Twitch Prime is the game-streaming specialist’s benefits subscription package, launched two years ago as a set of perks to Amazon subscribers. While all other features are remaining intact, it is the advertising that is changing.
“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”, Twitch wrote on its blog.
However, it added that viewers could still enjoy an ad-free experience, but would have to pay extra for the privilege through the Twitch Turbo service, which costs $8.99 on top of the Amazon Prime subscription.
“Additionally,” the blog says, “Twitch Prime subscribers can still get channel-specific ad-free viewing as part of Prime by using your monthly subscription token on a channel that has ad-free viewing for subscribers turned on.”
According to TechCrunch, the response from the community was unsurprisingly negative, with many members saying that ad-free viewing was the main reason that they paid for the service.
The changes are galling to some fans because of the 18% jump in the cost of the monthly Prime membership to $12.99 a month.
Such an alteration of the goal posts hints at a possible challenge for previously free platforms that were sustained by advertising – YouTube’s recent introduction of Premium is another notable example. Viewers hate ads, and are willing to pay to remove them, but creators still need to get paid and keep the platform well stocked.
Twitch sent out an email to Amazon Prime members who qualify for the service, notifying them that ad-free viewing would no longer be offered to new members as of the 14th of September.
Existing yearly members can continue to consume Twitch content ad-free until their subscriptions come up for renewal, monthly subscribers will begin to see ads from the 15th October.
Sourced from Twitch, TechCrunch, The Verge; additional content by WARC staff