Twitch says its $8.99-per-month Turbo subscription will still offer ad-free viewing
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Twitch Prime, the streaming video site’s Amazon-style benefits program, will no longer include ad-free viewing as a complimentary perk starting on September 14th, the company announced today. Initially launched two years ago as a suite of benefits for Amazon Prime subscribers, Twitch Prime has grown into a more robust platform that offers free games, in-game loot for select titles, and a monthly channel subscription credit that can be awarded to a streamer of the member’s choice.
All those perks are remaining part of Twitch Prime, and the only aspect of the service that is changing going forward is the ad-free viewing. Twitch describes the decision as a way to help better support streamers. “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,” reads the company’s blog post.
Also important to note is that Twitch essentially foot 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. So Twitch itself is also financially benefiting from removing this perk, although the free monthly subscription as part of Prime is remaining.
Users with Twitch Prime activated, which basically means anyone who’s linked their Amazon Prime account to their Twitch account, will still get to enjoy ad-free viewing until October 15th. The September cutoff will be for new Twitch Prime subscriptions. After that, the only way to get ad-free viewing will be to subscribe to Twitch Turbo, which is a separate tier of service that costs $8.99.
Twitch still does not offer Twitch Prime as a standalone service, likely because Amazon wants Prime to continue looking like a good deal even as it raises the monthly and annual cost. Amazon bumped monthly Prime membership fees by 18 percent back in January to $12.99 a month. In April, Amazon increased the cost of its annual Prime plan from $99 to $119; CEO Jeff Bezos announced that same month that Prime now has 100 million paying subscribers. Twitch Prime is just one of the many benefits of paying for Prime, in addition to two-day shipping, access to Prime Video, and — after Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods — in-store grocery discounts as well.