Reddit introduced Reddit Gold in 2010 in an announcement that was surprisingly candid about their need to raise money. The original Reddit Gold was a combination of both premium, ad-free subscription and a type of reaction that allowed premium members to “gild” a post. A year ago Reddit revamped and separated their subscription service from paid reactions. Reddit community awards followed shortly after.
What was previously the subscription component of Reddit Gold is now Reddit Premium, which gives subscribers an ad-free experience and 700 coins per month for 5.99/month. Coins can also be purchased separately:
- $1.99 = 500 coins
- $3.99 = 1,100 coins
- $9.99 = 3,100 coins
- $19.99 = 7,200 coins
- $99.99 = 40,000 coins
- $199.99 = 82,000 coins
Awards range in price. And yes, people actually do give the expensive Argentium award (Actually, Reddit has since introduced awards costing up to 50,000 coins). Some awards include a period of Reddit Premium and/or some number of coins the recipient can use to give awards to other members:
- Trinity: 50,000 coins or $161. Recipient also gets 6 months Premium and 5,000 coins
- Argentium: 20,00 coins or $64. Recipient also gets3 months Premium and 2,500 coins
- Platinum: 1,800 coins or $5.80. Recipient also gets 1 month Premium (including the 700 coins for that month of Premium)
- Gold: 500 coins or 1.61. Recipient also gets 1 week of Premium and 100 coins
- Helpful Pro: 500 coins or $1.61. Recipient also gets 100 coins, and an additional 100 coins for the subreddit it’s in
- Rocket Like: 300 coins or $0.97. Aside: it’s not clear how paid reactions contribute to ranking in Reddit
- All-Seeing Upvote: 30 coins or $0.10. Only available to Reddit Premium members
(USD pricing above based on 3,100 coins for $9.99.)
Many Reddit reactions/awards are available across the entire site, though Reddit community awards as discussed in The Verge and NY Post, and an example in r/Cringetopia. Some awards give coins to the sub/community, which is the bank that moderators draw from when giving moderator-exclusive awards to members.
Similarly to Reddit, Twitch stream viewers can cheer and reward streamers with cheermotes or emotes (terms used interchangeably) purchased with twitch coins. A number of cheermotes are available across all of Twitch, but partner and affiliate streamers can design their own emotes. Twitch streamers depend on subscriptions and emotes for revenue.
Twitch reported $12 million in Cheermote sales in the first ten months of availability in 2017. That’s a tiny portion compared to the estimated $1.54 billion in 2019 revenue, 80% of which is said to be subscriptions to more than 300,000 partners and affiliates.
Reddit hasn’t reported any numbers related to subscription or coin sales, but it’s estimated the site sees 11 million new posts and 26.6 million visitors per month. I did some quick (woefully incomplete) crawling of Reddit and estimate visitors kick in about 250 coins per post on average (including awards given to comments on those posts), resulting in about $8 million in revenue per month, or about $0.30 in revenue per unique visitor.