Why Twitch Prime Matters: The Evolution of Gaming Ecosystems

Amazon Prime is a fascinating service, combining offers on physical goods and virtual services with a product portfolio that is unprecedented in retail. Their ability to combine different products or services (availability varying by region) including same-day delivery from a catalog of millions of physical items, online television and movies, virtual book library, cloud storage, live video game streaming and much more has disrupted every industry that they have decided to compete in.

The last item in the aforementioned list is particularly important for the interactive entertainment world as Twitch Prime combines the premium video quality and subscription support abilities from the pre-acquisition version of their platform with a rolling assortment of free games and in-game content that rivals the benefits of plans such as Xbox Live and PlayStation Plus. This matters for gamers because it marks the first significant PC subscription plan with frequent content available to be claimed; other services or stores such as EA’s Origin and Humble Bundle have dipped their toes in the limited time free game space, but this has the scale and brand recognition to drive a much higher volume of user retention.

The initial offers have been mostly cosmetic or supplemental with items such as a Hearthstone premium hero and SMITE DLC available to be claimed, but there is a huge opportunity for Amazon to add scale to those rotating offers as it continues to add partnership agreements and developers increasingly use their Lumberyard engine to create games.

Where Twitch Prime also holds a distinct edge is its ability to integrate with Amazon Prime’s combination of same-day guaranteed delivery and 20% pre-order/release window discount for physical games. It creates a feedback loop of pre-order, purchase, play and stream that entices gamers to stay firmly with Amazon as their primary source of video game consumption.

Microsoft is making a bold play with their recent acquisition of Beam and YouTube Gaming is a steadily growing competitor, but Amazon is the current market leader in online video game streaming with Twitch and the Prime version of the service only reinforces that dominant position.

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