By Sam Machkovech
Amazon has unveiled yet another add-on for its paying Prime subscribers, and it represents the company’s biggest tie-in yet with Twitch, the game-streaming service that Amazon acquired in 2014 for nearly $1 billion.
The new add-on, Twitch Prime, will dole out monthly gaming-related goodies to any Amazon Prime subscriber who links their shopping account with a Twitch user ID. Upon doing so, Twitch users will get a few Twitch-specific bonuses. The first is a series of free game downloads, which change every month and can range from full-game unlocks to DLC add-ons for games you already own (much like PlayStation Plus and Xbox Live Gold). Twitch Prime’s first month includes a full download of the Twitch-enabled multiplayer game Streamline and add-on bonuses for free-to-play games Hearthstone and Smite.
Twitch Prime appears to be enabled for Prime subscribers in the US, UK, Spain, Germany, France, Canada, and Italy.
This Prime bump also includes every facet of Twitch’s pre-existing subscription service, Twitch Turbo. That means Twitch Prime users will enjoy ad-free Twitch streaming, increased archival storage for their own gaming broadcasts, and chat-specific perks.
Twitch Prime may also pump cash into game streamers’ pockets, as every subscriber will be given one free monthly streamer “subscription.” For some time, fans have been able to pay a particular streamer $5 per month to monetarily support them. Now, Amazon will pay that subscription fee for you, but only for one broadcaster, and you’ll have to manually choose a recipient of your subscription fee every 30 days. Still, that’s quite a giveaway on Amazon’s part. We could see certain Twitch broadcasters banging the Prime drum in the near future, since Twitch Prime will undoubtedly roll out to a lot of people who’ve never subscribed to a Twitch feed before. (It’ll be the digital equivalent of holding a cardboard sign up: “Got a Prime sub to spare? Just a click’ll do.”)
Whether Twitch Plus convinces more average Amazon shoppers to watch live feeds ofHearthstone is anybody’s guess. But putting those perks—particularly ad-free viewing—in more game-watchers’ hands could convince more gamers to stick with the platform (as opposed to switching over to YouTube Gaming, whose archival and rewinding features are still smoother than what Twitch offers).
Read the full article on Ars Technica
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