As of 2020, there are over 2.6 billion gamers worldwide. Quite a massive audience for business tycoons and entrepreneurs to target, don’t you think? To ensure relevancy in the gaming sector, however, it’s important that you have a good understanding of that which gamers need.
Most entrepreneurs that do well in the gaming sector actually come from a gaming background. They know exactly the difficulties that gamers face because they’re gamers at heart. And that’s why Jason Citron, CEO of Discord, was able to take VoIP communication to the next level.
Citron understood the difficulties that passionate gamers face when trying to communicate with each other. Platforms such as TeamSpeak, Mumble, and Ventrilo, while quite decent, lack a lot in terms of group chat functionalities, call quality, security issues, and a few other areas.
Having such an intimate understanding of the issue at hand, Jason Citron, along with Stanislav Vishnevskiy, was able to develop an all-in-one communication platform that’s free, secure, and extremely efficient. Offering free services, how does Discord make money? Let’s find out.
Overview of Discord
Discord is a cross-platform text chat and voice app that’s designed specifically for gamers. The app was created with the intent to replace all other VoIP services such as Skype by providing a host of features that gamers will appreciate, especially those involved in multiplayer gaming.
Not only does Discord focus on providing gamers with hassle-free communication, but it’s also a platform that’s concerned with building communities that aren’t gaming related. Utilizing Discord, you’ll be able to communicate with others via text, voice, or video with remarkable efficiency.
You can also join themed servers created by others via an invite or participation link. Moreover, you can create your own themed server. Server admins have the option to host both voice and text channels for their members. It’s a superb platform for all interest groups, not just gamers.
How to Join Discord?
The awesome thing about Discord is that it’s not designed for just one platform. You can utilize it in conjunction with your Xbox system, and you can also integrate it with your PlayStation system via unofficial ways. It’s not tied to a specific system like PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.
Being completely agnostic to the numerous consoles and platforms available doesn’t just make Discord a superb means of communication for gamers, but for non-gaming communities as well. You can use it to communicate with your family, friends, classmates, work colleagues, and such.
So, how do you join Discord, exactly? Well, the process is as simple as downloading the app for your iOS, Android, Windows, macOS, or Linux device. Thereafter, you’ll need to join a server by searching for one, creating your own, or accepting an invite from a server administrator.
Each Discord server is composed of various channels through which members of the server can communicate via voice, video, or text. Furthermore, members also have the option to share their computer screens with each other. Channels can easily be sorted by different categories.
Upon launching Discord, you’ll be able to see your servers and the channels within them on the left-hand side of the screen. On the right rail, you’ll be able to see a list of the members within a server. At the bottom, you’ll see the options to add/text friends, search servers, and more.
You also have the ability to select the servers that you want to receive notifications from so that you don’t end up receiving notifications from all your servers. You don’t need to have the same nickname for all of your servers. You can pick a different nickname for each server on your list.
You can only join up to 100 servers, and a single server can have up to 500,00 members. As a server owner, you want to reach out to Discord support if your server has over 25,000 members simultaneously and ask them for additional server space in order to avoid connection issues.
A single Discord server can have up to 50 different categories and 500 channels. It’s also worth noting that Discord features both public and private servers. Public servers are created for fans of certain topics, whereas private servers are created for exclusive group communications.
How Does Discord Make Money?
One of the many reasons why Discord is a highly respected and appreciated platform by users is that it doesn’t incorporate any advertisements and it doesn’t sell user data. During its starting stages, the platform relied on funding money, but now it has a few business models intact.
The company is based on a freemium business model, meaning that all of its basic features are free for everyone to use. However, the company provides additional features and functionalities for users who pay. What’s more, the company makes money by selling merchandise.
Even though Discord follows a freemium business model where all basic features are free for all its users, it does offer advanced features at a charge. These advanced features are in the form of Discord Nitro, the platform’s paid subscription plan which costs $9.99/m or $99.99/m.
The Discord Nitro subscription plan is completely optional. You’re not required to pay one penny if you don’t want to. However, if you’d like to support the platform and have access to a bunch of exclusive features and a massive library of video games, you should consider Discord Nitro.
The Discord Nitro plan will also offer you a personal Discord tag with a number of your choice, a special Nitro profile badge, lots of custom emojis, GIF avatar and GIF plays, high-quality screen share with 720p or 1080p resolution, and greater upload limit. That’s a lot of bang for the buck.
It’s also worth pointing out that Discord has another paid subscription program that’s catered to non-gamer users that are interested in supporting the platform. The plan is called Discord Nitro Classic and it costs $4.99/m or $49.99/m. This plan offers you premium chat perks.
Another thing worth noting is that both of Discord’s paid subscription plans have a 2-month free trial period. This is awesome because it gives you a lot of time to try out the platform’s premium features and decide whether or not they’re worth committing to a monthly/yearly fee.
Another way Discord makes money is by offering an impressive assortment of merch on its very own store. You can find everything from hoodies and t-shirts to hats and socks, with themes that aren’t just limited to gaming. Discord’s merch store helps the platform generate decent revenue.
Note that the merchandise store isn’t a notable source of profit for Discord. The platform makes most of its profit via promotional and marketing strategies that are effective, as they’re all about involving the users in the company’s vision and having them help in establishing the community.
In addition to its merchandise store, Discord also launched a game store back in 2018. This is a place where game developers can self-publish their video games for sale. As a game developer, if your game gets sold, Discord charges only 10% of the revenue share you get 90%.
The 10% that Discord charges game developers off of every game sale helps keep the platform on its feed by covering the cost of its operation. It’s a pretty small percentage, which makes the whole idea of selling video games on Discord’s game store highly appealing for developers.
Another means of generating revenue for Discord is selling a wide range of cosmetic items. This includes custom emojis, individual skins, sound packs, and sticker packs, just to name a few. It’s all designed to improve user experience in terms of aesthetics and not functionality.
Last but certainly not least, Discord raises considerable revenue with the aid of investments and funding from established companies. The platform raised a total of about $280 million in funding rounds, which has helped it improve significantly. Discord is now worth over $3 billion in value.
Discord and Small Groups
If you’re contemplating creating/joining a Discord server with a small group of friends, then you’d be happy to know that Discord is a great platform for small groups of gamers. It’s miles ahead of its competitors in terms of audio/video quality, security, texting, and overall functionality.
Discord will keep you updated on the status of your friends. It’ll notify you when they’re available to play and it’ll alert your friends of the game you’re currently playing. If you and your friends are playing different games, you’ll be able to join separate channels while still being able to text.
Discord and Large Groups
There are numerous VoIP platforms that are reliable when it comes to managing smaller groups of users, but as soon as the number of users starts to increase, many of these platforms tend to fall flat. Managing larger groups of users is what sets Discord apart from its competitors.
The awesome thing about Discord is that allows server admins to create multiple channels with different access permissions. This helps prevent having a large number of users stuck together in a single channel where everyone talks over everyone and the message board is unreadable.
Discord equips server administrators with a suite of moderation tools that enable them to keep things under control. And even if the server doesn’t have a single moderator, Discord employs automated moderation tools to keep things running smoothly for larger groups of users.
Discord and Streaming
Is Discord ideal for streamers? Definitely. It doesn’t matter the platform you’re streaming on, be it Twitch or YouTube, and it doesn’t matter the size of your audience, Discord will grant you the ability to carry out your streaming tasks as well as manage your following with ease.
Discord is actually an excellent means of growing your audience because it’s more flexible than basic chat windows like the one Twitch has. You can easily sync your Twitch or Youtube account with Discord so that you can create channels for your subscribers with special permissions.
With the aid of Discord, you’ll be able to interact with your followers via text, voice, or video, and your followers will be able to interact with each other. This will help you establish a community of some sort and a strong bond between you and your followers/subscribers.
It’s also worth noting that Discord has a mode called Streamer Mode that’s intended specifically for streamers, as the name implies. When activated, Streamer Mode covers all of your personal information so that they don’t appear on streams, including Discord tags and invitation codes.
Can You Make Money From Discord?
There are many ways you can monetize your Discord server as a gamer/streamer, one of which is limiting your server to paying members. Alternatively, you can limit access to certain channels for paid members rather than the entire server. You can also accept donations from members.
Another thing you can do to earn money from Discord is to advertise other servers on your own server. Also, if you’re involved in affiliate marketing, why not employ your server as a platform to promote products/services. Last but not least, you can try and get your server sponsored.
If you’re a total newbie to Discord, we hope that this article has given you sufficient insight into the platform’s business model and how it generates its revenue. Discord is a platform that has contributed a lot to the gaming sector and we hope that it remains on top for a long, long time.