Since before Twitch was its own platform, the service has been advertising-based. Either you could be a free member and watch ads occasionally, or you could be a premium member for $9 per month and have the ads removed. This has been a winning feature, adopted by services like Hulu and YouTube. That concept is coming to an end for Twitch, however, at least as it is known today.
Announced at Twitch Con, the now Amazon-owned service will be doing away with the premium subscription service to Twitch and replacing it with what they are calling Twitch Prime. Exactly as the name suggests, the new ad-free option is simply part of an Amazon Prime subscription. So, in addition to free shipping, Instant Video and Music, Amazon Prime subscribers can now also watch Twitch ad-free to their heart's content.
For a company that is focused on increasing its Prime membership numbers, this is a smart move. However, from a customer standpoint, this could eventually become a problem. There's a reason that Netflix charges what they do for a single month of service. There is a particular cost to produce and license the content, as well as distribute it. Hulu and YouTube know the same thing, along with Groove and Spotify. So, why does Amazon offer so much for their $99 annual subscription?
It is likely that the intention is to build so much "value" into the subscription that they can increase the price of the service once again. They might also create tiers of Prime membership in the future. Of course, the other option is that they are using Prime to encourage people to continue using their services, keeping the brand Amazon in consumers' minds, thereby not caring if they lose a little money on the subscription.
For now, Prime is definitely a steal for the price and getting better with every feature they add to the service.