Twitch is adding an e-commerce element to its game streaming platform.
The Amazon-owned company announced today that it will sell video games directly on its site, which is already used by nearly 10 million daily active users.
“Twitch has always been the best place to watch, share, and play games,” wrote Dallas Tester, developer programs manager, in a blog post. “Soon, it will be the best place to sell your games as well.”
Starting this spring, “Twitch Games Commerce” will allow viewers to purchase a game that’s being live-streamed on Twitch. Streamers who have partnered with Twitch will receive a 5 percent revenue share for each purchase while developers will take home 70 percent of the revenue. Viewers will receive the game, which is purchased via an Amazon account, and “a randomly generated reward like an emote, badges, or Bits for Cheering.”
Gamers can play the games from within a Twitch launcher; “games and in-game items can also be fulfilled directly to developers’ ID systems via account linking,” Tester noted. Viewers can purchase games either directly on the live-streaming video page, or from a standalone games page.
Twitch is partnering with several game developers like Ubisoft, Telltale Games, and more at launch. With the new e-commerce integration, it will now compete with other online game marketplaces operated by companies like Valve and Activision.
“We believe there is tremendous potential in our community-first approach to game discovery and sale,” Tester wrote. “It allows streamers to play and promote games they authentically enjoy and be rewarded for helping fans find new content. The community will love supporting streamers they watch by shopping local, right from the channel page they’re already spending time on. These interactions create new motivations for purchase to bring you new and highly engaged players.”
Amazon, which paid nearly $1 billion to acquire Twitch in 2014, is certainly no stranger to e-commerce implementations. This is also another example of the company’s attempt at “social commerce”; last year it unveiled a daily web series about fashion and beauty that encouraged viewers to purchase items on Amazon.
Since acquiring Twitch, Amazon has grown its Amazon Game Studios team and in September announced its first games with deep Twitch integration. One of the games even includes the ability for users to wager loyalty points that can be exchanged for in-game rewards — effectively moving Amazon into the emerging area of eSports betting.
Amazon has also created an ecosystem it describes as a “sandbox of innovation” that includes Twitch, Lumberyard, AWS, and Curse.
In another result of Amazon’s Twitch acquisition, the Seattle tech giant last year announced Twitch Prime, a new bundle of Amazon Prime benefits specifically aimed at gamers. Prime members 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. Games purchased via Twitch Prime are also downloaded via the Twitch launcher.
Twitch now has more than 2 million active streamers, with 9.7 million daily active users who watch an average of 106 minutes per day of streamed content. The platform generates revenue from advertising and subscriptions; now it will earn money from game purchases made on the site, too.