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.