Discord Business Model: How Does Discord Make Money In 2023

With everything being so reliant on the internet, from gaming to talking to hanging out with friends to working remotely, we all want a platform where we can communicate constantly.

And when it comes to fuss-free, user-friendly chat/voice platforms, Discord is at the top of the list!

What Is Discord & Does It Work?

Discord is a server-based social chat that allows you to interact via voice calls, video calls, text messaging, and sharing media files across chats.

Since its launch, it has always made the headlines being one of the popular platforms out there for daily interactions

Discord, which began as a means of communication amongst gamers and the gaming community, is now an excellent platform for anybody wanting to just hang out with their friends, talk to their work team, or join several kinds of groups — thereby justifying its change of tagline from “Chat for Gamers” to “Your place to talk.”

It is without a doubt one of the largest social chat platforms to exist today, with over 250 million active members and 20 million daily active users!

Source: Business Of Apps

Discord is a web app that works in most browsers. There is also a desktop version available for Windows, macOS, and Linux. The nicest aspect is that the web and desktop versions are virtually similar and operate flawlessly on all platforms!

They’ve also developed a mobile Discord app for Android and iOS. The mobile version runs swiftly and has an excellent user interface, adding to the reasons why it is loved by millions of people across the globe!

The Discord platform allows its members to communicate privately, one-on-one with others, or in a group chat via a server where Discord server owners can pick who they want to accept to their channel and who they do not.

Apart from the ones mentioned above, here are a few other features that make it a suitable app to use:

  • Option for adding a friend
  • Sending direct messages
  • Blocking unwanted people (most important!)
  • Creating your own discord server
  • Choosing who may join your discord server
  • Requesting to join other discord servers, etc.

Discord also has a “badge” system, which means that if you see a partner badge next to a server’s name, you know it’s one of the greatest communities around – making it simpler for users to spot the right servers!

How Does Discord Make Money?

Discord makes money by operating on a semi-freemium business model, rewarding those who pay with more and better features.Most social media companies rely on advertising and selling user data to generate revenue, but Discord has consistently avoided these approaches. 

Now to answer the burning issue of the moment, “how does Discord earn money online???”

Well, Discord has multiple revenue streams and numerous monetization tactics, let’s dive deeper into each of them:

#1 — Discord Nitro

Adding a premium feature to your account makes it feel more complete and useful.

A Discord user also has an option of upgrading to such features and having a more personalized and premium feeling on the platform.

For this, they can go for the Discord Nitro subscription that comes in 2 tiers — Nitro and Nitro Classic.

  • Discord Nitro costs $9.99 per month and $99.99 per year.
  • On the other hand, Discord Nitro Classic is priced at $4.99 per month and $49.99 per year.

Discord Nitro is a paid membership that grants its users access to premium features, additional rewards, and more fun and interactive experience on the platform.

Here’s a quick view of both the pricing plans:

Here are the top 7 things that a Nitro user gets access to:

  1. Generate custom emojis for all of their channels.
  2. Personalized Discord number tag.
  3. Create animated avatar.
  4. Get two discord server boost and an additional discount of 30%.
  5. Streamers can stream their video in a higher video resolution.
  6. Upload files up to 100MB in size.
  7. Add a more customized background to your videos.

According to Forbes, as of July 2020, Nitro subscription’s loaded features have effectively attracted the attention of over more than 1 million users and were expected to generate a whopping $130 million from its Nitro premium subscription!

#2 — Game sales

In an attempt to compete with gaming platforms like Steam &, Discord launched its own game store back in the year 2018. Here in the game store, Nitro users got access to a few exclusive games such as Dead Cells and Into The Breach.

But soon this idea was dropped as there wasn’t much profit generated out of it. But this idea of selling games was still intact.

Discord then launched the idea of partnering up with game developers and providing them with a platform to sell their games exclusively on their verified servers. Here, a game developer can offer early access to their games, post-launch features, and in-app purchases.

This whole setup is based on an absolutely strong business model in which — for every sale made on the platform, 90% of the revenue goes directly to the game developer’s pocket and Discord takes 10% out of it.

For example, if a game is sold for $200, Discord will receive $20, and the remaining $180 will go directly to the game creator.

This strategy has proven to be a huge success for Discord over the years!

Also Read: How Does Planet Fitness Make Money?

#3 — Server Boosting

This premium subscription, as the name implies, boosts the server with enhanced performance and functionality for an additional fee.

For boosting a server, it costs $4.99/month, whereas a Nitro subscriber gets an additional 30% discount (a premium feature).

The server boosting comes in 3 levels —

  • Level 1: This unlocks when there are two users on the server paying a subscription fee.
  • Level 2: This unlocks when the number goes up from 2 to 15
  • Level 3: This requires 30 boosts to get unlocked!

The amazing thing about this is that Discord offers all server users access to premium features, even if they aren’t paying for the service.

History of Discord

Discord Inc. started back as a voice-over chat network intended primarily at making gaming experiences easier.

It was founded by two video-game freaks — Jason Citron & Stanislav Vishnevsky

Jason is also the founder of another social gaming platform OpenFeint, which was eventually acquired by GREE for a whopping $104 million, and Stan Vishnevsky also developed a social gaming platform, called Guildwork in his early days.

With their ideas and learnings from their prior experiences, they founded Discord, which solved all of the issues left unaddressed by TeamSpeak and Skype, taking it a step further to become a crowd-pleasing software.

They publicly released the app in May 2015 under the domain name, and the tagline “Chat for Gamers”.

Also Read: Twitch Logs

Discord quickly became a household name for people all around the world, and its applications were far beyond just “only for gaming” talks. It was on its way to becoming a multi-purpose communication network.

Few years later, it became a popular tool for daily communication in agencies and the small business sector (giving tough competition to Slack and Microsoft teams). This is when the Discord team decided to modify its tagline to “Your place to speak,” giving it a tagline that perfectly resonated with its audience.

In just 7 years, Discord has evolved to be one of the most popular social chatting apps on the planet. With over 350 million unique registrations and 150 million active users, this company is obsessed with setting unrivaled standards!

How Much Money Has Discord Made?

When it comes to generating revenue, Discord has some of the brightest minds behind its revenue generation techniques. It has seen a consistent increase in its income over the years. With $5 million in sales in 2016, it has paved its way into the 100-million-dollar club in style!

With over 150 million active users and 350 million registrations Discord broke the market and clocked $200 million in revenue in 2021, up from $70 million in 2019.

And now with approx. 25 billion messages sent each month on the platform (beating Messenger’s monthly messages count!), Discord has clearly set its sights on the billion-dollar revenue mark!

Discord Funding, Valuation & Revenues

To say Discord is a popular chat platform would be an understatement. It has always been a fast-growing company, giving its competitors like Steam, Slack, Microsoft teams, Skype, etc. tough competition.

With 16 funding rounds, Discord has raised $995.4 million (close to $1 Billion) as the total funding amount, with the most recent funding round raising $10.5 million through the secondary market.

Source: Crunchbase

Discord has 31 investors, including Franklin Templeton Investments, Fidelity Management and Research Company, Coatue, Baillie Gifford, Index Ventures, and Sony Interactive Entertainment, with Arcane Group and Flat Capital being the most recent.

Over the years, Discord has also acquired 3 organizations — Blitz App, Ubiquity6, and Sentropy Technologies.

When it comes to valuation, Discord has proved time and again that it is an excellent investment option for all investors. It joined the billion-dollar club in 2017 when it was valued at roughly $1.6 billion. Discord has made it a priority to break its previous year’s record ever since!

This social chat network was recently valued at a mind-boggling $15 billion, more than double its previous valuation.

Who is the owner of Discord?

Discord is owned by Jason Citron and Stanislav Vishnevsky.
They both grew up as hardcore video game fans and loved the close bonds, friendships, and relationships they formed while playing them. Before founding Discord, Jason and Stanislav had also built two other social gaming sites, Open Feint and Guildwork, respectively.

Does Discord make a profit?

The Discord business model can be described in just one word — Robust!
Despite the fact that the firm is based on a semi-freemium model, it appears to be doing well in terms of profit-generating. There are various Discord revenue streams such as a game store, Discord merchandise, Discord store, various subscription plans, etc. contributing to the argument that the firm is doing well.

It has witnessed a large increase in its active user number over the previous few years, from a measly 25 million users in 2016 to an enormous 200 million users in 2021 — implying they have a huge scope of being extremely profitable!

What is a Donate bot?

Donate Bot is a Discord bot that enables a Discord server owner to accept money in return for server responsibilities. Users pay via PayPal, and server owners can withdraw funds immediately to their own PayPal accounts.

How much is Discord worth?

With over 150 million monthly active users, Discord’s valuation was estimated to be $15 billion back in the year 2021, which was more than double what it was a year prior. Discord has been a consistent increase in its valuation right from 2017 when it was valued to be around $1.6 billion.

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