Amazon-owned game stream broadcasting service Twitch has announced that it is pulling one of the biggest benefits for Twitch Prime users: Advertising-free streams.
One of the biggest game streaming sites around, Twitch celebrated its acquisition by retail giant Amazon by adding a benefit for subscribers to the company's Amazon Prime service: Those linking their Amazon Prime and Twitch accounts receive Twitch Prime, with a range of benefits from free games and in-game goodies to the ability to subscribe to a channel - a way of showing financial support to a streamer, typically costing real-world cash - for free. Key among these benefits, though, was the removal of advertising from all streams - with Amazon ensuring that partnered streamers didn't lose out on income as a result.
That benefit, though, is to go away. 'As we have continued to add value to Twitch Prime, we have also re-evaluated some of the existing Twitch Prime benefits,' the company warned users in a blog post late yesterday. 'As a result, universal ad-free viewing will no longer be part of Twitch Prime for new members, starting on September 14.
'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. We want Twitch to remain a place where anyone can enjoy one-of-a-kind interactive entertainment, and ads allow us to continue making Twitch the best place for creators to build communities around the things they love and make money doing it.'
Anyone paying their Amazon Prime subscription fee monthly, Twitch has confirmed, will continue to receive advert-free streams until October 15th; those with an annual subscription, meanwhile, will not see adverts until their next subscription renewal date.
While Twitch positions the move as a way of financially supporting streamers, its motivations can be questioned thanks to the existence of another way to remove adverts from streams: Twitch Turbo, an $8.99 a month subscription service paid on top of, or instead of, an Amazon Prime subscription.