If you click on a link and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. Read our editorial policy.

Discord has launched an audio channel feature in competition with Clubhouse

Like radio for people who don't own radios

Discord, the gaming chat platform, has added a new feature called Stage Channels. These are described as "a special type of voice channel... where some people can talk and others can listen as the audience." It's essentially the defining feature of Clubhouse, the invite-only mobile app that briefly attracted media attention earlier this year.

In a Stage Channel, certain participants are marked as speakers while everyone else is the mute audience. You might think of it as like livestreaming without the video component, or like a live podcast. Or, wait - it's radio. You remember radio, right? Because for a moment there, I did not.

This functionality has become sought after by social media companies in the past few months due to the surge in popularity of Clubhouse, a mobile app that was suddenly being used by Silicon Valley and US media folks. At the time, the consensus was that Clubhouse's key feature would be copied by every other social media company going - and now here's Discord with their response.

Adding extra interest to this story is the rumour last week that Microsoft are in talks to buy Discord for $10 billion (around £7.2 billion). Microsoft have tried and failed to build their own streaming and community tool for folks who play games (RIP Mixer), so it's not a surprise they'd be interested in buying one that already exists.

For me, I like audio-only content because I can listen to it while travelling (usually walking) more easily than I can watch a video. That convenience is diluted a lot by the audio being live and streamed rather than downloaded before I leave the house.

You can read more about how Discord's new Stage Channels work and how to start one on this Discord support page.

Tagged With

About the Author

Graham Smith avatar

Graham Smith


Graham used to be to blame for all this.

Support Rock Paper Shotgun

Subscribe and get access to supporter-only articles, an ad-free reading experience, free gifts, and game discounts. Your support helps us create more great writing about PC games.

See more information


More News

Latest Articles

Supporters Only

Rock Paper Shotgun logo

We've been talking, and we think that you should wear clothes

Total coincidence, but we sell some clothes

Rock Paper Shotgun Merch