Suggestion - Change License Model

I’ve been using TS since early 2000’s before TS3 and I’ve been running my own TS3 server off and on since TS3 launched more than a decade ago. I note this because I’m someone who does appreciate the audio quality and better audio device support compared to discord. The vast majority of everyone else in the gaming community however don’t. Discord’s market share, and more importantly Discord’s mind share, are dwarfing their competition in this market space including TS. While I think the TS5 client is a step in the right direction, I believe a core aspect of why there has been such a shift toward Discord is because of their revenue model in comparison to TS licensing.

From discussing this with the groups of people I interact with on Discord one of the most common threads is people don’t want to have to pay for a license for core functionality, which is almost always in reference to the number of user slots on their servers. I don’t think the TS5 clients features alone are going to claw back any significant market share without adjusting the licensing and revenue model for both the server and client side. I think there also has to be a move of the revenue drivers from license model for scaling server-side to value adds beyond core functionality (primarily limiting the number of user slots) along with some reasonable unobtrusive ad streams. The current/old revenue model generating revenue from server-side licensing based on restricting user slots is a significant deterrent when compared to other competing options.

Another approach would be to allow users who pay for some TS subscription to contribute toward a server’s features similar to how Discord’s NITRO “Server Boost” works.

  • Create an alternative license model for TS servers that is based on generating revenue from add-on features rather than limiting core function / scale
    • I.e. unlimited concurrent user slots with a “basic” features set using Opus, unencrypted, etc.
  • Offer add-on licenses / subscription to extend server features for clients connected to your server; i.e.:
    • Remove ads/ad space for client-side when connected/using your server
    • Custom profile banners and/or theming exposed to client-side
    • Offer unlimited users based on codec / channel features, e.g. allow unlimited user slots for channels using CELT and/or Speex, encryption, etc.
  • Setup a market place for 3rd party plugin/integrations developers to sell verified/validated extensions through
  • Offer subscriptions for users to enhance client-side features such as their user profile

In summary, I’d love to be able to move back to TS because I prefer it over Discord, however, I don’t foresee being able to do so without some changes to where the “value-adds” are. I don’t think offering “10 slot” free servers is going to win over users who are content with the quality level of Discord and expect to not be limited on the number of users.

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