Latest Discord Update Rolls Out Paid Server Subscriptions To Everyone

Per a press release on December 1, Discord has officially launched their Server Subscription service, a paid service through which server owners can offer paid premium subscriptions to members. The goal is a simple, clearly marked pipeline allowing creators to get paid for Discord-specific content and services.

The availability of paid services on social media has been a vital component of several platforms' business models. To date, Discord has been an exception. Small by social media standards, Discord as a business began as a solution to VoIP problems in online gaming. The service developed into a peer-to-peer communications platform allowing users to create and run servers for invited communities. Server members can exchange images and videos and run voice, video, and text chat. As of 2021, Discord is available in 30 languages and boasts 150 million active users monthly (via Statista).

The missing piece of Discord's jump into the big leagues of online communications platform has always been a system for paid subscriptions. Now that a payment system for creators is live, Discord will likely become more interesting to businesses and content creators.

Paid communities on Discord

Discord has long had its eye on growth, partnering with Playstation and briefly entertaining a buyout offer from Microsoft. The new Server Subscriptions certainly represent a way forward. Discord will be providing a creator portal with fresh content and tools for would-be premium server owners, as well as shareable Promo Pages to facilitate quick and easy linking to paid servers.

That said, some amount of Discord's appeal has always depended on the fact that it's free. Discord has been testing various new community building strategies throughout the last year. Premium subscriptions allowing server owners to limit available content to paying subscribers was just one innovation among many, though they have now made the jump to full features included in the base client. Other field tests included Stage Channels that split server users into speakers and listeners, and Scheduled Events, which notify users when a preplanned server event goes live.

Data on buy-in for these innovations is sparse, but certainly none of them have as yet become a must-have for every Discord user. The popularity of services like this, above all the ones that require monetary investment from users, could push Discord forward into more wide-reaching applications — rather than just for gaming or creator communities.