How Does Discord Make Money & How Viable Are The Strategies?


By Jack Lin

Update on

how does Discord make money

Game lovers and tech enthusiasts have been reporting about their curiosities regarding how Discord makes money.

This is because the simple and profit-free (as it seems) operations of the Discord app look too easy to attract money.

Well, the answer lies in the marketing strategy, and we will shed light on that.

Let us talk about the Discord app and how it managed to rise intelligently.

About Discord


Discord is a free voice, video, and text chat app designed predominantly for gamers, although its user base has expanded significantly to other communities as well.

A Brief History

Born in 2015 out of a need for a dedicated communication tool for gamers, Discord quickly gained traction among communities of all shapes and sizes. But here’s the head-scratcher – how does a free platform sustain itself? Let’s find out!

The history behind the launch of Discord

Features of the Discord App

If you wonder how Discord makes money, then an idea about the app’s features will make you understand better. The app has two versions- freemium and premium.

The freemium business model provides basic services without levying any charges, and the premium model takes charges for additional features.

Let’s Now See Some of the Features of Discord That Are Available for Free:

  • 100% free-of-cost communication
  • Low latency mode
  • Optimized CPU consumption
  • Enable friends list
  • Easily compatible with mobiles and PC both
  • DDoS and IP protection enabled
  • Direct texting enabled
  • Modern interface for text chats
  • Various channels
  • In-game overlays
  • Customized hotkeys
  • Complete permission for access to most of the features
  • Advanced push notifications

If you are wondering how Discord makes money, know that they have been expanding its list of features over the years after its launch by adding better and more advanced elements.

StreamKit Discord:

StreamKit was a new page launched by Discord on the website in 2016, which was dedicated separately to streamers.

The page contains all the various integrations and tools to facilitate better streaming, like Muxy, Nightbot, OBS, GameWisp, Patreon, YouTube, Twitch, etc., that can be added to the Discord servers.

Rich Presence Discord:

This feature was launched in 2017 to allow the games easier connection with Discord users. With the help of this feature, anyone can easily jump into matches and play games with their friends anytime.

You can even watch the matches, spectate over them, and send invites for parties to the co-gamers.

Money-making Strategies of Discord

Although Discord is a free VoIP app, it remains strict about its policy of keeping the chat platform fully ad-free.

The developers have also been very stringent about the disallowance of selling the user data to any other party as they want to keep the trust intact in their relationship with the users.

Now you must be surprised as to how Discord makes money without these activities. Let us then tell you how:

Merchandise Store of Discord

The company also sells various merchandise like branded sweatshirts, hats, hoodies, t-shirts, etc. The company makes some revenue from the sale of these items as the devoted fans of Discord love them.

And the company has a marketing strategy, which is very effective, and they follow unique ways of promoting its products. First of all, they have no usage charges for the application.

Instead, they try to garner support for the app from the users by asking them to purchase cosmetic items and merchandise so that they be able to meet the expenses of the company.

Random Cosmetic Items

Discord gives free services just like other popular games. However, certain features in the app are meant to be purchased, like customized emojis, skins, sticker packs, and sound packs.

These are optional and random items that the users can buy without expecting to gain any significant advantage in the game.

Discord Nitro

This is a paid version of the application. Interested users can buy this subscription for 4.99 dollars a month or 49.99 dollars a year. This version has its own perks like:

  • Personalized Discord tag
  • Custom emojis
  • Animated avatars
  • HD screen share in chats of up to 1080p quality
  • Unique Nitro badge
  • Enhanced upload limit up to 50 MB.
Discord Nitro

Discord announced the addition of new games to the Nitro library in 2018. They will only charge 4-9 dollars more for enjoying these games. Loyal fans can choose to stick to the classic Nitro plan.

So buying this pack contributes to the software development and is highly encouraged by Discord.

Support of the VCs to Discord

Discord made an announcement in 2018 about the signing of a deal worth 150 million dollars at a staggering valuation of 2.05 billion dollars.

The companies involved in this deal were Greenoaks Capital as the lead, with members from Firstmark, Tencent, Index Ventures, Technology Opportunity Partners, and IVP.

The funding that comes from such big companies is used by Discord in the promotion of international growth of the brand and improvement of Nitro, along with rewarding the employees.

Besides, if you are facing the issue of Discord not opening, click to fix it now.

Revenue Strategies of Discord for the Future

Now you know how Discord makes money, so let us tell you how they will continue making money in the future.

They have been making plans to survive in the competition, along with retaining the primary components of the service.

Other than Nitro, Discord is striving to play the game better with the following revenue sources:

1. GameBridge

This feature allows for easy integration of the app with the game. It was released for free usage but was soon disabled. Several interesting features of it include:

  • Auto-matching of players in the voice channels
  • Positional audios
  • Easy controlling of audio settings
  • Community building benefits of partnership
  • Video, GIFs, and screenshot sharing enabled
  • Auto-creation of servers in the gaming guilds for temporary or permanent status

2. Revenue Sharing with the Games

Discord can partner with Gaming companies to earn more revenue through referrals.

They recently partnered with Spotify, allowing the users to connect the two accounts, share the music over their profile, or enjoy music on the servers only.

This is a great strategy to keep the gamers attracted, and the company might venture with the same concept in the corporate or art world too.

3. Launch of a Game Store

Discord announced the plan to launch a dedicated game store in 2018. They have already launched the beta version of a store in Canada to around 50,000 users, which was later made available to everyone.

Now they sell games directly and made the access exclusive for the Nitro subscribers. The “First on Discord” platform has been used by Discord to launch exclusive services and new indie games.

Launch of a Game Store

90/10 Revenue Splitting by Discord

This was another marketing strategy that Discord came up with in 2019, which involved sharing the revenues in 90-10 proportions for self-published games.

Discord also strove to transform the game store into a self-serving game publishing platform.

The revenue split would allow any developer to publish its games on the Discord-owned store and get a 10% share in the revenue generated. Discord also announced the rise of the active user base to 250 million in 2019.

The Success Rate of Discord Business

So other than how Discord makes money, questions about the profitability of Discord also hold ground. Let’s analyze that.

Despite working on the freemium business, it is evident from the available performance data that Discord has managed to earn more than enough money to operate the company nicely.

Since its launch in 2015, Discord has kept investors glued to it with big investments and funding. It reflects the success they have gained. Their user base has also significantly increased; where they started with a family of 25 million and grew into a vast one of 200 million users latest.

The revenue that they earn from the merchandise and subscription plans. Sale has a little margin, but the collective gains made from the enormous fan base are huge and enough to keep the company running.

Recently the company has been experimenting with new marketing strategies and coming up with new ideas like the game store or the revenue split of 90/10. All of this indicates the strategic strength of the company and the successful future they hold.

Certain safety issues associated with the software have found their way into discussions worldwide. Language abuse, profanity, explicit content, violent threats, racial bigotry, drugs, etc., have been frequent in the discussions on the servers.

Different disturbing stories have been reported, and all such mishappenings have been attributed to the app’s easy UI and relative privacy. However, the company has been making strides toward securing the website from such issues.


  1. How does Discord make money? Discord primarily makes money through its Nitro subscriptions and server boosting. It also occasionally partners with game developers for exclusive deals.
  2. Is Discord free to use? Yes, Discord’s core features are entirely free. However, they offer premium features under their Nitro subscription.
  3. What is Discord Nitro? Discord Nitro is a premium subscription service that offers additional features, such as server boosting, improved video quality, and custom emojis.
  4. What is server boosting in Discord? Server boosting is a feature where users can pay to upgrade servers with better audio quality, extra emoji slots, and more.
  5. Did Discord have a game store? Yes, Discord launched a game store in 2018, but due to lack of user interest, the service was discontinued in 2019.
  6. Does Discord make money from advertising? Discord’s advertising is minimal and mostly non-intrusive. Their primary revenue comes from Nitro subscriptions and server boosting.

Final Words

We have done a careful analysis of Discord and will let you know all about how Discord makes money. The company is here to stay and will only do better in the future, owing to its brilliant strategies and user attentiveness.

Try out the app if you are a gaming lover, and let us know about the experience.


10 years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.