If you have ever used Discord, you may be wondering how they make money when their core application is free to users and they do not display any advertising within the app.
Discord makes money in 3 main ways:
- Discord Nitro Subscriptions
- Venture Capital
Discord also announced in Fall 2018 that they plan to start selling games to it’s millions of users as another way of generating revenue.
Discord’s subscription service – Nitro – is a paid service that allows users to obtain additional perks for a small monthly cost. Extra perks include GIF Avatars, custom emotes, increased file upload sizing, and a Nitro badge for your profile.
The current fee structure listed on Discord’s website is $4.99/month (or $49.99/year) for a Nitro subscription.
Discord’s Merch Store
Another way that Discord generates revenue is from sales of official merchandise in their online store – where they offer t-shirts, hats, socks, and scarves ranging from $15 – $45 per item.
Future Revenue Generators – Selling Games
In August 2018, Discord announced via Twitter that they are opening an online store to sell games to it’s millions of users.
Eric Johnson of Recode.Net states, “Now the ‘pre-revenue’ company is ready to start making money. It wants to sell new games to those millions of users, Discord CEO Jason Citron said on the latest episode of Recode Media. Games will be sold in two ways: Users who pay $5 a month for premium Discord features will get access to an “all-you-can-eat buffet” of games, or they will be able to buy games à la carte…Citron believes Discord’s social features will drive gamers to discover new titles they wouldn’t play otherwise.”
Venture Capital from Various Investors
Discord was initially funded by capital obtained when CEO Jason Citron sold OpenFeint to GREE in 2011 for $104 million, which he used to found Hammer & Chisel (a game development studio) in 2012.
Then, Citron’s company raised another round of funding from Silicon Valley venture capital firm Benchmark Capital and from Tencent, a Chinese internet gaming company. Other early investors for Discord included Accel, IDG, and TWI.
Since Discord’s launch in 2015, numerous investors continued to contribute significant funding, helping Discord expand their business. A list of those investors can be viewed here…
In a 2016 interview with Tom Marks of PCgamer.com, Citron, himself, explained that Discord is still currently operating on venture capitalist funding and doesn’t need to charge for anything yet. Citron states, “Everything that’s free now will stay that way. Things like soundboards, custom server URLs, and other services…could be sold, entirely optional if you don’t want to pay for them.”
In April 2018, Citron reported to the Wall Street Journal that Discord had just filed the paperwork to raise approximately $50 million at a $1.65 billion valuation, with a majority of the funding going toward building out their Nitro subscription program.
Learn More About How Discord Currently Makes Money By Watching This Video
What is Discord?
Discord is a free VoIP application specifically designed for the online gaming community, which was initially released in 2015. Discord can operate on multiple platforms – such as MacOS, iOS, Windows, Android, Linux, and over web browsers.
The app offers voice and video calling as well as text messaging so that the gamers can strategize with one another mid-game. Discord has benefited from the recent online expansions of team-based video games such as League of Legends, Fortnite Battle Royale, and Overwatch.
Why is Discord So Popular?
Gamers (and groups with other interests) have found Discord to be one of the easiest platforms to use in order to chat and connect with one another.
According to Lori Grunin of CNET, “There’s never been a voice chat service quite so easy to use — just drop a link into your web browser, and you’re chatting with friends and foes — or so easy to scale for text and voice chat across huge gaming communities…Discord doesn’t compete with anyone; rather developers can integrate Discord servers and communities into their game experiences, which is also one of the reasons for its popularity. In the past, incorporating these capabilities and scaling them required a lot of custom servers and code. This goes for streaming services like Twitch, as well.”
As of 2018, Discord has reached 130 million users.
How To Set Up And Use Discord
You can use Discord as a web app, or directly download Discord by visiting their website.
Discord has a self-guided tutorial for users the first time they sign in. Users can also click on the orange exclamation points in the app at any time, and gain access to helpful instructions and tips for using it.
Learn How To Set Up And Use Discord By Watching This Video
Does Discord Sell User Info?
Users have long debated about if their information was being sold by Discord to help them generate revenue. However, according to a 2017 Twitter post, Discord maintains that they do not sell user information: