The problem with watching livestreaming gameplay of something like League of Legends on Twitch is all of the commercials. Sure, it’s nice that people get paid for broadcasting their dope skills, but the ads are disruptive.
Enter Twitch Turbo, the website’s new subscription service that removes those advertising breaks from the experience and adds a few goodies on the side. For $8.99 a month, fans of game streaming get the following:
- Zero ads
- Priority customer support
- Special colors and emoticons for Twitch’s chat platform
- Exclusive Turbo badge that displays on your profile
Twitch is one of the largest livestreaming sites for video games. The site brings in more than 23 million gamers each month to watch everything from The Legend of Zelda quick runs to professionals duking it out in Dota 2 tournaments.
Obviously, the big draw of Twitch Turbo is the ad removal. Unlike televised sports, the action in a League of Legends match doesn’t stop while the site rolls an advertisement, so fans are missing 30 seconds of entertainment on a regular interval.
At $8.99 a month, that’s $1 more than Netflix charges users to stream a vast library of films and television shows. Some Twitch users may hesitate just based on that price, but Twitch is counting on its dedicated viewers to upgrade.
“Comparing Twitch to Hulu or Netflix misses the mark,” Twitch vice president of marketing Matthew DiPietro told GamesBeat. ”We’re a different animal entirely, with different — live — content and a completely different set of features like chat and functionality you can’t get anywhere else, like in-game Call of Duty broadcasting, for example.”
Twitch announced a partnership with Activision last week that allows gamers to stream gameplay directly out to the website.
DiPietro pointed out that unlike Netflix, Twitch’s content is always free to access. Users don’t have to pay anything extra to watch anything on the livestreaming service.
“It’s about offering a premium experience based on the features that the Twitch community finds most valuable,” said DiPietro. “We have a large, incredibly passionate community on Twitch that we think will value the perks they get with Turbo.”
At the same time, DiPietro admits that the company is testing the waters with the Turbo initiative.
“Of course, this is a first-of-its-kind product for Twitch, so we’ll definitely be listening to community feedback — on pricing and features,” he said.