How Does Discord Make Money? [And What Is It?]

Screenshot of Discord homepage

Source: discord.com

Discord Overview

Discord is a free software that allows people to chat via text, voice, or video in real-time as well as and join servers where larger communities can interact together. The application runs on Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, and web browsers, making it highly accessible to people around the world.

With the COVID-19 global pandemic forcing the whole world under lockdown, tools, and apps that allow virtual communication have been crucial in regaining a semblance of a normal life. The platform has been instrumental in helping virtual communication around the world, as shown by the statistics published by Discord in a blog post.

In Spain and France, the daily number of people talking on Discord has more than doubled since the beginning of 2020; in Italy, it’s more than tripled. In the US, we are seeing a 50 percent growth in daily voice users, with the highest growth in states like California, New Jersey, New York, and Washington.

As of October 2020, Discord’s official website displays the following statistics:

  • Monthly active users: 100+ Million
  • Active servers per week: 13.5 Million
  • Server conversation minutes daily: 4 Billion

 

What is Discord?

As noted above, Discord is a chat app, similar to programs such as Skype or Zoom, with the exception that it is primarily geared toward online video game players. Hence, Discord’s appealing features include easy ways for gamers to find each other through ‘servers’ and the ability to coordinate gameplay by chatting while playing.

The software supports video calls, voice chat, and texts, to allow users to get in touch in the most convenient ways possible. In addition, users can also connect their Spotify accounts to Discord to stream music on their Discord accounts and allow their friends to see what they are listening to and listen along.

However, although it was for awhile synonymous with it’s use by online gamers, the digital platform has now evolved into the host of a wide and diverse range of communities that focus on a variety of topics like anime, programming, self-improvement, travel, music, and more.

Since then, the Discord team has dedicated a page of their website, named ‘Ideas and Inspiration for How to Use Discord’ to teach new users how to vary their use of the platform.

Screenshot of discord blog post

Source: blog.discord.com

 

How Does Discord Make Money?

While the software itself comes at no cost, the creators offer Discord users premium features, like upgrading emojis, bigger file uploads, and more in two tiers: Discord Nitro and Discord Nitro Classic.

 

With Discord Nitro Classic, for a monthly subscription fee of $4.99 or a yearly fee of $49.99, users can:

  • Upload a gif avatar.
  • Choose their Discord tag.
  • Use custom emotes everywhere.
  • High-quality screen share with 720p at 60fps or 1080p at 30 fps.
  • Upload files up to 50 Mb instead of 8 Mb.
  • Get a Nitro badge.

 

With Discord Nitro, for a monthly subscription fee of $9.99 or a yearly fee of $99.99, users can:

  • Make their own custom and animated emojis.
  • Use an animated avatar and claim a custom tag.
  • Get 2 Server Boosts and 30% off extra Boosts.
  • Get a profile badge that shows how long they have supported the platform.
  • Share high-quality files with a 100MB upload size.
  • Share videos, screen share, and live stream in high resolution.

 

Screenshot of the Nitro page

Source: discord.com

 

Talking about how the company secured a large amount in funding, a Forbes article, titled “Discord Was Once The Alt-Right’s Favorite Chat App. Now It’s Gone Mainstream And Scored A New $3.5 Billion Valuation” and published by Abram Brown on June 30, 2020, mentions the following:

Its broader appeal has also captured the attention of venture investors. In a reversal of how things usually work in Silicon Valley, Index Ventures’ Danny Rimer, whose firm had invested in Discord’s last fundraising in December 2018, called them in February to offer more money. In a deal not previously reported, Citron and Vishnevskiy agreed in June to take another $100 million in venture funding—at a $3.5 billion valuation, up from $2.05 billion 18 months ago. 

The funding comes with the understanding that Citron and Vishnevskiy, who hold stakes in the startup worth probably more than $350 million each, will continue to broaden the app’s audience and focus on growing revenue. Discord is on track to top $120 million in sales this year, Forbes estimates, up from around $70 million last year, fueled by its subscription service called Nitro, which allows users to customize their profiles and the Discord groups that they belong to.

 

Company Info

Discord Inc. (originally Hammer And Chisel Inc.), was founded in 2015, by now CEO, Jason Citron, and Chief Technology Officer, Stan Vishnevskiy. 

The prologue section in the About the Company page of the Discord official website describes the origin of the software as a solution to “a big problem”:

Discord was started to solve a big problem: how to communicate with friends around the world while playing games online. Since childhood, founders Jason Citron and Stan Vishnevskiy both shared a love of video games, cherishing the friendships and connections that formed while playing them. At the time, all the tools built for this job were slow, unreliable, and complex. Jason and Stan knew they could make a better service that encouraged talking, helped form memories, and recreated the feeling of togetherness all found through gaming.

As of October 2020, the company has 628 employees listed on their LinkedIn page. Job posts are uploaded onto their website, here.

 

 

Discord Contact Info

You may reach Discord via the following social media pages:

 

Conclusion

All of the above is a basic run-down of Discord as a company and their operations as an online chat program and video conferencing software. To learn more about Discord, you can visit their website or check out their blog for more information on the product and its online communities.

 

 

 

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