Social media platforms usually rely on advertising as a significant revenue source. However, this is not the case with Discord, as the company vowed in 2016 that they’d never run advertisements on their platform. That said, how does the company make money then?
How Does Discord Make Money?
Discord makes money by selling games, individuals paying to “boost” their servers, selling their own unique Discord merch and lastly by charging a monthly subscription fee to users who want additional features to supplement the free service. This monthly subscription is called Discord Nitro.
There is also a rumor that Discord gathers their users data and sells it to third parties. I touch on this down below, but for now let’s talk about how much Discord actually makes.
How Much Does Discord Make?
Discord is estimated to have made over $5 million in 2016, over $10 million in 2017, over $30 million in 2018, over $45 million in 2019, and over $130 million in 2020.
Discord saw massive growth from 2019-2021 due to the global pandemic. During this time period many people began staying at home and communicating with friends and family through platforms like Discord.
Not to mention all the people who started to work from home as well. With such a drastic change in lifestyle and communication, many people turned to Discord as a means to more easily connect with others.
And even as the global pandemic appears to be winding down, it does not seem that Discord will be slowing down anytime soon.
How Much Is Discord Worth?
Discord is worth approximately $15 billion as of September 2021. This new valuation represents a more than twofold increase from the $7 billion valuations given to the company during the last fundraising session.
Discord was initially a very gaming-centered platform, but over the years it has evolved and has adapted to the different interests of its users.
This adaption, and increased use from people outside of gaming, has fueled Discord’s rapid growth. And this rapid growth has obviously lead to a major increase in valuation.
Is Discord A Publicly Traded Company?
Discord is not currently a publicly-traded company. However, it is rumored that Discord will have an Initial Public Offering (IPO) in early 2022 which will then make it available for the public to trade. But nothing has been confirmed yet.
Discord has become a lucrative target for investors and users in the wake of its excellent performance. It has already been targeted by several major corporations, such as Microsoft, who have made offers to purchase the company.
However, Discord turned down Microsoft’s $12 billion offer, leading many to believe that the company has plans to hit Wall Street.
Discord is mainly funded by private entities like Bessemer Venture Partners, Greenoaks Capital, Index Ventures, Greylock Partners, Accel Partners, and Tencent Holdings.
But experts speculate that Discord will go public soon. It makes sense when you consider that other companies working in the gaming space are taking the same route.
Since 2020, game development platform Unity, game hardware manufacturer Corsair, and game developers Roblox and Playtika have gone public and done well. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Discord follows the same path.
Now that we have an idea of how much Discord makes, let’s discuss how much they pay their partners.
How Much Does Discord Pay Its Partners?
Discord partners do not get paid anything from Discord. Discord partners are eligible for various benefits and perks, but monetary compensation is not part of those benefits and perks. However, partners may have other sponsors and affiliates that they make money from unrelated to Discord.
Discord Partners are granted access to personalized servers that include a tailored URL, banner, and splash screen for inviting others to join their community.
The Discord Partner Program is designed specifically for communities that invest time and effort to create engaged communities on Discord. These active and engaged communities serve as role models for others who are trying to build their own communities.
Earlier, the Discord Partnership Program used to rely a little too heavily on numbers to decide who was allowed in. However, in recent years, this has changed to some extent.
Discord no longer considers only numbers as they’ve understood that having non-Discord metrics (likes, views, shares, etc.) doesn’t always guarantee an active server community.
That’s why these days, they focus more on ensuring that the server is growing and is headed on the right path before allowing a user into the partner program.
Does Discord Sell User Data To Make Money?
Discord stated that they would never sell users’ data to third parties to make money. In their policies, they’ve made their intentions clear on user data. Although many have speculated that their data is being sold, it is simply not true.
Adverts are the primary source of income used by various online services, including social networking platforms.
Advertising is, after all, a simple process of generating capital. The fact that Discord doesn’t tamper with user engagement by showing ads is a massive win for all its users.
Discord knows users are skeptical, which is understandable given its ad-free platform. However, Discord has stressed that it has no plan to sell user data at any point in the future.
Although they acknowledge the “when you’re not spending, then you’re the product” mentality, they still claim that this isn’t the case on their platform.
There’s hardly any actual evidence that suggests that Discord is involved in selling user data to third parties.
But if you still feel uneasy about Discord collecting your data then you can go into your user settings and adjust what data Discord is allowed to collect from you.
So given the privacy that Discord offers, it is safe to use?
Is It Safe To Use Discord?
Discord is safe to use as there’s no evidence that the company sells user data. Like any other social platform out there, it’s important to be careful when exchanging information online, especially sensitive information.
Always stick to the platform’s guidelines and you will be safe. If you suspect that your data has been abused, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Discord support team.
For more on what to do if your Discord is hacked check out my article here.
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- CB Insights: How Community Chat Mega-Platform Discord Makes Money — Without Ad Revenue
- Discord: Discord Partner Program
- Twitter: Discord
- San Francisco Business Times: Bay Area Social Media Startup Eyes Funding Round With $7 Billion Valuation
- The Business Journals: Discord eyes funding round with $7 billion valuation
- CNBC: Discord CEO on social audio app’s next big spends after recent $500 million funding
- Business of Apps: Discord Revenue And Usage