Twitch Prime, now called Prime Gaming, has been a vital part of the streaming and monetization ecosystem for years. Viewers can link their Amazon Prime account with Twitch to receive a free subscription to any streamer of their choice every month, which has been one of Twitch’s most innovative features. However, the future of Twitch Prime is uncertain. During a Q&A session with the community following a major layoff where 35% of Twitch staff was let go, Twitch CEO Dan Clancy discussed the future of Twitch Prime. While emphasizing its importance, he suggested that changes are necessary for the long-term sustainability of the company.
“We want to get to where we can continue to grow and adapt and change as the market changes. There may be other changes… Prime is an important part for our viewers and our creators so it’s important for us to make sure Prime still exists in some way.”-Dan Clancy, Twitch CEO
Clancy indicated that while Prime is crucial for streamers and viewers, and thus will continue to exist in some form, it may evolve. He discussed the importance of adapting to market changes and mentioned initiatives like the Partner Plus program and the ads incentive program as examples of Twitch’s strategic evolution. The uncertainty surrounding Twitch Prime’s future is significant, especially considering its role as a key marketing point in the past. For example, in a letter from Dan Clancy on Twitch subscription revenue splits in September 2022, Twitch used Prime Subs as a justification for not adopting a 70/30 revenue split for streamers, claiming that it effectively increases the revenue share to about 65%.
The potential changes to Twitch Prime are part of Twitch’s mission to achieve profitability. Clancy openly admitted that Twitch is not currently profitable and emphasized the need for sustainability. The current Prime Sub benefit is seen as a financial drain, with doubts about its effectiveness in encouraging Amazon users to engage with Twitch. The rebranding of Twitch Prime to Prime Gaming, focusing more on in-game content and less on Twitch-specific benefits, is also indicative of this shift.
As for when these changes might occur, they could be announced a few weeks before TwitchCon, based on Twitch’s history of timing significant announcements. Twitch is likely to explore new monetization strategies, such as increased sponsorship opportunities, before making any changes to Prime Gaming. Streamers are advised to encourage their viewers to use their free Prime subs while the benefit still exists, capitalizing on the opportunity to transfer funds from Amazon to their favorite creators. This situation highlights the ongoing changes and challenges in the streaming industry, particularly for platforms like Twitch that are seeking profitability while balancing the needs and expectations of their user base.