Home » Tips & Tricks » How Does Discord Make Money?

How Does Discord Make Money?

We Look Over The Ways That Discord Generates Revenue Despite Being Free To Use

WePC is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Last Updated:

As of summer 2020, Discord the company was valued at $3.5 billion, with an estimated revenue of $120 million for the whole year. The question is, how does a platform which is free in its basic form generate this much revenue? Below we will discuss the various sources of cash flow for the business, their current level of importance, and how important they may be to the business going forward.

Discord Nitro And Server Boosting

Nitro and server boosting are the biggest source of revenue for Discord. Nitro is essentially the premium subscription version of Discord that comes in the regular Nitro option and also Nitro Classic, which is a more stripped down and slightly cheaper version. Server boosts are a way for you to improve the general user experience on a specific server for all the members, not just yourself, and are a great way to contribute to online communities you are part of. Both Discord Nitro and Server Boosting come in the form of monthly subscriptions. Follow the links below for WePC articles on both of these subjects if you want more information:

Cosmetic Items on Discord

Cosmetic upgrades and items don’t offer any practical use, but they are a way for people to feel more creatively involved in their online communities and generally enhance their user experience. These include custom emojis, skins, sticker packs and sound packs. As shown by popular free2play online games such as Fortnite, CS:GO and DOTA 2 etc. cosmetic items can be big earners for companies that have large and enthusiastic user bases.

Discord Game Store

This particular revenue stream is no longer active, though it may return: In August 2018 the Discord Game Store came online for a global audience. As the name suggests this allowed people to buy games via the Discord app. Game developers could self-publish their games on the platform for 90% of the revenue, Discord themselves getting the remaining 10% – potentially a very good deal for indie game developers looking to market their product. The crucial advantage for Discord, besides the 10% cut, was that they got exclusive rights to sell the game.

In October 15th, 2019 the game store was closed, and its features no longer available, though if you have already bought some games through it you may still be able to play them.

Discord Merchandise

Another revenue stream that is not currently active: Up to 2015 Discord did have an active merch store where you could buy Discord branded clothing, plush toys, and the like, however since then the store has been inactive. The only real way you could pickup Discord branded merchandise was through giveaways and events organised by the company. For December 1st 2020 Discord did run a temporary “pop-up store” at https://discordmerch.com/ but these were items that Discord said they didn’t actually want people to buy, but to try and win as part of their Snowsgiving charity fundraising event. You could of course directly buy the items, assuming you were willing to cough up the princely sum of $10,000 for a sweater.

It is unclear if Discord intends to open up a dedicated merchandise store at some point in the future, certainly there is a market among its hundred of millions of users. For now at least it seems that the company is focusing its attention elsewhere.

Final Word

This has been a brief discussion of how the online communication platform Discord makes money. We hope this has been informative for you. If you are interested in learning more about the platform please check out the other articles by WePC concerning Discord.

Technology Writer AT WEPC

Aaron Ritchie

From halcyon days playing Sonic 2 on the Megadrive, to trying to work out how to make the 'TOASTY!' man appear on Mortal Kombat 3, many of Aaron’s fondest childhood memories are associated with gaming. He regrets nothing. First getting into PC gaming through exposure to Drug Lord 2.0 and then the original Half Life, he has been a fiend ever since. If you need to know anything about gaming laptops, he's your guy.