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Creators can monetize servers with Discord's new premium membership

Creators can monetize servers with Discord's new premium membership

Discord is starting to test a new premium subscription feature that will allow creators to monetize their servers. An initial pilot going live today with about 10 creators will pave the way for Discord's 150 million monthly active users to access a range of channels or servers and receive payments to support creators.

Premium subscriptions provide what many creators are already using: a way to provide access to more content or community members. Paying customers will be able to create Discord community tier perks, view analytics on member engagement, and lock down channels or even entire servers.

“We see Discord becoming home to more creators and communities through products like premium subscriptions,” explains Sumeet Vaidya, director of engineering at Discord in an interview with The Verge. “By providing community creators with money-making tools, more of them will drive communities with healthier engagement in the long run.”

While Discord already has several integrations with Patreon, YouTube, Twitch, and other services that let customers on other platforms gain exclusive benefits or privileges in Discord servers, premium subscriptions will be entirely native to Discord. This means that Discord also sets the payment terms directly, and has opted to split 90/10 with the creators, allowing Discord communities to keep 90 percent of all revenue.

Vaidya says, “We want to make sure that the creators make as much money as possible while also making sure that if the creators are successful then Discord is also making some money which makes sure that Discord is successful too. "It was the most favorable split we could think of, to make sure both sides are invested in the long run."

However, it is not clear how this revenue split would work if people subscribed on mobile. Apple and Google cut such subscriptions and in-app purchases, and right now Discord is only enabling it through its desktop and browser clients.

So what do you get if you opt for a premium subscription to Discord servers? It's really up to the creators, and it's something they're looking to see in their communities to help shape these subscriptions during this testing phase. Already journalists, professional mapmakers and other communities are monetizing their Discord servers, many of which offer a smaller, more intimate community or special features for customers using the Clubhouse-like Stage Channel audio features.

It is clear that Discord saw this emerging trend and wanted to make it more streamlined, native to its platform and easier for everyone involved. While you can only combine Discord subscriber channels with a Twitch streamer or Patreon subscription, Discord is working with a diverse set of communities to test premium subscriptions and make them accessible to both creators and Discord users.

There will be a little blue star next to premium subscription channels, and if you try to access them, you'll be offered tiers set by the creators. You can see Discord community servers testing this new feature in the coming weeks, and it's something that will expand to more communities over the next year.

“This is one of our most requested features from creators,” reveals Vaidya. "While this is something that many manufacturers already do through third parties, this is the first time they will be able to do it natively on Discord."

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