I’m a firm believer that businesses can use Discord to connect with their customers and give them content they care about. In addition to helping run a Discord community for an independent publication, I like to write about Discord’s potential uses here on the Zapier blog too.
So, when Discord released its Server Subscription functionality at the end of last year, I was excited to see how server owners could use it to build professional communities.
Here, I’ll walk you through what I’ve discovered and how you can use Discord Server Subscriptions to earn money for yourself or your business.
What are Discord Server Subscriptions?
Discord Server Subscriptions let server owners monetize their servers using a subscription model with one to three tiers. This feature became available to all users in December 2022.
Here’s how it works: members of your Discord server pay you a monthly fee to get access to unique content, features, and communities. You can keep parts of your server behind your subscription or require a subscription for any access to your server.
How much of a cut does Discord take from Server Subscriptions?
According to Discord’s monetization terms, Discord collects 10% of your subscription revenue. This policy makes the subscription cut roughly the same or slightly more than Patreon, depending on your tier pricing.
It’s also worth noting that you have to make a minimum of $100 to withdraw your Server Subscription earnings.
How to create a Discord server with subscriptions
You’ll need to have a Discord server in the first place to add subscriptions to it. I explained how to create a server in this blog post on building a community if you need a hand.
Also, Discord requires you to meet these eligibility guidelines to use the Server Subscription feature:
Account user age 18 or older
A Discord account in good standing (no rule violations, recent safety violations, suspicious activity flags, or unpaid Discord charges)
A verified account email and phone number
Two-factor authorization enabled for your account and required for your server’s moderator actions
With all of that settled, click your server name in the upper-left corner of your server, then choose Server Settings.
Go to the Server Subscriptions option, and follow the below steps to add subscriptions to your server.
Become a community server
If you haven’t already, convert your server to a community using the prompt near the top of the Server Subscriptions page or the Enable Community option in your Server Settings menu. Click Get Started on that page to start setup.
Discord will prompt you to follow three steps:
Safety checks: Require a verified email from server users and turn on media scanning for explicit content.
Setting up the basics: Create channels for rules and community updates. Discord can automatically create these for you if you don’t have them yet—very nifty!
Finishing touches: Set default notifications to Mentions Only and disable “risky permissions” like channel management for the @everyone role. Then, agree to the Community Server Guidelines and Community Guidelines.
Once you have your Community server in place, create a high-quality welcome experience to improve your members’ time with your server. Have a plan in place for how you’ll manage your community, too.
Turn on Server Subscriptions
When you have a Community server, the prompt at the top of the Server Subscriptions page will turn into Start Earning. If you meet the monetization requirements, you can check a box and click the button. If not, Discord will walk you through the requirements when you select the button.
Before you can fiddle with your subscription tiers, Discord will prompt you to create a team and add your payment information.
Click the Create Team button to go to Discord’s developer settings in your browser. From there, click New Team to add members to your server management team and set up payment options through Stripe.
With your team ready to go, choose it as your payment team on the Server Subscriptions page to get access to all features.
Customize your monetization options
Now you can create your tiers and perks and adjust them to your liking.
Start with the Basic Info tab, where you can decide on your subscription exclusivity, describe your subscription program, and add a cover photo.
Then, on to your subscription tiers (in the Tiers tab).
Click the New Tier button to create a tier and determine these details:
Basic info: Tier name, price, description, and avatar
Channels and benefits: Exclusive channels, Discord role permissions, perks outside of Discord (such as merch or content), and emoji for this tier
Free trial: Free trial availability, plus your free trial’s time limit and exclusivity if you turn it on
Visual flair: Name color and icon for members subscribed to this tier
Advanced options: Option to archive a tier to remove it and cancel renewals for it
As its name implies, the Emoji tab lets you upload up to 25 subscriber-only emoji. You can decide which tiers can use an emoji as you upload it.
From there, you can go to the Payment tab at any time to check your revenue and subscribers. Here, you can also check your transaction history and change your payment team.
Promote your server with your Promo page
Your server’s Promo page is the page that will appear in Discord’s server directory advertising your subscription tiers. Here’s an example of one from content creator Bella Poarch.
Go to Promo Page under Monetization in your Server Settings to customize yours. You’ll have these options to work with:
Show your premium offering: Turn access to your Promo page on and off.
Your promo page URL: Copy your Promo page URL or visit it.
Choose page accent color: Select the color for the buttons on your Promo page.
Teaser trailer: Add a YouTube URL for a trailer for your subscriptions.
Choose what you want to show: Toggle the public subscriber count for your Promo page.
Discord Subscription Server ideas for your business
Discord Server Subscriptions give you a lot of control over the perks you can offer your subscribers. But how can you put them to use? Here are some use cases for this feature.
It seems that Discord primarily has content creators in mind for its Server Subscriptions, which makes sense considering its geek/gaming background. Streamers, YouTubers, and artists can provide unique content, merch, and behind-the-scenes peeks. For example, ChefPK’s Food Fight Academy offers special meetups to certain subscriber tiers.
Freelance writers can follow a similar model. Perks could include things like special newsletter releases and blog posts.
If you have an established server focused on community, memes, and socialization, Server Subscriptions give you a chance to reward loyal, paying members.
Some perks these users might be interested in include exclusive emoji and roles. Many Discord users subscribe to servers specifically for emoji, so don’t underestimate the appeal of providing unique ones. Subscription-related roles let you provide special permissions like voice chat priority and thread creation, leading to new ways to interact.
Be careful with providing special permissions to subscribers, though, especially if you have a dedicated base of free users. Taking away Discord functionality from free users and giving them to paid members probably won’t fly with an established community.
Discord is home to tons of learning communities for languages and other academic subjects. Its format also lends itself well to communities where people can share their professional expertise.
In either of these community types, private channels could drive subscriptions. Offer text and voice channels for a “learning buddies” program or personal coaching. Don’t forget about voice channels—your paid chats could offer special study groups or webinars.
eCommerce shop owners can get in on Server Subscriptions as well. Offer subscription-gated channels for deal drops, product releases, and limited pre-orders. If you go this route, be sure to connect Discord to Zapier so that you can automatically post new products and coupons on Discord.
Zapier is a no-code automation tool that lets you connect your apps into automated workflows, so that every person and every business can move forward at growth speed. Learn more about how it works.
Discord also makes a great channel for you to provide tech support for your product. As part of your subscription, you can provide a full community or exclusive channels for fast-track support.
Pave your own way
As you mull over your Discord Server Subscription possibilities, don’t limit yourself to one of the monetization models I shared. Think of the content, knowledge, and community only you can offer, and look for ways to provide them in your server.