 2024, the top 10 AI Girlfriend websites witnessed a staggering 351 Million visits.

Yet, two years ago, most of these sites didn’t even exist.

How much money is there?

Character.ai, a company in the AI space, received a significant investment of $200 million in April 2023, valuing the company at $1 billion.

What about bootstrapped solopreneurs?

GirlfriendGPT, a company launched by a solo entrepreneur in September 2023, shared on Twitter that just 4 months later they had reached $500,000 in annual recurring revenue (ARR).

The founder, Enias, was on track to hit $100,000 in revenue by the end of December 2023.

The meteoric rise of AI companionship is pointing to a potential gold rush in the tech industry.

According to Ahrefs data, the top 10 AI girlfriend websites experienced a huge increase in search traffic from April 2023 to May 2024.

This growth was especially noticeable after the launch of ChatGPT in November 2022.

However, as more AI girlfriend companies have entered the market, creating more competition, the search traffic (but only search) for these top websites has started to decrease slightly.

However, a look at SimilarWeb’s data shows that the top 10 AI girlfriend companies have seen incredible growth over the past three months, indicating that while the search traffic for these particular AI girlfriend companies is decreasing, the overall market is still growing.

As people became interested in chatbots, they also seemed to become interested in using them for dating and relationships.

As investors pour millions of dollars into AI companion businesses, the implications for society, dating, and mental health are profoundly disturbing.


Key Findings:

  • Character.ai’s valuation hit a concerning $1B after securing an eye-popping investment of over $200M in April 2023 from Andreessen Horowitz, underscoring the troubling rise of AI companions.
  • Despite shutdowns from Stripe, GirlfriendGPT earned $500,000 in annual recurring revenue in December 2023.
  • Three years ago, the search for “AI girlfriend” virtually didn’t exist, but today, it receives an average monthly search volume of 173k globally (of which already 32.94% comes from the United States), and that’s just the main keyword.
  • Disturbingly, users spend significantly more time on AI girlfriend sites, averaging 11 to 15 minutes per day, while real girls on Tinder get a mere 9 minutes of attention from men, indicating a deeper engagement with artificial relationships.
  • Alarmingly, men aged 18-24 dominate AI girlfriend site visits, followed closely by those aged 25-34, the very age group crucial for dating, marriage, and sustaining birth rates.
  • The steep preference for artificial women is glaring, with ‘AI Boyfriend’ garnering only 13k monthly global searches compared to ‘AI Girlfriend’s’ overwhelming 173k.
  • Artificial relationships come cheap, with the average AI girlfriend subscription costing just $11/month, starkly contrasting the $58 average cost of a real date.

Methodology

To analyze the growing interest in AI girlfriends, we utilized data from SimilarWeb, Tracxn, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Wyoming state data, Alaska state data, Montana state data, Crunchbase, Ahrefs, the GPT store, and Google Trends. Our approach involved:

  • Search Volume Analysis: Using Ahrefs, SimilarWeb, and Google Trends, we assessed the monthly search volume for “AI girlfriend” and related terms globally, with a particular focus on geographic distribution and changes over time.
  • Traffic Analysis: SimilarWeb and Ahrefs were employed to identify which AI girlfriend websites attracted the most visitors, allowing us to pinpoint the leading companies in this sector.
  • Financial Data Collection: Ahrefs, Tracxn, and Crunchbase provided information about paid advertisements and keywords, as well as, data on the investors funding AI girlfriend websites.
  • Policy Insights: The European Union’s latest AI policies were consulted to determine their existing stance on sexual advertising on their platforms.
  • State and Labor Statistics: Using census and economic reports from Wyoming, Alaska, and Montana, as well as the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we determined demographic information about the states in regards to their industries and demographics and how it relates to AI girlfriends.
  • Demographic Insights: We gathered data directly from AI girlfriend companies on SimilarWeb to understand the demographics of their visitors, including age and gender distribution, average session duration, and user engagement patterns.

This methodology enabled us to capture a comprehensive snapshot of the market dynamics and user behaviors surrounding AI girlfriends.


AI Girlfriends: A $1B Industry Threatening Real Relationships

Many AI girlfriend companies have experienced alarming surges in site visits and traffic over the past few months and even years, revealing a disturbing trend of people opting for artificial relationships over real ones.

According to SimilarWeb data, the top 9 AI girlfriend companies (we’re taking Character.ai out to better represent the other AI GF companies; refer further down for Character.ai’s data) have seen significant site visit increases in just three months:

Interestingly, two AI girlfriend companies saw a decrease in total visits, Charstar.ai and DreamGF.ai.

This indicates that competition between companies might be ramping up, with some companies unable to provide satisfying experiences and losing their users.

Character.ai, in particular, has seen incredible growth, even though it’s a lot harder for its users to access romantic chatbots.

According to its site visits from March 2024 to May 2024, Character.ai seems to be the leading AI girlfriend company.

While it has seen a few dips in search traffic, its use of paid ads has allowed it to remain on top with the most search traffic and site visits.

Since many of the other AI girlfriend companies started in 2023, let’s examine the average organic traffic the top four companies saw from December 2023 to May 2024.

As the data shows, most of the AI girlfriend companies have seen a steady climb in traffic.

Character.ai’s explosive popularity has caught the attention of investors. 

According to Tracxn, Character.ai had two funding rounds–an early-stage round and a seed round—which together gave them a total funding amount of $193M.

The company only has five investors, too, which suggests these investors are recognizing the gold mine the industry presents.

This massive investment underscores the troubling rise of AI companions as a billion-dollar industry, which threatens global birth rates and the mental and social health of younger generations.

Character.ai isn’t the only one seeing major success, either.

Back in 2023, Enias Cailliau tweeted that his company, GirlfriendGPT, had earned $500,000 in annual recurring revenue.

The company managed to earn this revenue despite Stripe shutting it down in mid-November.

Even with that roadblock, the company still generated $100,000 in revenue in December 2023 alone.

The incredible financial growth demonstrates that not only are people willing to spend on AI companions, but those who own these companies are pulling in massive amounts of revenue in a short amount of time.

Alarmingly, the younger generations show the most interest in AI girlfriends. 


SimilarWeb data revealed the demographics for the top 5 AI girlfriend sites:

Company Name % of Men Users % of Women Users Highest Age Group % Time Spent on Site
Character.ai 50.67% 49.33% 18-24 (56.49%) 11 Minutes
SpicyChat.ai 71.69% 28.31% 18-24 (57.85%) 15 Minutes
CrushOn.ai 73.57% 26.43% 18-24 (53.79%) 13 Minutes
PepHop.ai 80.05% 19.95% 18-24 (50.02%) 13 Minutes
Moemate.io 80.51% 19.49% 18-24 (52.02%) 15 Minutes

Young men, who are in their prime dating years, are spending considerable time on these sites. 

The second-highest age group, 25-34, is also heavily represented, which is significant since these are the primary age groups responsible for marriage and birth rates

Yet, these individuals are turning to AI girlfriends rather than real relationships.

Comparing this data to Tinder, one of the world’s most popular dating sites, reveals an even more concerning trend.

According to SimilarWeb, Tinder has a slightly different demographic regarding user age.

Although Tinder is also primarily used by men, 33.28% of its users are aged 25-34, but they spend only about 9 minutes on the site—far less than the 11-15 minutes spent on AI girlfriend sites. 

This suggests users are more engaged with AI girlfriends than with real people on dating sites.

The concern is that only 23.77% of people aged 18-24 are using Tinder to find real people to date.

Are younger generations not using Tinder to find dates?

Or have they given up on dating altogether?

Looking at other popular dating sites from the same period as the top 5 AI girlfriend companies regarding site visits (March 2024 to May 2024) shows that AI girlfriend companies have surpassed dating sites in total visits.

  • Included in the dating total visit sites data were: Tinder, Badoo, Bumble, OKCupid, and POF.
  • Included in the AI girlfriend companies were: Character.ai, SpicyChat.ai, CrushOn,ai, PepHop.ai, Moemate.io.

This data paints a disturbing picture of young men increasingly preferring AI girlfriends over real women, signaling a potentially profound shift in relationship dynamics.

Source: Tracxn, Twitter (X)


From 2,943 to 55,172 Searches: The Explosive Rise of AI Girlfriends in the US

According to data from Ahrefs, the global obsession with “AI girlfriend” is growing at an alarming rate, with the top 10 AI girlfriend websites receiving a total of 300M visits in April 2024 alone.

Google Trends highlights a troubling rise in popularity starting in 2023.

SimilarWeb data, which shows all traffic sources globally, from 2023 showed a monthly average global search volume of 136,360, marking a disturbing 27% increase in just one year.

What’s even more concerning is the United States’ disproportionate interest in AI girlfriends. 

Ahrefs data, which focuses on search traffic from a single source, reveals that the US accounts for a staggering 42% of the monthly global search volume for “AI girlfriend.”

In stark contrast, the United Kingdom, the next highest country, only represents 7% of global searches, while the Philippines shows a mere 1%, with an average monthly search volume of just 2k.


Here’s a breakdown of the explosive growth in the United States over the past few years:

Year Month Monthly Traffic
2022 May 2,934
2023 May 31,014
2024 May 55,172+

The period between May 2022 and May 2024 alone saw a staggering 1,774% increase.

Ahrefs anticipates that even more Americans will search for the term in 2025, projecting that the monthly search volume will grow to 63k by May 2025.

This surge indicates a relentless and worrying trend. 

According to Google Trends, the search volume for “AI girlfriend” in the United States has remained steady from 2023 to 2024, suggesting that the fascination with AI girlfriends is not fading.

Now, looking deeper at the AI girlfriend trend, we gain insight into what experiences users are looking for.

The top related searches to AI girlfriend, based on Google Trend data in the United States, include:

  • AI Girlfriend Simulator
  • Girlfriend Simulator
  • Yandere AI Girlfriend
  • Yandere
  • Yandere Girlfriend Simulator

Google Trends also shows how these related queries have been performing over the past year:

Certain queries, like “Free AI” and “Yandere” have some relative popularity, but terms like “AI girlfriend simulator,” “Yandere AI Girlfriend,” and “Yandere Girlfriend Simulator” have dropped in popularity, at least in terms of search trends.

The related keywords suggest that users are looking for free options, and many want to have a girlfriend who fits into the “yandere” category.

A yandere is a woman who becomes violently possessive of their love interest, which could tell of the type of woman many users want to date, at least digitally.

This persistent interest implies a significant shift in American society, where more people are seeking the artificial companionship of AI girlfriends over real human connections, and some users are looking for intense AI companions.

The trend shows no signs of abating, highlighting a profound curiosity for the AI girlfriend experience.


79% of Young Adults Feel Lonely – Are They Turning to AI Girlfriends for Help?

Young people are lonely, according to a study done by the Surgeon General.

It found that only 39% of Americans feel connected to someone.

Even worse, young adults reported feeling lonelier than seniors.

Without a connection to a person, young adults may be looking for AI companionship instead.

Looking deeper into the data of the states with the most and least interest in AI girlfriends showed two other possible factors pushing Americans toward AI girlfriends.

Google Trends showed that people in Wyoming, with Alaska not far behind, search for AI girlfriends regularly.

The two states share something in common, too.

The main industry in both states is energy.

For Wyoming, coal mining is one of its main economic industries, and according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics [1], only 15.4% of women take up positions in the mining industry.

Drilling for oil is Alaska’s biggest industry, generating $4.7B of the state’s economy.

Both of these professions have in common the fact that they require heavy physical labor and isolation.

Oil rigs, in particular, tend to be off the coast of Alaska, with little to no access to women.

The men are young because they need to be physically fit for the job, and if there aren’t any women around, they may turn to artificial companions instead.

Montana is the state with the least people searching for an AI girlfriend consistently.

The main difference between Montana and the two other states is that its main economic industry is finance.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics [2] stated that women make up over 50% of the workforce in the finance industry, suggesting that men might be having an easier time finding women to date at work.

Age, loneliness, and industry might be some of the big factors determining what makes men interested in AI girlfriends.

Sources: The Bureau of Labor Statistics [1], The Bureau of Labor Statistics [2], Montana State Government Data, Royal Alaskan Movers Data, The Surgeon General


AI Girlfriend Apps See Alarming Growth Compared to AI Boyfriends

There’s a stark contrast in the popularity of AI companions, with AI girlfriends significantly outpacing their male counterparts.

Examining AI girlfriend apps on the Google Play Store reveals a disturbing trend: people are increasingly drawn to artificial dating, even in app form. 

The top-performing AI girlfriend apps, along with their total staggering download figures, include:

  • Replika: My AI Friend – (10M+ downloads)
  • Character AI: AI-Powered Chat – (10M+ downloads)
  • EVA AI Chat Bot & Soulmate – (1M+ downloads)
  • Talkie: AI Character Chat – (1M+ downloads)
  • Linky: Chat with Characters AI – (1M+ downloads)
  • Paradot: Personal AI chat – (1M+ downloads)
  • ChaChat: AI Roleplay Companion – (500K+ downloads)
  • Genesia – AI Friend & Partner – (500k+ downloads)
  • Kindroid: AI Companion Chat – (100K+ downloads)
  • Nomi: AI Companion with a Soul – (10K+ downloads)

A deeper dive into their explosive growth using SimilarWeb data from November 2023 to April 2024 shows alarming trends:

  • Replika saw a 6% rise from 329.4k downloads in October 2023 to 350k in March 2024.
  • Character AI: AI-Powered Chat saw a 36% rise from 2.5M downloads in October 2023 to 3.4M in March 2024.
  • Talkie saw a 101% rise from 798k downloads in October 2023 to 1.6M in March 2024.
  • Linky saw a 1,718% rise from 50.2k downloads in October 2023 to 912.7k by March 2024,
  • Paradot saw a 4% rise from 100.5k downloads in October 2023 to 104.9k downloads in March 2024.

While mobile apps are not growing as rapidly as AI girlfriend websites, their growth is still alarmingly strong.

In stark contrast, AI boyfriend apps lag far behind in popularity and downloads


The leading AI boyfriend apps, along with their total comparatively meager download figures, include:

  • Is It Love? Daryl – boyfriend – (1M+ downloads)
  • Love and Deepspace – (1M+ downloads)
  • Anima: My Virtual AI Boyfriend – (500k+ downloads)
  • Syndicate Boyfriend: Gem Heist – (100k+ downloads)
  • Magic: The Boys Who Love Me – (100k+ downloads)
  • Otome Chat Connection – (100k+ downloads)
  • MatchMe: My Secret Crush – (50k+ downloads)
  • My Magical Boyfriend: Otome – (50k+ downloads)
  • AI Boyfriend – AI Character – (5k+ downloads)

Even the top AI boyfriend apps, Is It Love? Daryl—boyfriend and Love and Deepspace, only manage over 1M downloads, paling in comparison to the 10M+ downloads of the top AI girlfriend app, Replika.

To see the disparity further, using total download data from SimilarWeb between October 2023 and March 2024, there’s a significant difference between the downloads for AI girlfriend apps and AI boyfriend apps.

  • ChaChat’s, Is It Love? Daryl – boyfriend, and AI Boyfriend – AI Character data was not included as it was not available.
  • Love and Deepspace’s earliest data was January 2024, not October 2023.

In October 2023, the top 10 AI girlfriend apps were about 114% greater than the top 10 AI boyfriend apps in terms of total downloads for that month.

In March 2024, the top 10 AI girlfriend apps were about 188% greater than the top 10 AI boyfriend apps in terms of total downloads for that month.

The Top 10 AI BF apps saw a -81% difference between October 2023 and March 2024, while the Top 10 AI GF apps saw a 69% difference between October 2023 and March 2024.

It indicates that not only are the top 10 AI girlfriend apps performing better than the top 10 AI boyfriend apps, but they’re continuing to do so.

Furthermore, the monthly global search volume for “AI boyfriend” is a mere 13k, indicating a significant lack of interest in AI boyfriends compared to AI girlfriends.

This data underscores a concerning shift towards artificial relationships, particularly favoring AI girlfriends over real or even virtual male counterparts.


Affordable AI Girlfriend Subscriptions Threaten Real Dating Culture

Forbes conducted a survey in February 2024 to scrutinize the average subscription costs Americans incur for streaming services.

It revealed a startling trend: 99% of Americans are entangled in more than one streaming service subscription.

On average, Americans shell out about $46 a month for these services.

When comparing the costs of streaming platforms to AI girlfriend sites and apps, it’s clear that companies are strategically pricing their products to appeal to college-aged budgets.

Here are the average monthly subscription plans for some of the top AI girlfriend sites and apps:

  • My Anima – AI Girlfriend: $9.99
  • Candy AI: $12.99
  • Character.ai: $9.99
  • Moemate.io: $9.00
  • CrushOn.ai: $7.90
  • SpicyChat.ai: $14.95
  • PepHop.ai: $9.99

This brings the average subscription plan for these apps to approximately $11/month.


In contrast, here are the average prices for the top three streaming platforms in America:

  • Netflix Standard (ad-free): $15.49/month
  • Amazon Prime Video: $8.99/month
  • ESPN+: $11/month

In addition, a study by Self Financial found that the average cost of a date is $58.84, which is $47.84 more than the average subscription to an AI girlfriend.

AI girlfriend apps are either cheaper than or on par with the average price of a streaming platform.

The low cost only further entices young people to choose an artificial relationship over a real one.

Financially, many may find that dating an AI girlfriend is a more attractive option.

Source: Forbes, Self Financial


Regulation Gaps Open the Door To Problematic AI Companion Technologies

Yet, a more significant issue looms over the AI girlfriend industry: regulation.

Currently, the primary regulatory effort is The European Union’s Artificial Intelligence Act

The Act targets AI that manipulates human behavior or exploits user vulnerabilities and bans AI involved in criminal activities related to children, such as sexual exploitation.

However, the Act falls short of regulating AI companions. 

It doesn’t prevent users from creating AI girlfriends based on real people and using deepfake technology to undress them

Websites like Undress.app, Undress AI, and Deep Nude allow users to take pictures of real people and digitally strip them naked.

Combining this with AI girlfriend technology poses severe consent issues. 

Current regulations fail to adequately protect individuals from such invasive technologies.

Source: The Artificial Intelligence Act


Final Thoughts

The data is clear–interest in AI girlfriends is on the rise, and it’s on track to becoming a billion-dollar industry.

Young men entering the dating pool for the first time are more interested in AI girlfriends than other age groups, which could pose problems for dating later in life, birth rates, and mental health.

Americans, in particular, are the most interested in AI girlfriends, with lonely men in isolated environments potentially driving the interest.

A lack of regulation could become dangerous if mixed with deepfake technology.

Dainis Graveris

Dainis Graveris

Over last 4 years Dainis have helped millions of people through his advice on this site (200+ guides and 1M+ visits/monthly). His work & advice has appeared on sites like: Healthline, Vice, Cosmopolitan, Men's Health, WomensHealthMag, MindBodyGreen & more. Read More.

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