Discord is testing a program to let users sell tickets to virtual events. After the surge in participants seen by the gamer-favored social media network during the pandemic, this ticketing move could open up a new revenue stream for them. As of now, it has opened the ticketing service to a small, invitation-only group and is still determining whether it will take a cut of the fees, and if yes, then how much.
The move to monetize its vast audience comes after reports that the San Francisco-based Discord rejected a $12 billion takeover offer from Microsoft Corp. in April. “We got numerous offers,” Discord Chief Executive Officer Jason Citron said in an interview, declining to name specific suitors, according to Bloomberg. “Our business has just been going so well.”
In 2020, Discord saw its user base double as people stuck at home during the pandemic turned to the platform for various ways to connect virtually. The app, which initially had the focus on letting video gamers chat with one another while playing, has more than 150 million users each month and brought in more than $100 million in revenue last year, the company said.
Discord makes money from its Nitro upgrade options as otherwise, it offers its services for free. Users can pay about $100 yearly or $10 a month for perks such as animated avatars, better emoji, and higher resolution video and screen sharing. Discord’s plan to allow hosts of virtual events to charge fees follows a similar move by Twitter, which earlier this month announced a ticketing option for live audio chats on its new Spaces feature. Both companies have taken inspiration from the audio-only app, Clubhouse, which became a cultural phenomenon in Silicon Valley during the pandemic and added a payments feature last month.
Earlier this year, a feature called stage channels was launched by Discord, that lets users host events for an audience. As part of its effort to broaden its appeal, Discord is making it easier for people to find audio events on its platform. Citron said he’s not worried about the future of the app in which there’s a possibility that people stop using it after the pandemic.
“We started working on the beginnings of how Discord could be a mainstream service before Covid,” Citron said. “I believe that the trend of people spending more time online is something that has been happening for years.”