Microsoft is giving Bing Search APIs a huge price hike as it continues AI push

Microsoft Bing logo on a white smartphone screen
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Primakov)

Microsoft will implement price increases for developer access to the Bing Search Application Program Interface (API) across all markets from May 2023.

Announcing the change in a blog post (via The Register), Microsoft have said that existing price plans will see increases from May 1, 2023. Bizarrely, the same statement says that, from the same date, “you’ll be charged the new price for all Microsoft Bing APIs.”

Being “grandfathered” into the old pricing models, as is often the case for price rises in subscription services, won’t be possible here, as the plans are pay-as-you-go rather than a rolling subscription.

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Bing’s API price increases

The only unchanged part of the existing model is the free offering, allowing 1,000 free transactions a month. However, even the cheapest paid offering is seeing a hike of 257%, putting everyone else in a tough predicament.

The changes may have something to do with Bing announcing a “multi-billion dollar” investment into OpenAI, and incorporating ChatGPT into the search engine (albeit behind a waiting list), in February 2023. 

It’s possible that coming changes to Bing might increase Microsoft’s overheads, or it could simply be riding the PR wave around the possibilities of AI when applied to ubiquitous consumer tech like web browsers.

Either way, developers have to decide whether to continue on with a Bing that’s finally having its day in the sun, or vote with their wallets and look elsewhere.

Luke Hughes
Staff Writer

 Luke Hughes holds the role of Staff Writer at TechRadar Pro, producing news, features and deals content across topics ranging from computing to cloud services, cybersecurity, data privacy and business software.