Twitch Prime Changes For The Worse & Now It’s Time to Cancel
Did you like ad-free viewing on Twitch Streams, 20% off of game preorders, and being respected as a consumer? Yeah? Hey, me too! You may have liked the Twitch prime of old, but these new changes being introduced to the Twitch Prime service leave many just asking “Why?” You may have already gotten an email about it, but if you haven’t, or if you just love us that much that you want to hear it from the mouth of COG, then let me break down the new subtractions to the bundled service for those of you with Amazon Prime. Suffice it to say, it’s not a great batch of changes.
Ad-free No More
The first change, and what’s probably just a big slap in the face, is that the universal ad-free viewing for Twitch Prime members is now a thing of the past, unless you pony up a little extra. Introducing a new service called “Twitch Turbo”, you can now pay even more for the ability to view streams ad-free, even though you were already paying for that with a steadily increasing Amazon Prime membership cost. It just sucks to see what is undoubtedly one of the bigger draws for Twitch Prime get locked behind a new paywall, and for a company as massive as Twitch, a little worrying for how it treats those who dip on their premium features as a whole. Twitch’s streams are free to view, so naturally, it makes sense that you have to sit through an Ad or two. Hell, if you wanted to opt out by paying a little extra, you could get that benefit with Amazon Prime. Cool, right?
“Yeah, nah” says Twitch. Admittedly, Twitch Turbo is ONLY $8.99/month, but for a service that was included for free with Twitch Prime, it just feels like a blatant cash grab on behalf of Amazon, a company that is already becoming a little controversial. Twitch Prime’s Ad-free viewing was definitely a nice add-in, even for those who may only follow a few specific streamers and the feature was nonetheless appreciated, to say the least, but I’m personally sure not going to pay again for something I was getting previously that was already covered in the cost of what I was paying. Let’s continue on, shall we? It only gets better (better meaning worse), it must be opposite day somewhere, right?
Another highly popular feature of the Prime service was the ability to save on pre-ordering games. We may not do as often as we used to, but the added incentive of getting 20% off on an anticipated title you were unsure on was a great inclusion to the service as a whole and easily one of the highlights. You’d think that they’d like to help continue to drive that further with their customers, right? Turns out Amazon is also a fan of the phrase “Yeah, nah.”, as the ability to get a sizable discount on preorders is going out the window for good as of August 28th. This is on top of other gradual changes to the service, with remasters being excluded, as well as the change that had it only apply to select titles. There’s a (very thin) silver lining to this bad news, at least.
They’ll honor any and all preorders placed before that date. That’s it. The change to the system instead provides a ten dollar, site-wide credit on Amazon, but only if you’re in the USA. If you’re anywhere else, say, Canada, you get absolutely squat, jack, zilch, you name it. That credit also isn’t able to be applied to the preorder in question, and it’s even less than what the discount would have given you than before. Colour me skeptical, but it seems like a greedier way to try and drive activity on a website that is quite comfortably entrenched in a number of peoples lives. Best Buy did something similar with the GCU, so it leaves me, and likely just as many of you reading this scratching their heads in outright confusion. Maybe there’s some hidden cost that didn’t make it “feasible”, but Amazon and Best Buy both seem to be getting along just fine, if you ask me.
Why You Do This, Amazon?
I honestly wish I had some kind of a logical reason as to why these changes were introduced, but I just can’t come up with one at all. The changes to the pre-order discount have been a long time coming, so it was just a matter of bracing ourselves for the inevitable, but the changes to Twitch on top of it just add to the fire. They’re making the Twitch Prime Service worse as a whole, it feels like. We get that ads help drive support for creators on Twitch, but they already get a good chunk of change from subscriptions, and sponsorships for those who have some clout, and those can add up quickly. People seem to be especially anti-advertisement with their web browsers these days as well, so what’s to stop someone from just throwing an ad-blocker in? Maybe Twitch will revise the changes made, but don’t hold your breath on this one, folks.