Technology

Watching Twitch without ads just got a lot more expensive in the UK

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rits will be forced to fork out up to 64 per cent more to get rid of ads on Twitch after the livestreaming platform hiked the price of its subscription service.

Twitch, which is owned by Amazon, informed customers on Thursday that it was raising the price of its Turbo subscription from $9 to $12.

As part of the change, Twitch has also implemented regional pricing. Previously, non-US subscribers could sign up to Turbo by paying the dollar-equivalent amount for the service.

As a result, the price of Turbo jumped overnight from £7.30 to £12 per month in the UK — an increase of 64.6 per cent based on the exchange rate at the time of writing, and double the price hike Americans are being charged.

For the uninitiated, Twitch is primarily a place to watch people play video games, both live and on-demand. The company lets viewers pay for extras, including individual channel subscriptions that nix ads from streams by your fave content creator. You can also link your Twitch account to Amazon Prime to gain further benefits, such as free monthly games.

Although price hikes are a fairly common practice among subscription services, this particular increase seems more egregious than others. By comparison, Netflix implemented a price increase of £1-£2 for its streaming plans in March last year. Twitch owner Amazon also upped the price of Prime by £1 last July.

Maybe Twitch is just making up for lost time: This marks its first price increase for Turbo since it launched the subscription back in 2013. On the other hand, the company lowered the UK price of its most basic channel subscription plan from £5 to £4 in 2021. At the time, Twitch said affordable prices would encourage more viewers to become subscribers, hence increasing revenue for creators.

The ability to remove ads is by and large Twitch Turbo’s biggest draw. It’s especially useful when you consider that ads can interrupt key moments in Twitch livestreams.

At the start of the year, Twitch announced a wave of updates to the way it shows ads on its service. The platform said it would allow creators to disable so-called pre-roll ads that run ahead of a stream on their channels. To enable the change, streamers were offered controls to broadcast three minutes’ worth of ads per hour in any way they prefer.

In addition, Twitch said pre-roll ads would no longer take up the whole screen, and instead appear in a smaller picture-in-picture format.

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