New Discord feature enables server owners to charge monthly subscription fees

Discord Premium Memberships
(Image credit: Discord)

Discord is looking to make it easier for channel owners to make money on their work, and as a big step in that direction it is now testing a new feature called Premium Memberships that will enable community creators to charge for access to some or all of their servers.

The ability to charge for content "is one of the most requested features from creators," Discord said. It's possible to do so through third parties such as Patreon (and many communities are doing so), but not natively through Discord—until now.

"Premium Memberships introduce a streamlined and simple way to offer premium experiences, content, and interactions within your community," Discord said. "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."

The new feature is currently being tested in a "select handful" of communities, but Discord said it's "really excited by the feedback we've received so far." That's not surprising, at least as far as the concept goes: Channel owners are already doing this anyway, they're just having to jump through some hoops to make it happen. Enabling them to more easily monetize their work without the extra hassle is bound to make the platform more attractive, especially to ambitious newcomers who don't already have some form of subscription system set up. 

It will also be a boon for Discord, because it will reap the very tangible rewards of whatever percentage it charges for the service. Discord hasn't actually announced what kind of cut it will take, but I think it's reasonable to assume that it's not going to do this for free.

Access to Premium Membership testing will be expanded to more Discord communities in 2022. In case you'd forgotten, this seems like a good time for our regular reminder to please enjoy Discord while it's still good.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.