Business Operations Business Models

How Does Discord Make Money (Business and Revenue Model)

The Discord business model

How Does Discord Make Money?
Here’s what you should know:
  • What is Discord, and how does Discord work?
  • How does Discord make money?
  • Discord Nitro
  • Discord Nitro Classic
  • Sticker Shop (Sticker Packs)
  • Server Boosts
  • Discord Partnership Deals
  • Discord’s Subsidiaries, Acquisitions, and Exits
  • What is the Discord business and revenue model?
  • Discord’s profit and revenue
  • Discord’s funding and valuation

How does Discord make money if it’s free to use? Here is a full, in depth, breakdown of their four (4) revenue streams and the different products and services they offer, as well as the Discord business model, their year over year revenue, and how Discord works.

What is Discord, and how does Discord work?

Discord is a communication platform built around creating communities for users to conglomerate on. Users can text message, video call, voice call, send media, and files amongst each other through private chat or to the community, called “servers”.

Founded in 2015 by Jason Citron and Stanislav Vishnevskiy, Discord has become one of the largest online communities growing to more than 140 million monthly active users (MAU) and is now in talks to being acquired by Microsoft for more than $10 billion.

Discord App in Apple App Store | Discord Business Model | How Does Discord Make Money? | How Does Discord Work?
Source: Apple App Store | Discord

How does Discord make money?

With Discord’s 140 million monthly active users (MAU) and 300 million registered accounts, how does Discord make money?

Below is a breakdown of the Discord revenue model. Laying out all of their revenue streams and how much they charge for each service, including their three (3) subscription models, the digital goods they sell, and partnerships they are involved in.

Here are the 4 ways of how Discord makes money (in 2022):

Discord has a revenue model that makes money in four (4) ways; Discord Nitro, Discord Nitro Classic, sticker packs, and server boosts.

#1. Discord Nitro

For the first two years in business, Discord had no revenue. So in January 2017, Discord launched the company’s first paid service called Discord Nitro, a monthly subscription service to offer users access to more perks on the platform.

Discord Nitro Cost:

  • $9.99 per month
  • $99.99 per year (16% off)
Discord Nitro | Discord Business Model | How Does Discord Make Money? | How Does Discord Work?
Source: Discord

#2. Discord Nitro Classic

In October 2018, “Discord Nitro” was renamed “Discord Nitro Classic” so they could offer a more expensive – $9.99 per month subscription – tier, while still offering their original $4.99 per month option to users.

Because Nitro Classic is only half the cost of Discord’s Nitro, Nitro Classic provides users with only the basic chat perks and no Server Boosts.

Discord Nitro Classic Cost:

  • $4.99 per month
  • $49.99 per year (16% off)
Nitro Classic Subscription
Source: Discord

#3. Sticker Shop (Sticker Packs)

Finding more ways to monetize the site, Discord released a new way of earning revenue: selling digital goods.

Users can purchase, what Discord calls, “Sticker Packs” from the Sticker Shop on the Discord Platform.

In late 2020, Discord released a soft launch to this feature as part of their beta rollout – only available to users in Brazil, Canada, and Japan. According to the team, they say they plan to collect user feedback within the community before launching it globally to all users.

Discord Sticker Pack Cost:

  • $1.99 to $2.99 per sticker pack*
Sticker Shop
Source: Discord

Note: Discord does some cross-selling here by offering *Nitro subscribers ($9.99 per month) get a 33% discount on Sticker Packs.

#4. Server Boosts

Aside from their Nitro and Nitro Classic subscriptions, Discord released another monthly subscription in June of 2019 called Server Boosting.

“Servers” are individual communities on the platform that make Discord what it is. And “Server Boosting” gives the user special perks within that community. For example, the user may get a special role within the community and receive a special badge that identifies them as a booster in the community.

Server Boost Cost:

  • $4.99 per month per server boost
Server Boosts | The Discord business model
Source: Discord

Discord Partnership Deals

Microsoft and Discord Partnership Deal (Xbox Live)

In April 2018, Microsoft partnered up with the messaging platform, Discord, which allowed users to link their Discord accounts with their Xbox Live accounts.

Because of this successful partnership, Microsoft and Discord have remained in numerous partnerships throughout the years. Including one of their most recent partnerships with Xbox Game Pass. From September 2020 to January 2021, Discord Nitro members had access to three (3) free months of Xbox Game Pass.

Fast forward three years after the initial partnership, and now Microsoft is looking to buy Discord for as much as $10 billion or more, according to Business Insider and numerous other sources.

Microsoft and Discord Partnership Deal (Xbox Live)
Source: Xbox

Sony and Discord Partnership Deal (Playstation)

On the heals of the $10 billion dollar acquisition talk between Microsoft and Discord, Sony is now taking interest in Discord as well.

Sony announced in May 2021 an investment and partnership deal with Discord to bring the chat app to PlayStation in early 2022.

Important: Not a lot of details on this partnership have been released yet, but will update as soon as more information is revealed.

Discord’s Subsidiaries, Acquisitions, and Exits

Aside from Discord being acquired by Microsoft for more than $10 billion, Discord has had its own fair share of acquisitions as well.

To date, Discord, Inc. has made a total of 3 acquisitions.

Discord Acquisitions | Discord Business Model | How Does Discord Make Money? | How Does Discord Work?
Source: Crunchbase | Discord

What is the Discord business and revenue model?

Discord makes money through a few revenue models that they combine within their company, they are:

  • Freemium (upselling) business model
  • Software as a service (SaaS) business model
  • B2B2C (partnerships) business model
  • Transaction-based business model

Discord’s profit and revenue

In 2020, Discord had a reported $130 million in annual revenue, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Note: Because Microsoft Corporation, the parent company of Discord, is a publicly traded company, under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, they must file continuous financial filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). You can find all of Microsoft’s publicly released financial reports, including annual reports, through Microsoft’s investor section on their website.

Discord’s funding and valuation

According to Discord’s Crunchbase profile, Discord has raised $984.6 million over 15 rounds and has a valuation of $15 billion as of September 2021.