Amazon purchased Twitch for $970 million in cash just over two years ago, and since then we have been waiting to hear what would happen to the a live video-game-streaming site. Today, during the first day of TwitchCon 2016 the companies unveiled Twitch Prime among other features.
Twitch Prime goes hand-in-hand with Amazon Prime, costing $10.99 a month or $99 for the entire year. A subscriber will get all the benefits of Amazon Prime along with the benefits listed below:
- Free Digital Games and Game Loot: Twitch Prime members will receive a consistently updated selection of free digital video games and in-game loot like skins, characters, and boosts from the most popular games on Twitch
- Premium Twitch + Monthly Twitch Channel Subscription: Twitch Prime builds on the benefits of Twitch Turbo, Twitch’s original monthly subscription program, including ad-free Twitch viewing, custom emotes, special chat badges, and expanded chat colors. Plus, members receive one free Twitch channel subscription each month which is normally $4.99, to support their favorite streamer. When Twitch Prime members use these free channel subscriptions, the streamer is paid the same as if the member purchased the subscription separately.
- Member Savings on New Release Games: Prime members will receive exclusive discounts on new-release physical games sold by Amazon during the pre-order period and for the first two weeks after launch. Members will also enjoy free Release Day Delivery on pre-order games, ensuring they get to play the latest games immediately at launch, without waiting in line.
Twitch Prime is currently available to all Amazon Prime members in the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, including Prime Student members. Those who are already Amazon Prime subscriber, head over to http://twitchprime.com and subscribers can link the two accounts together to obtain the free items. For those who are not sure, Twitch is offering a free 30-day trial that can be signed up for here.
Other new features were also announced for Twitch channels, streamers and subscribers. Until now the only items that could be hosted on a channel was either the currently live streaming and stuff that were streamed previously through Twitch. As of today, now the channel owner will be able to upload their own gaming videos. Channel owners will also be able to award their loyal viewers through a special “tenure”-based badges. They can be rewarded for watching for 3, 6, 12, or 24 months. The stream channel owner can design their own badges, though this feature is not immediately available and will launch in three weeks.
Twitch also revealed that HTML5 support is rolling out today, this had been in beta testing for the last several months. Currently the video quality options is offered to revenue-sharing partners only, but the company hopes to open it to 3x as many non-partners within the next few months. Last but not least, as of today viewers will be able to clip, create and/or share clips from Twitch streams on iOS/Android devices, and a new clip-trimming feature will be arriving coming in mid-October.
To celebrate the launch of Twitch Prime, starting today through November 6, Twitch Prime members can receive Hearthstone’s new hero, Tyrande Whisperwind, along with a custom card pack. In October, a Twitch Prime branded skin from Smite, and a free copy of Streamline, a new game from Proletariat Studios.
Twitch has also partnered with the GameChanger Charity, an independent non-profit that raises money and creates life-changing experiences for children with terminal illnesses. Starting today, Friday, Sept. 30 through Wednesday, Oct. 5, Twitch will donate $100,000 to the GameChanger Charity for every 100,000 channel subscriptions made by Twitch viewers up to $1 million total. All subscriptions count, including those using the free channel subscription that comes with Twitch Prime.