Key AI Image Generator Market Statistics
Image Generative AI Market Size Statistics
Image-generating by AI is part of the bigger segment of Artificial Intelligence, known as “generative AI.” Generative AI represents a huge market, valued at $66.66 billion in 2024, and it’s forecast to reach $207 billion in 2030.
As for the image-generating segment of the generative AI market, its value in 2023 was estimated to be $299.2 million by Fortune Business Insights.
Although it makes up just over 0.44% of the overall generative AI market, its value shows just how rapidly-expanding the phenomenon is. By 2030, the value of the image-generating AI market is forecast to be $917.4 million. If achieve, this would mean a CAGR of 17.4%.
Key AI Image Generator Market Players
But who are the major players in the AI image generator market that are driving and disrupting this industry?
While there are a number of generative AI startups thanks to the advancements in the field, the market is very much controlled by few names right now. Let’s see who they are.
OpenAI’s brainchild Dall-E was launched in January 2021. It’s an AI image generator that creates images on the basis of NLP prompts. To date, three versions of the tool have been released, the latest (Dall-E 3) going live in September 2023.
As of May 2022, Dall-E users generated 3 million AI images, and the tool was acquiring 1,000 new users per week. And as of September 2022, when Dall-E first became publicly available, it generated an average of 2 million AI images per day.
The independent generative AI software Midjourney was first released in beta in July 2022. It’s available exclusively via Discord, where users can submit their prompts for AI image generation.
As of December 2023, the Midjourney Discord server is the most popular server on the platform with over 17.5 million members.
Midjourney is making a splash in Google Search as well. Google Trends reveals that its interest hit a peak of 100 in the beginning of February 2023. As for the monthly visitor count, Similarweb reveals that Midjourney’s website was visited almost 18 million times in December 2023 – 15% more than the month before.
The NightCafe AI art generator might not be as well-known as its counterparts we discussed earlier, but it does nonetheless hold almost a quarter of the AI image generator market.
The Australian generator was founded in November 2019, and as of October 2022, it was used to create over 35 million AI-generated artworks.
Similarweb tells us that December 2023 saw 8.2 million visitors to the NightCafe website, a growth of 3.3% compared to the previous month.
Adobe’s Firefly image generator might not have as big of a share as other tools, but it’s nonetheless worth paying attention to.
Although it launched the beta version less than a year ago, in March 2023, Firefly saw over 70 million AI-generated images created by users in less than a month since the launch. As of July 2023, the count is close to 1 billion.
Like Midjourney, Firefly has a popular Discord server, with a little over 500,000 members. It’s also part of Google’s Generative AI system, Bard.
AI Image Generation Adoption Statistics
One doesn’t need artificial intelligence to see that these AI image generator statistics paint a clear picture of the tools’ immense popularity and impact. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers and the extent to which people are adopting or looking to adopt these solutions.
AI-Generated Images in Numbers
According to Everypixel, as of August 2023, people have generated almost 15.5 billion AI-generated images. That’s enough for every person on Earth to have generated 1.9 AI images. Each day sees approximately 34 million new AI-generated images.
Out of these 15.5 billion, a significant majority of AI images (12.6 million, or 80%) were created using Stable Diffusion models. Given that this technology is open-source and is used by companies like NightCafe, its popularity isn’t surprising.
As for Midjourney, it saw 964 million images created in its first year, July 2022-August 2023. On average, Midjourney creates an image every 30 seconds.
Adobe’s Firefly saw 1 billion AI images generated in the first three months since its launch, likely due to the popularity of its software among designers and visual creators. That figure makes the software the fastest-growing AI image generator on the market.
Opinions About Generative AI for Images
Our infographic shows that the majority of people (especially in the US) don’t believe that they’ve seen an AI-generated art – only 27% of people do. Out of those who have seen AI art, 56% of them enjoyed it, and 34% are of the opinion that it’s better than human-created art.
Interestingly enough, a study conducted by Yale University in 2023 showed that 54% of people could differentiate between AI-generated art and human-made art. Indeed, at the moment, many AI-generated images still look fairly inauthentic – with some exceptions.
We’ll go into more detail about the opinions and controversies associated with AI image generators, especially their impact on the creative industry. For now, though, we leave you with the following statistics:
AI Image Generator Usage & Use Cases Statistics
But what do people actually use AI image generators for? The short answer is – everything.
The long answer is that generative AI, including AI image generators, is becoming more and more popular, both in the business world and among consumers. In this section, we’ll take a look at the AI image generator use cases for enterprise and personal use.
Generative AI in Enterprise & Marketing
AI image generators are proving popular among marketers. Statistics tell us that in the US, 39% of marketers use Generative AI to create social media images, and 36% of them tap into the power of AI image generators to create website images.
The most popular generative AI tool for marketers is Dall-E, with 25% of US marketers preferring it in 2023. Midjourney, however, is a very close second at 24%.
Overall, marketers see generative AI as a benefit to their work. For example, in the US, over 50% of marketers said that the biggest benefit of using AI was the ability to create custom images faster. For the UK, the figure is 30%.
An excellent example of marketers using AI image generators can be seen in the video above. In 2022, Heinz used Dall-E to generate images of ketchup. The campaign highlighted the fact that the generator knew that the prompt “ketchup” featured Heinz’s branding – a testament to the prevalence of brands in our lives.
Public relations people also use generative AI, albeit they use image generators to a lesser extent. Only 16% of PR experts worldwide used AI to generate images in the course of their activities.
Generative AI for Personal Use
In terms of people using generative AI on a day-to-day basis, most consumers (34%) use it for fun. According to a 2023 paper by Capgemini, however, only 1% of consumers use image generators several times a week or once a day.
But the same paper outlines the statistics of consumers sharing AI-generated content on social media, and they tell a different story. 71% of images shared on social media were AI-generated. For APAC and Canada, the figure was even higher, at 77%.
Key AI Image Generator Trends & Challenges
In the final section of this guide, we take a closer look at the key trends and challenges accompanying the market of generative AI, specifically the AI image generator market. Whilst nobody has crystal ball capable of predicting the future of generative AI, we can make educated forecased based on what we’ve seen so far.
Advancements in Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are an important trend driving the AI image generator market. GANs are what allows AI image generators to create realistic and high-res images in the first place.
It follows, therefore, that improvements in GAN architectures are enabling better and more efficient training of AI image generators and thus enhancing the generation of images of all types.
However, these advancements aren’t without their challenges. The most significant one is the potential for bias in AI-generated content. A lot needs to be done to overcome this bias and ensure that Generative AI is working equally well for everyone.
Disruption of Creative Industries
In June 2022, Cosmopolitan magazine unveiled the first-ever AI-generated cover. And that’s just one example of AI image generators disrupting creative industries – both in a positive and negative way.
Marketers and graphic designers are increasingly embracing generative AI, as we saw in this guide, and it’s helping them achieve their creative vision and boost their productivity.
Another possible positive aspect stems from the AI and human concept rather than AI vs. human. AI-generated art can be an inspiration for artists and designers by generating diverse design variations and suggesting creative elements.
This could empower them to explore new ideas and push artistic boundaries. In this paradigm, AI acts as a collaborative partner rather than a competition, as it aids artists in generating unique art that they may not have come up with otherwise.
Midjourney developers caught discussing laundering, and creating a database of Artists (who have been dehumanized to styles) to train Midjourney off of. This has been submitted into evidence for the lawsuit. Prompt engineers, your “skills” are not yourshttps://t.co/wAhsNjt5Kz pic.twitter.com/EBvySMQC0P
— Jon Lam #CreateDontScrape (@JonLamArt) December 31, 2023
The negative side of AI image generators has been explored in several lawsuits. For example, the class action lawsuit filed last year against Midjourney, Stability AI, and other generators claimed that AI companies were using the work of several artists to train their AI systems without the creators’ consent.
Although the suit was initially dismissed in October 2023, it was re-filed next month. Such legal uncertainties surrounding the training of generative AI are likely to shape its development and place and society for many months to come.
Bias & Ethics
As we saw in the previous subsection, ethical considerations such as copyright are still an acute issue when it comes to generative AI.
In addition to ethics, issues like bias and inappropriate image generation will continue to be prevalent for some time.
To mitigate potential risks arising from this and ensure responsible AI image generation practices, we believe that it’s imperative to establish ethical guidelines and frameworks to govern the use of AI in image generation.
And to mitigate the bias in AI image generation, we believe it to be vital to train the AI on diverse data and artworks.
By now, it’s hopefully clear that, without exaggeration, generative AI is going to be huge, and AI image generators will have a very important place in that market, if they don’t already.
Although a lot of the market is controlled by several big companies, other AI image generators are emerging, and companies like Adobe are investing in their own solutions, productizing and capitalizing on the increasing need.
Currently, we see marketers in enterprises as the biggest beneficiaries of AI image generators. However, as the market evolves, more guidelines are issued, and the legal framework becomes more certain, there’s no reason why many other audiences cannot benefit from AI image generators.
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