How Does Discord Make Money?

Discord has become a popular app these days where people can connect through video calls, voice calls, or text messages for free. The app is used by many communities to communicate conveniently among members. It could be used by students, people organizing talk circles, people belonging to the gaming community, mental health support groups, for communicating in general, so on and so forth. Let us know How does Discord make money?.

One of the major reasons as to why Discord has gained so much recognition is that it has no algorithms controlling what a user should see, which means no continuous scrolling, no news feed, no endless going through different posts before coming onto something that the user likes. The user has full control over what they want to see, which conversation they want to engage in. They could easily spend time with people having similar interests and hobbies.

Some of the discord servers are private, i.e., they’re open to certain individuals or communities whereas, some of the servers are open to the whole world. It is completely at the discretion of the user if they want to join a certain server and to choose what kind of experience the user wants.

Discord can run not only on various operating systems, including Android iOS, macOS, Windows, iPadOS, Linux, but also web browsers. As of 2021, there are over 350 million users of Discord with over 150 million monthly active users.

Ways in which Discord makes money?

The app per se is free of cost. However, the developers came up with several ways to monetize it. It doesn’t use the conventional way of earning through ads but through subscription to premium accounts with greater benefits and by the distribution of games. The two subscriptions of Discord are Nitro and Nitro Classic.

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Following are the primary sources of income of Discord:

Nitro Classic 

Nitro Classic is the basic premium account that is available at $ 4.99 per month and $ 49.99 per year. It offers perks like:

  • Uploading a gif Avatar
  • Customizing Discord Tag
  • Use custom emotes on all the servers
  • Higher video quality
  • Increased file uploading capacity from 8 MB to 50 MB

Nitro 

Nitro is the enhanced version of Nitro Classics with additional advantages, which cost $ 9.99 per month and $ 99 per year. Services offered through this premium package comprises the following:

  • All the perks offered by Nitro Classic
  • Increased uploading capacity of up to 100 MB
  • Even greater high-resolution HD video quality
  • Two server boosts
  • Character capacity per message increased up to 4000 characters.
  • Raised server limit to 200
  • Server Avatars

Server Boosting 

Another premium feature offered by Discord is that of server boosting, which helps the users to enhance the functionality and performance of their discord servers. It is available at $ 4.99 per month. The users can boost their servers up to 3 levels, where each level has its benefits. Nitro users get a discount of 30% on server boosts.

Level 1 offers the following benefits:

  • +50 server emoji slots
  • The audio quality of 128 kbps
  • Animated server icon
  • Custom servers invite background
  • Live streams boosted up to 720p 60fps

Level 2 offers the following benefits:

  • All the perks offered in Level 1
  • The audio quality of 256 kbps
  • Upload limit of 50 MB for all the members
  • Live streams boosted up to 1080p 60fps
  • Server banner

Level 3 offers the following benefits:

  • All the perks offered in Level 1 and 2
  • +100 server emoji slots
  • The audio quality of 384 kbps
  • Upload limit of 100 MB for all the members
  • Customized URL for the server

Level 1 can be unlocked by the users when two users pay the subscription fee. For level 2, the user needs 15 boosts, and for level 3, the user requires 30 boosts.

Game Distribution 

In 2018, Discord came up with its game store to compete with services like Steam. Discord-exclusive games like ‘Into the Breach’ and ‘Dead Cells’ were offered by the store. However, the store didn’t go down well with the users, and so eventually, it phased out within a year of its launch.

Discord then turned towards a new strategy where it partnered up with various game developers who sold their games exclusively on Discord. To sell their games, the developers first need to get their servers verified. Once the server is verified, Discord then promotes the servers and the games so that the developers get the exposure they require. 

Discord charges a 10% commission on every sale made. For instance, if the game costs $ 10, Discord will get $ 1 every time the game is purchased. 

A variety of gaming studios have also started making use of Discord servers to connect with their fans and make important announcements.

Discord Merchandise Store

Discord owns its merchandise store, where it offers assorted and branded merch consisting of hoodies, caps, t-shirts, socks, and other items. The store was taken offline in 2020. Though small revenue is generated through it yet, it is a way through which Discord promotes its company.

Stickers

Discord rolled out animated stickers in October 2020, the cost of which ranges from $ 1.50 up to $ 2.25. Though the stickers have only been launched for Canadian users on PCs and Apple, it would be released in other countries as well after it receives feedback and they’re refined according to the likeness of the users. 

The Nitro users can access the ‘What’s UP Wumpus’ sticker pack free of cost and permanently. They’re provided with the benefit of using ‘Wumpus Nitro Elite’ as long as they have an active subscription. Further, Discord offers a 33% discount to all the active users on all the sticker purchases.

Discord also sells other cosmetic items, including customer emojis, sound packs, and skins.

Funds and Investment

Many big companies invest in Discord, and it also receives funds from various other companies. Through these funds, Discord improvises the platform to make it better and towards the growth of the platform internationally. A total of $ 500 million had been raised by the platform through funding resulting in the overall value of the platform reaching $ 7 billion as of 2021.

Discord’s Revenue

When Discord was launched in 2015, it pitched itself against the two most popular apps of that time, Skype and TeamSpeak. It was far better than the two apps in the way that it brought modernization in online communication, which was the reason why it became so popular. This resulted in a lot of crashes, and as a result, the company struggled to meet the demands.

However, it soon recovered and added the feature of video calling and screen recording to the initial app, which only had the features of texting and calling. It has further added integrations with Twitch, Xbox Live, and Spotify.

Discord’s revenue in 2016 was $ 5 million, which raised to $ 130 million in 2020. It was a 188 percent increase from the previous year’s earning, which was $ 45 million. Discord makes the most money from its Nitro subscriptions and its premium enhancement bundle. 

Discord’s plans to increase revenue

The Nitro subscription has been an awesome way of earning revenue. However, Discord needs to come up with better strategies to earn more revenue. Some of the plans of Discord to earn revenue include:

Gamebridge: It was one of the initial features of Discord which was shortly removed. However, Discord has decided to bring it back. Its main purpose was to integrate apps into games in a way that the burden of coding is reduced for the game developers. It would offer the following perks:

  • Ease in auto-matching of players in voice channels.
  • Build a community that can provide partner-like benefits.
  • Sharing gifs, videos or screenshots could be integrated.
  • Permanent or temporary servers can be created automatically for In-game worlds/ guilds.
  • Controlling audio settings.
  • Voices can be placed into a virtual space to increase the distribution of players.

This feature is being currently tested and tried and soon could be released as a paid product of Discord.

Gaming arenas and stores: The platform could be used to sell several games. It could offer certain benefits to Nitro subscription users. It could be used as a strategy to increase revenue.

Sharing Revenue: Partnering with several other companies and platforms could help Discord earn more revenue. It could invite more gamers to its platform. It could even use the strategy used by platforms like Twitch, where it could earn by referring the games, and it could earn if the user ends up buying the game.

Tickets for virtual events: One new feature that is being tried by Discord will allow the sale of tickets for virtual events. It launched a feature where the users could speak to several virtual listeners. 

Conclusion

Discord has become one of the most used platforms by different communities for varied purposes. However, it is majorly used by the gaming community because of which its major revenue is received from the gamers, game developers, and so on. The Nitro subscriptions are the primary source of its revenue. However, other ways that it earns money is through its paid services like server boosting and sticker packs. It also has its merchandise shop, which generates a small amount of revenue that is primarily used to enhance the services offered by the platform and increase engagement worldwide. 

Nonetheless, the revenue of Discord had increased by many folds. There are a variety of strategies that are being considered by Discord to increase its revenue. Discord has been serving as an awesome platform to connect with people sharing common interests and hobbies. It has been beneficial to different communities in sharing and propagating their plans and aims.

Frequently Asked Question

1. What are the free features offered by Discord?

There are a number of features that are free of cost on Discord. Some of these features include:

  • Free voice chats.
  • No limit on adding friends to the friend list
  • It can run on a phone as well as a PC.
  • Create an account for free.
  • Many bots can be added to enhance the functionality of the server. 
  • Protection against DDoS attacks and ensuring the safety of IP addresses
  • Other features include custom hotkeys, multiple channels, smart push notifications, modern text chat, in-game overlay, and direct messaging.

2. What are other platforms like Discord?

Some of the apps similar to Discord are:

  • Steam Chat: It is an integrated part of the game distribution platform Steam. It is a text and voice messaging service. It can be accessed through the app as well as browsers. 
  • TeamSpeak: TeamSpeak was an app used to communicate among gamers even before Discord came into existence. It is a text and voice communication platform that allows creating servers for free. The program has to be downloaded on the device, which cannot be accessed through browsers.
  • Slack: It is primarily used for business communication which lacks the ‘gamer’ feels, which is an important part of Discord.
  • Telegram: Telegram is a messaging and video calling app that is known for hosting private and public communities, creation of public channels, and so on. 
  • Clubhouse: Clubhouse is an app that came into existence recently. It can be used to create rooms for discussion. These conversations encompass a variety of topics like mental wellness, talk circles, sports, etc.

3. How does Discord work?

Discord can be installed on mobiles as well as desktops. It can also be used on browsers. Discord communities are called servers where users can interact through chat and share content. Each server has its own rules and regulations. Discord can integrate various apps like Spotify and YouTube and also with some gaming consoles like Xbox One.

4. Is there any difference between the browser version and the app of Discord?

The app is more or less like the browser version of Discord. However, in the app, the push-to-talk feature is always active but, in the browser version, it is only active when the browser window is on focus.

How Does Discord Make Money?

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