Discord Expands Online Marketplace to Justify $15 Billion Valuation


Summary: Popular messaging service Discord is expanding its marketplace of virtual goods and digital customization tools to all users, aiming to validate its $15 billion valuation. The company, known for its messaging service used by gamers, recently launched an in-app store called Shop, allowing subscribers to decorate their accounts and avatars with virtual items. Now, non-subscribers will also have access to the marketplace. Unlike its competitors, Discord has focused on subscriptions for revenue, offering features like file-sharing and HD video streaming. Discord is also introducing revenue-sharing for eligible developers and enhancing user safety.

Discord, the popular messaging service primarily used by gamers, is expanding its online marketplace as it seeks to justify its $15 billion valuation. The company recently launched a new feature called Shop, which is an in-app store where subscribers can purchase virtual goods and digital customization tools for their accounts and avatars. Previously, only subscribers to Discord’s premium Nitro offering had access to this feature, but now it will be available to all users. The company is aiming to tap into the larger user base of non-subscribers by opening up its marketplace to them.

Unlike social media platforms like Meta, Snap, and Pinterest, Discord has chosen not to rely on digital advertising for revenue. Instead, it has focused on providing premium features to subscribers, such as the ability to share large files and stream high-definition video. Nitro memberships, which range from $2.99 to $9.99 per month, make up the majority of the company’s revenue.

In addition to expanding its marketplace, Discord is also introducing revenue-sharing opportunities for eligible developers. Developers in the U.S. can already build apps on top of the platform and let users subscribe to them, while keeping 70% of the subscription sales. This feature will now be extended to eligible developers in the U.K. and Europe. Discord is highlighting its commitment to user safety as well, with the introduction of a warning system to inform users if they’re violating content moderation rules. It is also implementing a safety tool for younger users that automatically blurs inappropriate media in chats and DMs, as well as scans messages for safety issues and sends alerts to teens if necessary.

By expanding its marketplace and offering new revenue opportunities, Discord is aiming to prove that it can live up to its high valuation. The company is taking a different approach from its competitors, relying on subscriptions and virtual goods rather than advertising. Discord believes that these offerings hold value for consumers and can generate revenue. With the expansion of its marketplace and the introduction of revenue-sharing for developers, Discord is positioning itself for future growth and diversification.

Tags: Discord, marketplace, virtual goods, valuation, subscription, revenue-sharing, user safety