Twitch Prime subscribers won’t experience ad-free viewing experiences starting next month as the platform makes changes to one of its most popular features.
Twitch announced today in a blog post that ad-free viewing experiences wouldn’t be available through Prime accounts beginning Sept. 14. New subscribers won’t be able to reap those privileges at all, but people who signed up for annual subscriptions will get a little leeway.
“Twitch Prime members with monthly subscriptions will continue to get ad-free viewing until October 15,” according to the blog post. “If you already have an annual subscription, or if you upgrade to an annual subscription before September 14, you will continue with ad-free viewing until your next renewal date.”
People who want their Twitch viewing experiences to remain ad-free will have to sign up through Twitch Turbo, which is essentially like a mini-Twitch Prime but with fewer advantages. Turbo subscribers’ main advantage is being able to go ad-free. It was introduced in 2013, and costs $8.99 a month. Twitch Prime memberships cost $10.99 a month.
“Advertising is an important source of support for the creators who make Twitch possible,” Twitch said. “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.”
Twitch Prime subscriptions will continue to focus on providing “free games with Prime and in-game loot every month, monthly channel subscriptions, [and] exclusive badges” for subscribers, according to Twitch. Still, losing the ability to watch streamers without encountering ads is upsetting for subscribers, especially people who don’t want to purchase a Twitch Prime subscription for free games, and Twitch Turbo for ad-free viewing. That’s $18.99 a month for the most dedicated Twitch user.
“I will be very blunt: Removing 2 core features (ad-free Twitch and 20% off pre-orders) and increasing the Price of Amazon Prime is pretty awful,” one Twitch streamer tweeted following the announcement. (Twitch owner Amazon announced today it was eliminating the 20 percent pre-order discount for video games, and will instead offer Amazon store credit as a replacement pre-order incentive.)
“Ad-free viewing was the only reason I subscribed to Twitch Prime,” another user tweeted. “I can’t play the games - I use Twitch on a Macbook, and there’s no Mac/PC parity. FFS.”
“It still makes sense to have twitch prime if you use get a lot of use out of amazon prime, but being ad free without using an ad blocker was the biggest selling point,” one more person tweeted. “I think this decision is going to cause people who were on the fence about keeping prime to drop it, and that will hurt affiliates like me. Bummer.”