It looks like Twitch is pulling a Darth Vader and altering the deal, as the company has announced cutbacks on two of Twitch Prime's most popular benefits. Universal ad-free viewing and video game pre-order discounts are getting the axe. The move hasn't been a popular one, to say the least, leaving many consumers echoing Lando's famous words about the quality of their deal.
The news comes from an official Twitch blog post. New users have until September 14th to view Twitch ad-free. Those with existing monthly subscriptions get to enjoy it until October 15th. Annual users have until their next renewal date. Users will still have their monthly subscription token to view one channel without ads, as well as Twitch Turbo if they so choose. Turbo, a separate, $8.99 monthly service, will provide ad-free viewing across all of Twitch. The blog post makes sure to mention Turbo's convenience, for consumer benefit, of course.
The reasoning behind the change is apparently Twitch streamers. "Advertising is an important source of support for the creators who make Twitch possible," says the blog post. "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."
Yet streamer and viewer alike don't seem to be particularly happy about the announcement.
Twitch saying the changes to prime are to help put money back into the pockets of streamers, by changing a thing they said wouldn't affect streamers income, is the laziest attempts at corporate double speak I've ever seen. Please don't use streamers as a shield to cover bad ideas— Jesse Cox (@JesseCox) August 20, 2018
Twitch is money hungry and about to ruin a lot of peoples communities. There basically forcing ads now unless you get "Twitch Turbo" @Twitch— Raidhn (@Raidhn_GoW) August 20, 2018
Some streamers, like ShadyPenguinn, have even vowed to remove ads from their channels to protest the new terms.
Due to the changes in Twitch Prime, I’ll be removing timed ads from all future streams. So dumb move, prime.— ShadyPenguinn (@Shadypenguinn) August 20, 2018
As stated, a lot of the ill-will comes from the way Twitch seems to be forcing Turbo on viewers. Those who want to continue watching ad-free will now have to subscribe to another service, one that doesn't even look to be sharing profits with the streamers Twitch claims to want to support.
Meanwhile, Twitch Prime members who get their subscription through Amazon Prime are losing another benefit. Amazon Prime offers subscribers a 20% discount on physical game pre-orders. That discount is disappearing as of August 28th. In its place is a $10 Amazon store credit towards your next game purchase, an offer that's only applicable towards select game pre-orders and during a limited window.
"All other Twitch Prime benefits, like monthly channel subs, monthly games and loot, and chat badges are not changing," says the post.
Despite all that loot and monthly games (over $1000 worth according to Twitch), fans really appear to care most about getting rid of ads. Twitter commenters galore are declaring their intention to run adblock whenever they view Twitch streams. Others are resolved to cancel their Amazon Prime subscriptions, an act only further motivated by the prince increase Prime will undergo this year. People often exaggerate on the internet, though, so who can really say if consumers will actually rebel? But with both buyers and streamers left upset, it doesn't seem like this action stands to please anyone but the higher-ups at Twitch and Amazon.