By virtue of having Amazon Prime, a lot of Twitch members have Twitch Prime as well, a natural conclusion with Twitch’s parent company being the massive online retailer and all. One of the benefits of Twitch Prime had, since its initial introduction, been the ability to avoid ads while still contributing monetarily to the service and streamers. In an announcement today, Twitch has revealed plans to remove that particular benefit of Twitch Prime.
“As we have continued to add value to Twitch Prime, we have also re-evaluated some of the existing Twitch Prime benefits,” the Twitch blog post reads. “As a result, universal ad-free viewing will no longer be part of Twitch Prime for new members, starting on September 14.”
The decision, Twitch says, came down to supporting streamers, which the blog post explains can now “strengthen and expand” their advertising opportunities without a large number of Twitch Prime subscribers choosing to opt out of advertisements. The reasoning is decidedly strange, as Twitch had previously made it clear to broadcasters that, even though Twitch Prime subscriptions were not seeing the ads, the streamers were still getting revenue for them. Twitch removed that wording and information from their FAQ today ahead of the announcement, but an archived version can be found here.
Twitch subscribers looking for ad-free experiences can still subscribe to Twitch Turbo, which is separate and distinct from Amazon Prime. Twitch Prime users can also still lose ads by subscribing to a channel that allows advertising-free viewing for subscribers.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with adjusting benefits because you feel like you’re offering too much in absolute terms, but I think that explanation makes more sense than arguing it mostly benefits the streamers.