When you look at all of the offerings Amazon now has, it's hard to believe that it started as a humble online bookstore. The company now offers exclusive electronics, streaming music and video, digital delivery of app and games, and has acquired several other companies such as ComiXology and Twitch.
Twitch was a major investment for Amazon, with the company spending nearly $1 billion to acquire the gaming stream site. Amazon is now trying to leverage that purchase to make its Amazon Prime service even more appealing by adding new benefits through what it's calling "Twitch Prime."
Twitch Prime is adding several of the benefits of the Twitch Turbo program to Amazon Prime, including ad-free viewing across the Twitch website, exclusive emotes and chat badges, free game loot, discounts on boxed game preorders and new releases, and one free channel subscription every month (though Twitch is quick to point out that the owner of the channel will still get paid as though it were a regular subscription). Because Twitch Prime's features overlap with Twitch Turbo, regions where Twitch Prime is available (US, UK, Canada, Germany, France, Italy and Spain) will no longer offer new Turbo subscriptions. Those who are current Turbo subscribers can keep that subscription if they choose, however. More details can be found on the Twitch blog.
Introducing Twitch Prime! Free game loot, free channel sub every 30 days, the best of Turbo and the best of Amazon Prime, and more! pic.twitter.com/Mequi11BZQ
— Twitch (@Twitch) September 30, 2016
To go along with the rollout of Twitch Prime, new features are being added to Twitch. TechCrunch reports that the keynote speech that opened TwitchCon this Friday mentioned several new features, including a few that will really benefit content creators on the site. Viewers will be able to create clips from their favorite streams from mobile devices, letting them share their favorite moments on the go. Uploaders will also have more options regarding what they upload, with Twitch allowing other gaming videos beyond just livestreams and previously-live content. Creators will also be able to reward their long-term viewers with custom badges that the creators themselves can design. Transcodes and HTML5 support are also being added to the site.
Adding these benefits to Amazon Prime is a smart move for Amazon, as it allows the company to better monetize Twitch without having to change up the site itself. Instead of trying to make more money from Twitch directly, it's using the site's benefits as a way to make Amazon Prime subscriptions more enticing to gamers. This is especially useful now that Amazon allows monthly payments for Prime subscriptions in addition to the annual subscription option that was the only option people had for years. Gamers and others enticed by the Twitch content may see this as the tipping point when trying to decide whether or not to subscribe to Prime, growing a major part of Amazon's revenue plan in the process.
Some may wish that Twitch and Amazon stayed separate. When Amazon's purchase of Twitch was announced, though, a number of fans did speak out and ask whether there would be Twitch-based Prime benefits in the future. Twitch Prime is free for anyone who already has Amazon Prime; all you have to do is link your Twitch and Amazon accounts here.
Twitch Prime is available now to Amazon Prime subscribers. Additional features will roll out over the coming months.