Midjourney is one of the premier AI art generation tools on the market today. It is capable of generating absolutely stunning art in a matter of seconds. We’ll explain the different pricing options available, along with the unique user interface that may be a deal breaker for a number of users.
Even though AI art generators have been around in labs for a number of years, it has really only been since 2021 when Midjourney and a couple of competitors came on the scene did they begin breaking through to the mainstream. Since these early models were released they have improved rapidly and are now capable of creating ultra realistic images with countless possible use cases.
Let’s take a look at where Midjourney stands today to help decide if it’s the right service for you.
Table of Contents
A Brief History of Midjourney
Midjourney is based out of San Francisco, and was founded in 2021 with the goal of creating life like AI generated images. The Midjourney AI model has been trained on millions of images from the public internet and uses prompts or text descriptions of scenes to create a computer generated version of the described image.
Since 2021, Midjourney has steadily improved and consistently releases updates making the image generation better, and adds new capabilities such as the accurate generation of human hands and higher resolution image generations.
There are countless examples of Midjourney’s ability to create amazing photo realistic images. One of the best resources available is the Midjourney Gallery that highlights examples of what the system is capable. The following example image was created with the prompt listed below in less than a minute.
Prompt: cinematic shot of a whaling boat off of the coast of New England during a storm in the style of Dunkirk directed by Christopher Nolan –ar 2:1
Midjourney Does Not Offer a Free Trial
When first launched, and up until the beginning of 2023, Midjourney offered new subscribers the ability to generate their first 25 images for free. The free tier has since been discontinued and people interested in trying the service will need to sign up for a monthly subscription. The basic plan allows for 200 generates per month and costs $10 USD per month with a 20% discount available when paying for a full year at a time.
Usage and Speed Based Pricing Model
Midjourney’s pricing is based on a combination of usage and how fast the images generate. It’s likely that Midjourney, is in a similar position as other modern large AI models and only has a limited amount of compute power available at any given time. AI can be extremely compute resource intensive and with limited resources available the Midjourney pricing plan starts coming into focus.
Midjourney pricing is based on a combination of 2 factors:
- Quantity of Images Generated
- Speed of Image Generation
Midjourney Pricing Plans
There are 4 different Midjourney plans available. The Basic plan is the entry level plan at $10 USD per month when billed monthly and is limited to 200 image generations per month. Going up from the Basic plan is the Standard Plan, Pro Plan and Mega Plan which have different amounts of fast generation time.
Here’s a quick comparison:
- Basic Plan – 200 generations per month with 3.3 hours of fast generation time
- Standard Plan – Unlimited generations with 15 hours of fast generation time
- Pro Plan – Unlimited generations with 30 hours of fast generation time (Optional Stealth Mode)
- Mega Plan – Unlimited generations with 60 hours of fast generation time
There are also limitations on the number of jobs that you can submit and have processed concurrently depending on the tier. Below is a screenshot of the current Plan Comparison from the Midjourney website.
If you are interested in subscribing, we recommend reviewing their most recent pricing guide to ensure that you’re referencing the most up to date pricing available.
Most pricing is referenced as an annual subscription which represents a 20% discount compared to the monthly price. As with most tools, we recommend starting small with a basic subscription on a monthly plan to give yourself the option to cancel it if you find that the service does not meet your needs.
The Midjourney Interface is its Best and Worst Feature
One of the challenges that we have with Midjourney is the use of Discord and the public chat room interface. You can generate images in Stealth Mode when paying for a Pro plan, but most art generations will take place in an area that will be open for other users to see.
This isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, because it can be interesting and entertaining to see what others are creating and it can give you some insightful prompt ideas. However, it can also be a bit of a let down if you are trying to create proprietary content that’s specific to your business.
The interface can also be highly distracting. Because it can take a little bit for your images to be generated, they can get lost in a sea of other people’s prompts and images being created. There have been a number of times that we have prompted Midjourney, changed tabs or walked away to get coffee only to come back to a bunch of scrolling to find the content that we had generated.
Midjourney Interface Improvement coming soon?
We haven’t heard anything official, but if you visit the Midjourney Feed website there is a dialog box at the top of the page that says “Imagine…” which is the prompt used in the Discord chat room to tell it to create an image with your description.
The screenshot below is from the Midjourney Feed site showing the imagine prompt box at the top of the page which says (coming soon)
Hopefully this change comes in the near future. Having to use Discord to create images can be difficult and detracts from your overall productivity when you have to sort through the images of others.
Midjourney and Commercial Use
Midjourney along with a number of other AI art generators support commercial use of the images generated with their service. Even though the legal consensus, for the moment, is that AI generated images cannot be copywrited, there are a number of AI image generators that forbid commercial use of generated images in their Terms of Service.
As with many areas of AI, we recommend users take some caution and research what is allowed and what isn’t when considering which subscription to purchase. Laws are also subject to change over time as the regulatory environment surrounding AI begins catching up with the pace of technological advancement.
Is Midjourney a Good Value?
If you’re looking for an AI art generation tool that allows for a decent number, or unlimited number of monthly image generations than Midjourney is worth your consideration. A couple of big-name competitors recently upgraded their offerings. Adobe Firefly offers 25 free generations to get started and has reasonable paid plans. OpenAI (the people behind ChatGPT) also recently announce Dall-E-3. Both services are capable of creating great images without forcing users into the odd position of working within a Discord Server Chat Room.
Getting the Most out of Midjourney Prompts
One last point is that Midjourney is one of the most widely used image generation tools on the market today. There are many great YouTube videos about how to write better prompts that specifically use Midjourney as an example. Most of the techniques are transferrable to other services, but the community of support around Midjourney is a standout feature of the service.
The following YouTube video is just one example of how to prompt Midjourney into creating Ultra Realistic AI Photography.
Midjourney is one of the best AI art generation tools available on the market today. While there is no longer a free tier to try the service out, a single month with 200 generations starts at $10 USD per month which is incredibly affordable if you’re wanting to give the service a try. There are additional paid tiers that give you more art generations and compute priority to generate them faster.
The biggest drawback of Midjourney is the Discord Chat interface. Hopefully they update this in the near future, but in the meanwhile we recommend trying the service out for a month in a limited capacity at first to make sure that you are okay with it before committing to an annual contract.