Twitch has announced that Twitch Prime subscribers no longer have universal ad-free viewing on all channels. All of the other benefits of being a Twitch Prime member remain as they have always been. Twitch Prime users can still watch certain channels ad-free, so long as they subscribe and that particular channel has ad-free viewing enabled for subscribers. With this change, the only way to view all channels without ads is to subscribe to Twitch Turbo. The change will affect new subscribers as of September 14, while existing subscribers can enjoy ad-free viewing until October 15. As an aside, anybody who gets an annual subscription before September 15 will have ad-free viewing until their next renewal date.
To be clear, nothing else about Twitch Prime will be changing. It will still be tied to Amazon Prime, and as such the cost will stay the same. Free games are still on offer, as well as in-game loot for more popular games. Twitch Prime subscribers also continue to get one free channel subscription per month. Twitch Turbo is also staying the same, aside from the addition of universal ad-free viewing. When a Twitch Turbo subscriber stops by to watch, Twitch Partners will get a credit for an ad impression. Twitch explained the move by saying that ad content was an important way for Twitch Partners to make money. This enables them to continue providing the sort of entertainment the platform is known for. Now, no Twitch Partner will ever have a viewer that does not give them at least one ad impression credit.
Moving ad-free viewing up one tier makes monetization much easier for partners, even if Prime subscribers may not be happy about it. Amazon's ubiquitous Prime service is an extremely popular subscription, after all. The sheer number of subscribers out there may have made it hard for partners to hit ad impression targets. Additionally, Twitch Turbo is a vastly easier sell, now that it's the cheapest way to get universal ad-free viewing. Previously, all your $8.99 per month got you was customizable chat and name colors, along with a special badge and priority customer support. A package like that seems like something that only the most hardcore Twitch fans were likely to go for at that price point.