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Discord has enabled creators to sell premium memberships to fans, so they can monetize them through multiple tiers of subscriptions.
Derek Yang, senior product manager at Discord, said in an interview with GamesBeat that Discord worked on the project for the better part of a year in an effort to build more sustainable creator communities on the platform.
The company wants to create a space for people to find belonging, and the creators, admins, and moderators who build and run the communities where people can find that are central to that mission. But for them to stick around, they also need to see some payoff for their efforts.
Jesse Wofford, group product marketing manager, said in an interview with GamesBeat creators have become a key part of Discord.
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“We talking about those who have built communities, not only around their own content, but also passion points, like fashion, food, and music. In many cases, the community itself is actually the content,” Wofford said. “One of the tenets that we’re starting to think about is ensuring that these creators can not only build, but ultimately maintain and sustain these amazing communities.”
To highlight community members such as experts and entertainers, the company built its Stage Channels platform, which enables creators to hold events where they can speak to a lot of fans, and Discord more recently added Scheduled Events. With those in place, it now makes sense to roll out premium memberships with multiple tiers for fans to express their enthusiasm.
With Premium Memberships, creators and community owners will have the ability to gate part or all of their server behind a paid subscription. This is one of the most requested features from creators, and many of Discord’s communities already offer this type of experience through third parties. Discord will now let a select handful of creators test this experience natively on Discord.
Once someone takes out a subscription, they get access to a new tier of services, like being able to listen to VIP sessions with the creator. Someone in a higher tier might be able to ask questions during the VIP session.
“We are on the same mission and we want them to succeed. For that to happen, we believe it’s really critical that we make it sustainable to run community servers on Discord,” Yang said. “Our mission is to empower and reward creators to sustainably create belonging here. And we think that by creating the tools that led these community creators to earn money, many of them will run more healthy, engaged, long lasting communities here.”
Premium Memberships introduce a streamlined and simple way to offer premium experiences, content, and interactions within a community. You can set it up, devise tiered perks, and view analytics on member engagement directly on Discord. And with a quick and seamless process members can subscribe and immediately access benefits with payments and support all happening directly within Discord.
Over the coming weeks, users will see some of their favorite communities testing out this new feature. Creators can have many as three published tiers at a time. You have to pay for the service tier and agree to the terms of service.
“We’re taking this in a step by step approach. We really expect to hear a lot of feedback and thoughts and general experience,” Yang said. “Based on that we will evaluate the next steps. But as you know, the platform is evolving. The overall creator ecosystem is certainly changing all the time. So we’re going to always be thinking about new ways to empower these creators to be successful here.”
Discord will let creators keep 90% of the revenue, and 10% will go to Discord.