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Discord prevents competitive threats by deepening its audio communication service for gamers and other communities. Today the company introduces Stage Discovery, a new way for friends to rest and discover audio events.
The new feature complements Stage Channels, which Discord can use to fend off rivals Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces. Stage channels are an easy way for people to host audio panels, comedy nights, and other live audio events. Stage Discovery makes it easier to explore these audio events without having to hop on and off Discord servers to find the ones you want to check out. Stage Discovery will be available in June.
San Francisco-based Discord is in a highly competitive market. In a story we first covered, the six-year-old Discord recently started and ended talks with Microsoft that were to be acquired for more than $ 10 billion, and then announced that Sony had made an investment in Discord. Discord is valuable as a strategic communications backbone for many game companies to speak to their fan communities, and it has also grown well beyond its gaming roots, CEO Jason Citron said at a press briefing earlier this week.
“This is a really dramatic change,” said Citron. “It was inspiring to see how new and creative people are using our service. The people who come to Discord have made it a place to do art, share plant care tips, play karaoke, speculate on cryptocurrencies, and most importantly, they have made Discord a place to be themselves while exploring communities hanging out with friends and making new ones. They found belonging. The word belonging is powerful. It probably resonates a little differently with each of us after the last year. Everything we do at Discord is based on our mission to create space to help people find belonging. “
Image credit: Discord
According to Citron, Discord has grown to 150 million active users per month and doubled its number from 2019 to 2020 as the pandemic made its mission of creating places for people to belong more important than ever. Discord does not sell advertising or user data and relies on its Nitro subscriptions for higher quality services for revenue. That strategy could have left Discord vulnerable to acquisition. Citron said, however, that Nitro subscription revenue has tripled and that there is a “strong and healthy business” going on.
“When we look into the future, we see a world where people are spending more and more time online,” said Citron. “This trend has accelerated dramatically over the past year. And we want this time to fill us as human beings, bring us together and not feel isolated or forced apart. I am excited to see how this group was able to help people spend more time together as our servers and features work in a unique way. Discord is about conversation and community content. “
In response to Clubhouse’s success, Discord launched Stage Channels last month for more professional or complicated events than just talking to friends. The press event was held on such a channel and it makes it easier to have audio speakers on stage with an audience listening and raising hands to ask questions. Stage Discovery allows friends to experience audio events in large groups, just like a physical event. Stage Discovery will announce some “exciting creators” to kick off. A creator’s name rhymes with … rhymes. (Maybe it’s Grimes).
“Voice channels were part of the original functionality when we first launched in 2015, but we had heard from people that these events could be difficult to manage when organizing increasingly large audio events on Discord,” said Citron. “That’s why we wanted to give them the opportunity to make conversations with a few people easily accessible to a large audience. Stages have been very popular since we started them. And we’re proud to have successfully delivered this feature that people really want. But we don’t stop there. “
Serving the community
Image credit: Discord
The community asked for ways to host a paid event, such as a B. a special meet and greet, a course on financial literacy or even tutoring. Together with Stage Discovery, Discord will begin testing paid tickets for special audio events where the community can make money through Discord. It’s in private beta for now.
Discords is also launching “Threads,” a new feature that will be available this summer. This makes following text chats easier and more efficient, allowing you to dig deep into a “rabbit hole”.
According to Citron, the company continues to invest in trust and security, adding tools to support communities of all shapes and sizes. Just last week, a new exam was introduced as part of the Moderator Academy. Discord is also launching a branding campaign called Imagine a Place on TV and movie screens going forward. Discord already has 68% brand awareness among 18- to 24-year-olds.
Citron started Discord in May 2015 with Eros Resmini (who has since left) and Stanislav Vishnevskiy, Chief Technology Officer. The company now employs 350 people, 15% of whom are dedicated to trust and security. About 18 months ago, about 30% of server owners said their community wasn’t gaming focused. Now 78% of active users say they use Discord for non-gaming purposes. In total, it has 19 million active servers and 40% of daily active users use speech. They spend an average of 146 minutes a day listening or speaking.
Discord noted that there are Boy Scout meetings, book clubs, comedy clubs, distance learning, music and language learning communities. Turning to the future, Citron said, “We are optimistic that we will continue to grow as we look for ways to add more value to our Nitro subscribers who want the best.”
Stage channel details
Image credit: Discord
The stages can currently hold around 1,000 spectators in a single room, but it will be 10,000 by early June. Vishnevskiy said one of his favorite events was an orchestral concert by a group of musicians in Plano, Texas. You can find such events through the Stage Discovery service and share the event with friends. There is no limit to the number of people who can be on stage, Discord senior product manager Rick Ling said in an interview with GamesBeat.
He declined to say if Discord was responding to Clubhouse. But he said the company’s focus is on helping people figure out where they belong and having conversations with people, mostly using voice conversations. Stage Channels is an extension of that, he said. So far, the company is not considering video stages. Stage Discovery will be available to 100% of users on all platforms through June.
“Most importantly, it’s now easier to host these events because stages have special controls that only allow a few people to speak at the same time,” Ling said. “Other people have to raise their hands to speak. But you know who is actually speaking. “
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