Launched in 2016, Twitch Prime was designed to drive more subscribers to Amazon’s Prime program ($99 per year), whose benefits include free shipping on millions of products and access to Prime Video. Amazon acquired Twitch in 2014.
Being able to watch Twitch live game broadcasters without any ads was one of the most appealing components of Twitch Prime. Now, that’s going away.
“Advertising is an important source of support for the creators who make Twitch possible,” the company said in a blog post announcing the move. “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.”
However, the Twitch Prime program offers one free subscription to a Twitch channel, so users can still get ad-free viewing on a single channel if that creator has enabled that feature. In addition, Twitch users can get ad-free viewing across all channels by subscribing to Twitch Turbo, which costs $8.99 per month.
Twitch Prime members with monthly subscriptions will continue to get ad-free viewing until Oct. 15; those who already have an annual subscription (or those who upgrade to an annual subscription before Sept. 14) will continue with ad-free viewing until their next renewal date.
All other Twitch Prime benefits, like monthly channel subs, monthly games and loot, and chat badges are not changing. According to Twitch, it has offered Twitch Prime members more than $1,000 worth of free games and in-game loot for games like “Fortnite,” “PUBG” and “Hearthstone.”
Also on Monday, Amazon announced that its 20% discount for video game pre-orders for Prime members will end on Aug. 28. Instead, Prime members will be offered a $10 credit on select titles.