How Discord Generates Revenue: A Deep Dive


Discord, the popular communication platform that has taken the world by storm, has a unique business model that sets it apart from many other tech companies. Unlike many platforms that rely heavily on ad revenue, Discord has carved out a niche by focusing on user experience and premium services.

Let’s explore the various ways Discord generates revenue.

Discord’s Subscription Services

One of the easier ways Discord makes money is through subscription services. To enhance the core features, Discord offers a premium service called Discord Nitro, Which is available in two styles: Discord Nitro Classic and Discord Nitro. These subscriptions provide users with various benefits, including higher-quality video, more emojis, and larger file upload limits.

Server Boosting: Enhancing Community Experience

Another easy way for Discord to generate revenue while enhancing the value it provides to its user base is server boosting.

Users can pay to boost servers, providing additional features and benefits to their favorite communities. This enhances the user experience and builds a sense of community and engagement among users. 

Game Distribution: A Platform for Gamers

Discord also earns revenue from game distribution. The platform lets users purchase games directly, providing a convenient and integrated gaming experience. This feature further solidifies Discord’s position as a gaming go-to platform, offering convenience and a wide selection of games.

Sponsored Quests: A Shift in Advertising Strategy

While Discord has traditionally been anti-ads, it recently introduced Sponsored Quests. These quests allow game developers to advertise to users less intrusively, serving as a marketing tool and exposing games to a broader audience. Gamers can opt to discover games and earn rewards for playing them.

Discord targets ads based on users’ age, geographic location, and gameplay data. These ‘Sponsored Quests’ appear on the bottom left of the screen. Users can disable personalized promotions for specific quests or games they’re not interested in.

While ‘Sponsored Quests’ depart from Discord’s ad-free stance, they are less intrusive than traditional social media ads. It’s a strategic move that balances revenue generation with user experience.

Merchandise Sales and Virtual Events

In addition to its digital services, Discord generates revenue through merchandise sales and virtual event tickets. Discord offers a range of digital goods, including apparel, stickers, emojis, and other fun items. These microtransactions contribute to the company’s overall revenue.

By selling branded merchandise, Discord generates income and strengthens its brand presence. Users can express their loyalty and identity through these virtual items.

Moreover, Discord hosts virtual events, providing another avenue for revenue generation. These events can take many forms:

Art Competitions

Members submit artwork based on themes, encouraging creativity and community participation.

Kahoot! Quizzes

Interactive quizzes keep users engaged and entertained.

Talent Shows

Members showcase their skills, from singing to dancing.

Inter-Server Giveaways

Collaborating with other servers for cross-giveaways boosts engagement.

Minecraft Events

If linked to a Minecraft server, in-game events provide additional value. Virtual events not only create memorable experiences but also strengthen the sense of community within Discord.

Fostering Paid Communities

While Discord doesn’t directly make money off privately owned paid communities, by allowing Discord server owners the freedom to charge a subscription to their server allows server creators to invest in marketing to attract more users to the Discord platform. These marketing efforts by servers can result in a large net of new users who weren’t originally using Discord as their communication tool. Services like Ternary empower Discord owners to easily monetize their communities and manage their members. 

If you are interested in starting a paid Discord server click here to get started with Ternary. 

The Future of Discord’s Business Model

Discord’s unique business model has proven successful so far. The platform generated $130M in revenue in 2020, nearly triple the $45M it made the year prior. However, the sustainability of this ad-free model remains to be seen. As Discord continues to grow and evolve, it will be interesting to see how its revenue streams develop.


Discord’s focus on user experience and premium services has allowed it to carve out a unique niche in the tech industry. Discord has built a sustainable and growing business by offering its users value through various revenue streams.