August 23, 2018
On September 14, Amazon will end ad-free viewing on Twitch Prime, which has been complimentary since it was launched two years ago as a benefit for Amazon Prime subscribers. Twitch Prime has since evolved into its own thriving platform, featuring free games, in-game prizes for some titles and a monthly channel subscription credit that the user can award to a streamer of his/her choice. These perks will remain despite the end of ad-free viewing. Amazon is positioning the change as a way to better support creators.
According to The Verge, Amazon stated in a blog post that, “advertising is an important source of support for the creators who make Twitch possible. This change will strengthen and expand that advertising opportunity for creators so they can get more support from their viewers for doing what they love.”
It also notes that because Twitch “essentially foots the bill for the complimentary $4.99 monthly subscription as part of Twitch Prime, and it also let millions of users forgo advertising that it would otherwise get a cut of … [it] is also financially benefiting from removing this perk.”
Only new Twitch Prime subscribers will lose ad-free viewing on September 14; any Amazon Prime subscriber who linked his account to Twitch Prime will keep this perk until October 15. After those dates, ad-free viewing will only be available via an $8.99 monthly subscription to Twitch Turbo.
Twitch Prime will continue to be part of Amazon Prime membership, which boosts the latter’s profile, even as, in January, Amazon raised monthly Prime membership by 18 percent to $12.99 per month. In April, the company also raised its annual Prime membership from $99 to $119, the same month chief executive Jeff Bezos announced that Prime has 100 million paying subscribers.
On the Twitch blog, Amazon stated that, “on top of everything you get through Amazon Prime, this year alone we’ve offered members more than $1,000 worth of games and loot.” Anyone with an annual subscription, or who upgrades to an annual subscription, will get the ad-free version until October 15, and “all other Twitch Prime benefits, like monthly channel subs, monthly games and loot, and chat badges are not changing.”
Emphasizing that, “advertising is an important source of support for the creators who make Twitch possible,” the blog added that, “Twitch Prime is still, and will always be, packed with premium benefits you can’t get anywhere else,” including “more and better free games with Prime and in-game loot every month, monthly channel subscriptions, exclusive badges, along with new benefits and surprises.”