Live streaming site Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, today announced an exclusive set of perks for Amazon Prime members, including ad-free viewing and discounts on video games bought on Amazon.com. Twitch CEO Emmett Shear announced the new service, appropriately called Twitch Prime, at the company’s community convention held this year in San Diego. Unlike other Amazon services like Prime Video, Twitch Prime will not be available as a standalone subscription service. Instead, it will only be offered to those who are existing Amazon Prime members or those who are signing up for the first time. Prime, which offers two-day shipping and access to Amazon’s video and music libraries, costs $99 a year.
“Offering subscriptions free through Prime saves money for viewers, while supporting streamers to build their community. Free games and in-game content are always a hit with gamers, but they also let developers reach millions of new potential players,” Shear said in a statement. “When Amazon acquired Twitch, the first thing the community asked was, ‘when will Twitch be bundled in with Amazon Prime?’ Twitch Prime answers that question in a way that speaks to our community.”
Twitch Prime is a way urge gamers to spend money on Amazon.com
Other perks include monthly “game loot,” which will come in the form of items for popular titles on Twitch, and free digital games starting with the made-for-Twitch title Streamline from developer Proletariat Studios. Twitch Prime will also grant users one free channel subscription every 30 days, which tends to cost $4.99 per month. Shear said streamers who net new subscribers through this perk will still be paid out normally as if the channel subscription was purchased separately.
The introduction of Twitch Prime is the largest piece of evidence yet that Amazon’s grander plans for the platform involve blending streaming video with online commerce. Amazon itself already operates its own streaming video product as either an additional perk to its Prime subscription or as a standalone service for $8.99 a month. However, Twitch, with its deep ties to the gaming community, presents a lucrative opportunity for Amazon to turn live streaming into a more significant part of its business by tying it to the Prime membership and its online retail network.