A lot of Twitch fans are about to become Amazon Prime members.
Amazon and its live streaming company Twitch Friday announced Twitch Prime, a new bundle of Amazon Prime benefits specifically aimed at gamers. Prime members will now get discounts on game pre-orders and new releases, a rotating selection of free digital titles, in game bonuses, and an ad-free Twitch experience that includes a free monthly Twitch channel subscription.
“When Amazon acquired Twitch, the first thing the community asked was, ‘when will Twitch be bundled in with Amazon Prime?’ Twitch Prime answers that question in a way that speaks to our community,” Twitch CEO Emmett Shear said in a statement.
For Prime members, the days of waiting in line for the hottest new release or paying extra to get it delivered right when it comes out are over. Twitch Prime includes free delivery of highly-anticipated titles on release day.
Twitch Prime benefits are now available in the United States, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Spain. Existing Prime members will receive the new benefits at no extra cost.
“Twitch Prime is one of those unique cases where we have an opportunity to build a product that is equally great for all of our customers—streamers, viewers, and game developers,” Shear said. “Offering subscriptions free through Prime saves money for viewers, while supporting streamers to build their community. Free games and in-game content are always a hit with gamers, but they also let developers reach millions of new potential players.
Amazon acquired Twitch for $970 million in 2014. Just yesterday, Amazon Game Studios, the gaming development arm of Amazon, revealed its first titles featuring deep integration with Twitch.
Twitch lets people stream their video game sessions and attracts more than 100 million users and 1.7 million broadcasters per month. It’s described as the “ESPN of the video game industry” where viewers go to watch live footage of video games being played. The platform is now expanding beyond gaming into new verticals like arts and music.
Since acquiring Twitch, Amazon has quietly grown its Amazon Game Studios team and recently acquired gaming content platform Curse. Amazon has 111 open positions in the gaming department, and it has created an ecosystem it describes as a “sandbox of innovation” that includes Twitch, Lumberyard, AWS, and Curse. Amazon is also now streaming its original TV shows on Twitch.
Twitch Prime is another in the buffet of “all-you-can-eat” benefits available to subscribers of the $99 per year Prime service. Free two-day shipping has always been Prime’s bread and butter, but now members also get access to vast video and music libraries, audio programming, and Prime Now same-day shipping. Amazon is also courting non-committal customers with a $10.99 monthly subscription. Prime customers can get discounted smartphones in exchange for putting up with personalized Amazon ads on the lock screen.
Amazon Prime Day, a Black Friday-like shopping holiday in the middle of the summer serves a dual purpose of boosting sales during a slow retail period and encouraging more people to become Prime subscribers.
All these efforts to get people to become Prime subscribers appear to be working. A recent study conducted over the summer concluded that the majority of Amazon customers in the U.S. are now Prime members. And by the end of the year, it’s possible more than half of all U.S. households will be Prime members. Or maybe they already are.