×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Amazon’s Twitch Will Start Selling Game Downloads From Players’ Live Broadcasts

Amazon-owned platform to share 5% of sales revenue with top streamers

More than two years after Twitch was acquired by Amazon, the company is charging onto the ecommerce playing field.

Starting this spring, Twitch will let its 17,000 game-broadcasting partners sell games and in-game content directly from their pages on the platform, while they’re live-streaming gameplay. Publishers will earn 70% of the revenue and partnered Twitch streamers will earn 5% for sales originating from their channel pages; Twitch will keep the remaining 25%. Twitch is positioning the move as helping its top streamers — for whom live-streaming is a full-time job — earn more money on the platform.

As part of the program, Twitch will reward users who buy game titles with a free “Twitch Crate,” a package of randomized digital goodies such as exclusive chat emoji, chat badges, and “Bits for Cheering,” which lets fans give shout-outs to their favorite gamers.

Twitch has signed several major and indie publishers for the ecommerce program, including Ubisoft, Telltale Games, Digital Extremes, Hi-Rez Studios, tinyBuild, Paradox Interactive, Trion Worlds and Vlambeer. The program covers PC downloads only, not titles for consoles (which will require separate deals with console manufacturers).

“For years we have appreciated how supportive Twitch streamers and viewers have been of our games,” said Chris Early, VP of digital publishing at Ubisoft. “This made it an easy decision to work with Twitch to better serve our passionate community with benefits for everyone.”

While not every game publisher is participating out of the gate, “The hope is to get to the point where everything you see on Twitch, you can buy on Twitch,” said Twitch VP of commerce Matt McCloskey, who joined the company last month.

Twitch wanted to be mindful about rolling out ecommerce in a way that is “authentic to the Twitch experience,” according to McCloskey, who describes the program as facilitating “social commerce.” For one thing, that means there won’t simply be a static “buy” button on the platform; rather, the opportunity to purchase will pop up only when a streamer plays the game.

“We’re not solving for game distribution. The No. 1 goal for us is to grow the Twitch community,” said McCloskey, who previously was COO of Microsoft’s 343 Industries (the studio behind “Halo”).

Hi-Rez Studios, for its part, will be making in-game content from titles including “Smite” and “Paladins” available on Twitch. “The opportunity to buy appears right where a streamer is playing and viewers are engaged in watching and learning about the game,” said COO Todd Harris. “Since the streamer gets a revenue share of purchases made, this is a great way to further support streamers who educate and entertain viewers.”

Games purchased on the service can be downloaded and played via Twitch’s launcher, desktop app currently used to distribute free games as a perk of Twitch Prime, or through existing developer or publisher-operated services like Uplay.

Twitch has about 2.2 million users who broadcast gameplay monthly on the service. However, to enable game purchases, they must be approved under Twitch’s partner program, whose guidelines specify that broadcasters should regularly have at least 500 concurrent viewers and broadcast at least three times per week.

Here’s a mock-up of the Twitch page for Tyler “Ninja” Blevins showing how the “buy now” button will appear (in the lower left-hand corner), in this case for Ubisoft title “Tom Clancy’s The Division”:

 

More Digital

  • Jingle Punks Jingle Player

    Jingle Punks at 10: How the Production Music Platform's Player Works

    Though its primary function is creative, Jingle Punks is built on a foundation of technology and administration. The patented Jingle Player that lets customers search for music using pop culture terms is both intuitive and efficient. Typing in “Reservoir Dogs” or “Starbucks” generates suggestions. Queries are monitored “so if there isn’t an exact match, we’ll suggest [...]

  • Jill Goldfarb - Jukin Media

    Jukin Hires TV Veteran Jill Goldfarb as VP of Linear Programming

    Jukin Media, which specializes in licensing user-generated viral videos, hired Jill Goldfarb as VP of linear programming. Goldfarb’s former tours of duty include serving as Discovery Channel’s VP of programming and as VP of program planning and scheduling at ABC Family/Fox Family Channel. Most recently, for the past five years she worked as an independent [...]

  • Imax Is Exiting the VR Space,

    Imax Is Shutting Down Its VR Business, Closing Remaining Three VR Centers in Q1

    Imax is making its exit from virtual reality (VR) official: The company notified shareholders with a SEC filing Thursday that it will close down its remaining three VR centers, and write off “certain VR content investments.” A company spokesperson confirmed the planned closures and shared the following statement with Variety: “With the launch of the [...]

  • Apple Music Connect Is Being Discontinued

    Apple Music Phases Out Connect Social Feed

    Apple Music has notified artists that it will be phasing out its Connect social feed. Artists won’t be able to post to Connect anymore effective immediately, and their existing posts will be removed by next May, according to an email sent to artists that was first published by 9to5Mac Thursday. “Today we’re streamlining music discovery [...]

  • YouTube logo

    YouTube Warns Creators They May See Subscriber Count Drops Amid Spam-Account Purge

    YouTube is enacting a broad purge of spam accounts over the next two days, and it’s warning creators they could see a big drop in subscribers as a result. According to YouTube, on Dec. 13-14, creators “may see a noticeable decrease” in subscriber counts. The Google-owned video service regularly works to verify the legitimacy of [...]

  • Ninja to Call 'Thursday Night Football'

    Ninja to Call NFL 'Thursday Night Football' Game on Twitch Free Live-Stream

    Tyler “Ninja” Blevins is Twitch’s most popular live-streaming gamer. Now he’s taking his play-by-play skills to the NFL — although it remains to be seen how many of his millions of followers are actually interested in his commentary on gridiron action. This season, Amazon-owned Twitch has provided free live-streaming feeds of the NFL’s “Thursday Night [...]

  • Amazon Starts Selling Chromecast Again, YouTube

    Amazon Starts Selling Google’s Chromecast Again

    Amazon is once again selling Google’s Chromecast streaming adapter, three years after yanking the product from its website. The e-commerce giant began listing the third-generation model of Google’s Chromecast streaming stick, as well as the 4K-capable Chromecast Ultra, on its website this week. The move could be a first step toward a more comprehensive business [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content