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In new disclosure, LinkedIn says premium subscriptions bring in $1.7 billion

FILE PHOTO: Illustration shows Linkedin logo

By Stephen Nellis

(Reuters) -LinkedIn on Thursday for the first time disclosed sales for its premium subscription business, saying the unit hit $1.7 billion in revenue in 2023 as the company sees an uptick in adoption of new artificial intelligence tools.

LinkedIn, the social network aimed at business professionals, has not broken out its full financial performance since it was acquired by Microsoft in 2016. The company has previously disclosed that it made $15 billion in fiscal 2023, with $7 billion of that coming from hiring software that it sells to corporate recruiters.

But over the past year, LinkedIn has been working to expand its premium subscription business, which is used by job seekers and other individual users and starts at $39.99 per month.

A major part of that effort was the addition last year of AI features such as the ability to scan a job posting and, based on a job seeker's resume, automatically determine if the seeker might be a good fit. The AI system can also help job seekers tweak their LinkedIn profile to make them more appealing to recruiters and can automatically generate written messages to send to recruiters.

In an interview, Dan Shapero, LinkedIn's chief operating officer, said the number of LinkedIn premium subscribers rose 25% in 2023, though the company did not give an absolute figure.

Shapero said that LinkedIn's early data shows that 70% of subscribers with access to the new AI tools have tried them, and 90% of those found them useful. While the labor market remains tight in the U.S., that dynamic is uneven across industries and LinkedIn data shows there are still two applicants for every job.

"What we do know is that because of the uncertainty in the broader economy, there are people that are trying to make sure that they have the ability to get the best job that they can and that they're excited about," Shapero said.

(Reporting by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco)