Twitch Prime ends ad-free viewing, Amazon Prime preorder discount reduced

One of Twitch Prime's big attractions is ad-free viewing: If you subscribe to the service, you don't have to put up with any advertisements cluttering up your viewing experience. As of October 15, however, that will no longer be the case. 

"As we have continued to add value to Twitch Prime, we have also re-evaluated some of the existing Twitch Prime benefits. As a result, universal ad-free viewing will no longer be part of Twitch Prime for new members, starting on September 14," Twitch said in a blog post

"Twitch Prime members with monthly subscriptions will continue to get ad-free viewing until October 15. If you already have an annual subscription, or if you upgrade to an annual subscription before September 14, you will continue with ad-free viewing until your next renewal date." 

Why the change? Twitch said that advertising is "an important source of support" for streamers on the service, and ending universal ad-free viewing through Prime "will strengthen and expand that advertising opportunity for creators so they can get more support from their viewers for doing what they love."   

Twitch users can maintain across-the-board ad-free viewing by subscribing to Twitch Turbo, the service that Twitch Prime appeared set to muscle out when it debuted in 2016. It goes for $9 per month and also offers a custom emoticon set, a unique chat badge, extended chat colors, and 60 day storage for past videos. It does not offer the other Twitch Prime extras, however, including a free monthly channel subscription and free games and in-game content, which Twitch said will not be affected by the change. 

The Amazon Prime discount on new game preorders is also being changed, from 20 percent off the purchase price to a flat $10 Amazon credit. (Twitch Prime comes free with Amazon prime subscriptions.) In most cases the difference will only be a couple of bucks, but as a matter of principle it's not a great look.