Discord begins testing premium subscriptions in creator economy push

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Discord app logo is seen displayed in this illustration taken photo

By Sheila Dang

– Chat platform Discord will launch a pilot test to let content creators sell subscriptions for access to their online communities, the company said on Tuesday, as it aims to keep up with the burgeoning creator economy.

Social media personalities in worlds as varied as entertainment, fashion and cryptocurrencies are increasingly earning money from their fans by gatekeeping content behind subscriptions sold through sites like Patreon or charging for access to their YouTube videos.

Discord, which lets online communities or “servers” talk with each other over calls, video or text, now aims to offer this feature natively on its service.

“Naturally we want creators to be successful, and we need to make running communities (on Discord) more sustainable,” said Derek Yang, lead product manager at Discord.

Creators can offer up to three tiers of membership to their Discord community and set the price between $2.99 and $99.99 per month.

Creators will also be able to see analytics data so they can better understand how their business is performing, such as how much revenue they are earning per membership tier, Discord said.

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The pilot test will begin with a small group of creators to start, before it is made more widely available.

(This story corrects fifth paragraph to show membership price can go up to $99.99 per month, not $9.99)

(Reporting by Sheila Dang in Dallas; Editing by Andrea Ricci)